Friday, December 3, 2010

"Joy" to the Cookie

One of the many things I do around the holidays is make yummy cookies. I started passing cookies out one year as Christmas gifts because I forgot a couple of people on my Christmas list. The first batch of cookies I made that year made such an impression that now everyone insist I make them every year. I even get requests for them outside the holiday season. 

It all started because my husband was flipping channels on the television and I happen to walk through the room. I told him to go back a channel to The Food Network as Giada De Laurentiis, one of my favorite chefs from Everyday Italian, was on. In order to keep my husband from changing the channel I used my feminine wiles -- I promised to make him his favorite cookies if he would let me watch the show. Christmas was just around the corner and she was making holiday biscotti. I whipped into the kitchen between commercials to check and see if I had all the ingredients.

I was out of baking powder, had no unsalted butter, and had no white chocolate that her recipe required. Amidst all the running back and forth my husband asked if I had checked to see if we had all the ingredients for his oatmeal raisin cookies. I smiled sweetly and told him no, but that I had a great idea. I would make a version of the biscotti except I would only bake it once so he could call it a cookie. He was okay with that. Excited, I went to the kitchen and started on the cookies. 

You've got to understand that I am Italian and I love biscotti. I was raised in a home where my mother's cooking was like eating in a five star restaurant. She had a very small kitchen she called her "Love Kitchen" because she made everything with love and you had to love her to be in it while she was cooking. If my mother ran out of an ingredient she just substituted. She always made the most fabulous recipes. I guess I inherited this quality from her because I find myself doing the same thing. If you're wondering how fabulous my recipes are turning out, let's just say my mother would have been proud.

The cookies were mixed and baked in less than thirty minutes. My husband rushed into the kitchen and gobbled up the first batch I had prepared. It was a joy to know I could whip up such a great cookie in less than 30 minutes. 

I have to call this my semi-homemade cookie because it was made with two packages of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough. I mixed 2 packages of OceanSpray Craisins, and one package of organic pistachios. First I let the dough soften at room temperature then added the craisins with a tablespoon of Adams Extract Vanilla I chopped up the pistachios and added them. Rolling the dough in the palm of my hand I created approximately three dozen cookies. The cookies baked in an oven temperature of 350 for exactly 15 minutes each time. It was the perfect bite of sweet chewiness and crunchiness combined. I named my cookie creation "Joy." 

Updated: 12/03/2010 to correct temperature of 325 to 350 at 15 minutes. Cook times may vary.

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