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THE DAILY COOKIE!
 365 Tempting Treats
for a Very Sweet Year


                   by Jacqueline Aldridge

 

The Daily Cookie: 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year of Your Life gives reason to celebrate every day of the year. An award-winning baker, author Anna Ginsberg highlights an event or holiday each day of the year, and turns each of them into an auspicious occasion for cookie-making.

Ginsberg is a self-taught home cook and grand-prize winner of the 41st Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest and numerous other local and national cooking contests. She has appeared on  the Today show and has cooked on stage with Oprah Winfrey. She details her baking adventures on her Cookie Madness blog, cookiemadness.net.

The author provides a delicious recipe for each daily occasion, which range from quirky to classic. For example, how about Day of the Ninja (Chocolate “Ninjabread” Cookies), Squirrel Appreciation Day (Caramel Nut Bars), Christmas (Almond Ginger Toasts), and Valentine’s Day (Mocha Chocolate Brownies). The recipes include full-color photographs of each cookie, as well as anecdotes, fun facts, tips, and tricks for creating delectable treats.

Whether your prefer chewy, crunchy, crispy, bars, brownies, sweet, salty, savory, or even vegan or gluten free, The Daily Cookie has recipes everyone will love. This book is perfect for any baker, as it includes recipes for all skill levels, with no-bake cookies and even one cookie recipe  that requires only four ingredients, perfect for any beginner.

Featuring recipes beginning on New Year’s Day, and concluding on New Year’s Eve, The Daily Cookie is the perfect gift to charm your friends and family throughout the year, whether by reading it (it’s great fun) or by eating it (the cookies, not the book).

Check out the following cookie recipes to start the year right, and for the other 360 yummy choices, rush right out and get the book (Andrews McMeel Publishing; Available at Barnes & Noble or online, $24.99).



AWESOME COOKIES FOR JANUARY

JANUARY 1 - NEW YEAR’S DAY
Happy New Year! Double down on your good luck and follow those black-eyed-peas with some pomegranate. With hundreds of pulpy little seeds, this legendary fruit symbolizes fertility, regeneration, and abundance. In Greece, it’s customary to smash a pomegranate on the threshold - the more seeds dispersed, the more luck.
Pomegranate Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Pomegranate Swirl Cheesecake Bars (makes 16)

POMEGRANATE SYRUP
¾ cup pomegranate juice
1 tbs granulated sugar

*Hint: It takes about two pomegranates (1,200 seeds) to get a full cup of juice.

CRUST
6 tbs (3 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼  tsp salt
1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour

FILLING
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
¼ scant cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract

1. Make the pomegranate syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the juice to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until you have ¼ cup of juice. Stir in the tablespoon of sugar. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you have about 2 tablespoons of syrup (it should be about the same consistency as the pancake syrup). Put the syrup back into your measuring cup and set aside to let cool.

2. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350*F and place a rack in the center. Line an 8-inch square metal pan with nonstick foil, or line it with regular foil and spray the foil with flour-added baking spray.

3. In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium speed until creamy. By hand or using the lowest speed of the mixer, add the flour and mix until evenly incorporated and crumbly. Press the batter into the pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a second mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth; reduce the speed and add the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla, beating just until blended. Pour the cheese mixture over the baked crust. Drop teaspoon-size puddles of pomegranate syrup over the top and pull a knife through the mixture to create a marbled effect. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheesecake appears set. Let cool completely in the pan, then chill for 3 hours, or until cold. Grasp the foil and lift the bars from the pan. Set on a cutting board and cut into sixteen squares.  




JANUARY 8, ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY
Did he really fly to Denver in the middle of the night to satisfy a sandwich craving? Were his peanut butter and banana sandwiches fried in a full stick of butter? There are a lot of rumors, but it’s a fact that he loved peanut butter and banana sandwiches, so today’s cookie... is for Elvis.

Peanut Browned Butter Banana Bacon Cookies (makes 20)Peanut Browned Butter Banana Bacon Cookies

9 tablespoons (4.5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dried banana chips
4 slices thin-sliced bacon
½ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tablespoon mild molasses
1 tablespoon whole or reduced-fat milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1¾ cups (7.9 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ cup peanut butter chips
40 bite-size miniature peanut butter cups, halved, or 10 miniature cups, quartered

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and place a rack in the center. Have ready two ungreased baking sheets.

