Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cookies From Lancaster County

Here is a cookie recipe from Lancaster County, often considered the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. This one is not specifically Dutch, though--at least not as far as I can figure out. Instead, it comes from Jan and Bruce Garrabrandt's The Artist's Inn and Gallery at Terre Hill. As is well known, good food knows no ethnic or geographical boundaries, and this recipe sounds delicious.

Chocolate Meltaway Cookies

(The Garrabrandts state: the thinner you can roll the dough, the better these cookies will taste.)

3/4 cup soft butter
2 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1-16 oz. pkg semisweet chocolate pieces (1 cup)
Powdered sugar

In a large mixer bowl, beat butter. Add half of the flour, all of the sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and almond extract. Beat thoroughly. Beat in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover; chill one hour or until firm, On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough 1/8 inch thick. Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cut rolled-out dough into star, round, and heart shapes with 1-1/2"-2'' cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, or use parchment or silpats.
With small cookie cutter, cut out round centers from half of the unbaked cookies. Use spare dough to roll out and make more cookies. Bake cookies--whole and those without centers--in 375 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Edges should be firm and bottoms very lightly browned.
Cool cookies.
Melt chocolate pieces in a microwave at half power for about two minutes. Spread chocolate on the whole cookies. Top with the cookies with missing centers. The chocolate will show through.
When cool, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Makes about 40 cookies.

To learn more about The Artists' Inn, visit http://blog.artistinn.com.

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