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COOKIE SECRETS WAFT FROM MRS. FIELDS' BOOK

The secret has escaped the strict security of the Main Street, Park City, headquarters.

No longer do you marvel at tales of desperate cooks who paid up to $250 for the recipe or others who sneaked a clandestine Xerox of the "real" recipe over the back fence.The real, honest-to-goodness, 100 percent legitimate Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie recipe, along with 99 other taste-tempting morsels, is on the market at a bargain price.

It's a $12.95 bargain book any way you look at it. It's a blue-light special if you divided the $250 "single recipe fee" with any five of your neighbors. It's a coup de grace if you figure out that you get the recipes for dozens of cookies for roughly the same price you'd pay for a single dozen professionally baked.

Finally, you get 100 recipes for cookies and other treats that were personally developed by Debbi Fields, herself, with the advice and experience of her five daughters, Ashley, Jennifer, Jenessa, Jessica and McKenzie.

"This was a family project as much as a business project," explains Fields. "We decided early that we would not put a recipe in the book that we did not personally love. I wanted the girl's help; I sought their input. The whole kitchen had butter and flour everywhere for six months, but it was a real family experience, and I love that."

Fields describes the evolution of the cookie recipe collection as a team effort all around. Staff members and friends, as well as the family, tested multiple recipes to determine the final selections.

"Not everything worked," Fields said. "Some recipes went straight to the garbage; others we worked on until they turned out right. Some happened by chance, like Jenessa's idea for peanut butter sandwich cookies."

There's little chance the cookie book won't become the most popular on your shelf. It's easy to use, especially with children. Recipe directions are precise and simple to follow. Instructions include an unusual 300-degree baking temperature, which contributes to Fields' trademark soft, chewy cookie. Each cookie is illustrated, and the home-baked versions actually look like the photographs.

"Every cookie was developed to stand on its own," says Fields. "Often you see a cookbook that has a few good recipes, then uses fillers for the remaining space. Not this book; every cookie had to stand on its own merit."

Fields' blue-ribbon cookies take top prize because of the creator's strict commitment to quality ingredients.

"I start with the best ingredients - real butter, real vanilla, real chocolate chips, nothing artificial or imitation," the cookie entrepreneur explains. "Some people take flour and add chocolate chips, but Mrs. Fields takes chocolate chips and adds flour."

May you and your family do the same.

RECIPES

BLUE-RIBBON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup salted butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk together flour, soda and salt; set aside.

Blends sugars and butter to form a grainy paste; add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in flour mixture and chocolate chips; blend at low speed until just mixed. Do not overmix.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 22-24 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool surface. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

- Each cookie contains 161 calories; 8 gm fat; 32 mg sodium; 26 mg cholesterol.

BUTTERSCOTCH PECAN COOKIES

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup salted butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup pecans, whole

Caramel Glaze:

8 ounces caramels

1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk together flour, soda and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar; mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until soft and lumpy. Add flour mixture and chopped pecans; mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Place one whole pecan in center of each cookie. Bake 23-25 minutes or until cookie edges begin to brown lightly. Transfer immediately to cool, flat surface.

For glaze, melt the caramels with the cream until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

- Each cookie contains 212 calories; 13 gm fat; 58 mg sodium 33 mg cholesterol.

NUTTY WHITE CHUNK COOKIES

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup salted butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 1/2 cups (8 oz.) white chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk together flour, soda and salt.

Blend sugar at medium speed; add butter, then eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture, pecans and white chocolate; blend at low speed. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake 20-22 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool, flat surface. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

- Each serving contains 185 calories; 11 gm fat; 42 mg sodium; 27 mg cholesterol.

KRISPIES

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup salted butter, softened

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

2 cup crispy rice cereal

1 1/2 cups (8 oz.) crispy rice chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk together flour, salt and soda.

Cream butter with sugars; add egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture, rice cereal and chocolate chunks. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies to cool, flat surface. Makes 3 dozen.

- Each serving contains 121 calories; 6 gm fat; 51 mg sodium; 16 mg cholesterol.

