We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookie Recipe #355 - Swirled Mint Cookies

These cute little cookies are mint-flavored and dusted with colored sugar before baking.

Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, red food coloring, green food coloring, colored sugar.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl beat butter; add the sugar and mix well. Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint extract until combined. Add in flour until thoroughly incorporated.

Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Stir red food coloring into one portion; green into another, and leave remaining portion plain. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Divide each color of dough into four equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 1/2-inch diameter rope. Place one red, one green, and one plain rope side by side. Twist together. Repeat with remaining ropes. Chill dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut ropes into 1/2-inch slices. Carefully roll slices into balls, blending colors as little as possible. Place balls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle colored sugar (or plain sugar) over each cookie generously.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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