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!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cookie Recipe #360 - Pogasca

This is a Hungarian cookie that resembles a biscuit. In Hungarian folktales these were made as the ideal travel food for journeys.

Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen and grated, 1 cup sour cream, 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature, 1 large egg white, beaten with a fork.

Instructions: About an hour before baking, place butter in freezer. Remove and grate in bowl; set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray; set aside.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until the ingredients are well incorporated. While the mixer is going, add the frozen, grated butter, sour cream and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well between additions, until it forms a smooth dough.

Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness, punch out cookies with a 1-inch cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets and place about 2 inches apart. Using a sharp knife, make a crisscross pattern on top. Brush with the egg white and transfer to the preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then reduce the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

"Cookies 52 Easy Recipes For Year-Round Baking", John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2007.

Cookies Rule!!!

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