BLACK-AND-WHITES

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup salted butter, softened

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup (51/4 oz.) semisweet chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

1 cup (51/4 oz.) white chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Blend sugars; add butter, then vanilla and eggs. Add the flour mixture and chocolates. Drop by round tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 23-25 minutes. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool, flat surface. Makes 3 dozen.

- Each serving contains 166 calories; 7 gm fat; 37 mg sodium; 32 mg cholesterol.

ALMOND CRUNCH COOKIES

1/2 cup salted butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/4 cup almonds, ground

1 cup almonds, sliced

1 cup flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar; blend in egg and almond extract. Add ground almonds and flour; form dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in sliced almonds.

Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies to a cool surface covered with waxed paper.

For chocolate glaze, scald cream; stir in chocolate chips and corn syrup. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. When cookies are cooled, drizzle patterns on them with warm chocolate or dip half of each cookie into the glaze. Refrigerate the cookies until the glaze has set, about 10 minutes. Makes 11/2 dozen cookies.

- Each serving contains 237 calories; 22 gm fat; 13 mg sodium; 30 mg cholesterol.

and flour; form dough into 11/2-inch balls and roll in sliced almonds.

BROWN BUTTERCRUNCH COOKIES

1/2 cup salted butter, softened

1/2 cup corn syrup

2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Chocolate Glaze:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt butter, corn syrup and brown sugar over moderate heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. When mixture boils, remove from heat and stir in oats, flour and vanilla.

Bake cookies one pan at a time and be ready to work fast. Drop by half teaspoonfuls 3 inches apart on paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until mixture spreads, bubbles and begins to brown. Let cookies cool for 1-2 minutes before rolling around pencil or wooden spoon handle. Leave cookie on wooden form for a few minutes to hold shape. Repeat with remaining cookies. If cookies become too brittle to roll, return to oven for about 30 seconds to soften.

For glaze, heat cream in a small saucepan until scalded. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and corn syrup. Cover and let stand about 15 minutes until chocolate has melted. When cookies are cool, dip all or half of each cookie into the glaze and transfer back to paper. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to set. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

- Each serving contains 120 calories; 5 gm fat; 14 mg sodium; 11 mg cholesterol.

BROWN SUGAR SHORTBREAD

1 cup salted butter, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

2 cups flour

Topping:

1 tablespoon salted butter

1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and flour. Shape level tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls, then form into logs 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Place on ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Make for 17-19 minutes or until cookies spread and turn a light golden brown.

For topping, melt butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler or a microwave. Dip top of each cooled cookie into melted chocolate, then into chopped pecans. Place cookies on waxed paper and refrigerate to set. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

- Each serving contains 162 calories; 11 gm fat; 6 mg sodium; 18 mg cholesterol.

CHOCOLATE CREAM-FILLED HEARTS

1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups flour

Chocolate Cream Filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Topping:

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Cream butter with powdered sugar; add vanilla and flour. Chill dough for 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough on floured board to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 2-inch hearts; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 14-16 minutes or until golden.

For cream filling, scald cream and whisk in chocolate chips. Cover and cool for 15 minutes. Spread 1 teaspoonful of chocolate filling on the bottom side of half of the cookies. Top with bottom side of another cookie, forming a sandwich. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

- Each serving contains 236 calories; 12 gm fat; 6 mg sodium; 30 mg cholesterol.

LEMON-GLAZED POUND CAKE

3 cups cake flour, sifted

2 cups white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened

1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure lemon extract

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Glaze:

1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/4 cup white sugar

Topping:

2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease and flour a 3-quart fluted tube pan or bundt pan.

Blend flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add butter, buttermilk and 3 eggs. Beat on low until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Add lemon extract and lemon zest; add remaining eggs one at a time, beating at high speed for 30 seconds after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 50-60 minutes.

For glaze, heat lemon juice with sugar; stir until dissolved. Pour over hot cake. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then invert on rack. Cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar. Makes 24 slices.

- Each serving contains 242 calories; 13 gm fat; 74 mg sodium; 84 mg cholesterol.