2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the banana chips and sauté until the butter starts to brown and the banana slices soak up some of the butter and brown a little around the edges. Transfer the banana chips to a paper towel and let cool, but not without tasting a few, of course! Wipe the skillet clean. Place the bacon in the skillet and cook until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, then chop the bacon into pieces.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter, peanut butter, and both sugars on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, egg, molasses, and milk. Beat in the salt, baking soda, and baking powder, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the flour and stir until mixed. Stir in the peanut butter chips, fried banana chips, and bacon pieces.

4. Scoop up rounded tablespoonfuls of dough and shape into balls about 1¾ inches in diameter. Arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets and pat the tops down slightly. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately arrange about four peanut butter cup halves or quarters over the warm cookies (they’ll kind of melt, then reset and adhere to the cookies). let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the cookies when they are completely cool and the peanut butter cups have set.

Baker’s Notes:
This cookie was inspired by Elvis’s peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches that were fried in butter. Because I couldn’t fry the whole cookie, I sautéed crisp dried banana chips in butter, then added them (along with some chopped crisp bacon) to the batter. As far as I know, Elvis never added chocolate to his sandwich, but I couldn’t resist sticking a few chopped peanut butter cups on at the end.




JANUARY 16 - PROHIBITION IN EFFECT
On this day in 1920, Prohibition officially took effect.

We all know how that worked out. Citizens entertained themselves by drinking, dancing, and listening to jazz at speakeasies as crime increased and became organized. Profiting from less serious offenses such as alcohol consumption, gambling, and prostitution, the Mafia gained a stronghold, opening the door to more serious crimes.

As the years went by, it became readily apparent that Prohibition was not working,and it was repealed on December 5, 1933.

Glazed Bourbon Whiskey Cookies (Makes 18)Glazed Bourbon Whiskey Cookies

COOKIES
1¼ cups (5.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup bourbon whiskey
¾ cup toasted and chopped pecans
¾ cup raisins

GLAZE
1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey (or as needed)

1. If you plan to bake the cookies right away, preheat the oven to 350*F and place a rack in the center. Have ready two ungreased baking sheets.

2. Make the cookies: Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium-size bowl; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. using the lowest speed of the mixer or by hand, add the flour mixer and whiskey alternately to the creamed mixture. Stir in the pecans and raisins. At this point, you may bake the cookies right away or chill for 1 hour. Chilling the dough will thicken it slightly and give you nicer-looking mounds. (If you chill the dough, preheat the oven to 350*F before proceeding to the next step.)

4. Scoop up rounded tablespoonfuls of dough and arrange 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and the cookies appear set. Transfer to a wire rack set over a paper towel and let cool completely.

5. Make the glaze: In the small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and confectioners’ sugar. Add the whiskey 1 tablespoon at a time until it is a drizzling consistency. Spoon over the cookies, letting the excess glaze fall onto the paper towel you’ve set under the rack.

Baker’s Notes: These bake up like little mounds of cake and, when topped with the opaque glaze, are quite pretty. For this recipe, you can use regular raisins, but if you want to really be a gangster, soak them in whiskey overnight and drain before using.




JANUARY 31- FIRST MONKEY IN SPACE
On this day in 1961, a chimp named Ham blasted off in the Mercury capsule, reaching a distance of 155 miles. He’d been specially trained to pull levers in response to flashing lights, and he carried out his operations successfully. Though the capsule overshot the flight path and it took three hours to find him, Ham was safe in his spacesuit when finally retrieved, and happily accepted an apple and an orange as a reward for his efforts.

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies (makes about 36)Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies

2 cups (9 ounces) white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed to make about 1 cup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
6 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate,
cut into chunks, or 1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts

1. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-size bowl; set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in the banana, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, and then stir in the oats, coconut, chocolate, and walnuts. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 325*F and place a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

4. Spoon tablespoonfuls of dough about 2½ inches apart (nine to a sheet) onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cookies taste best when they’re completely cooled and the chocolate has solidified.

 

 

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 154 - September 8873
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