With recipes organized by texture Flaky, gooey, crunchy, crispy, chewy, chunky, melt-in-your-mouth . . . Cookies are easy, enticing, and fun. Read more...
With recipes organized by texture Flaky, gooey, crunchy, crispy, chewy, chunky, melt-in-your-mouth . . . Cookies are easy, enticing, and fun. Yet as the award-winning baker Alice Medrich notes, too often, home cooks cling to the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips, when so much more is possible. "What if cookies reflected our modern culinary sensibility--our spirit of adventure and passion for flavors and even our dietary concerns?" Medrich writes in her introduction to this landmark cookie cookbook, organized by texture, from crunchy to airy to chunky. An inveterate tester and master manipulator of ingredients, she draws on the world's pantry of ingredients for such delicious riffs on the classics as airy meringues studded with cashews and chocolate chunks, palmiers (elephant's ears) made with cardamom and caramel, and rugelach with halvah. Butter and sugar content is slashed and the flavor turned up on everything from ginger snaps to chocolate clouds. From new spins on classic recipes including chocolate-chip cookies and brownies, to delectable 2-point treats for Weight Watchers, to cookies to make with kids, this master conjurer of sweets will bring bliss to every dessert table.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-11-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Medrich presents a compendium of exciting and enticing cookie recipes that reflects every aspect of our widening culinary landscape. Whole-grain flours as well as wheat-free alternatives are becoming more and more prevalent, and people are more often exposed and open to exotic spices and unique flavor combinations. Nibby buckwheat butter cookies, golden kamut shortbread, honey hemp bars, and whole wheat biscotti showcase whole-grain flours, while wheat-free versions of rugelach, toffee bars, butter cookies, and caramel cheesecake bars (just to scratch the surface) aim to please an increasing number of gluten-intolerant dessert lovers. There's a good chunk of dairy-free cookies as well as lower-fat versions (two Weight Watchers points, to be exact). Comfortingly, there are also homey recipes for classic peanut butter cookies, cakey brownies, and rocky road bars. Flavor combos are intriguing, as in the wheat-free grapefruit and basil butter cookies, aniseed and almond shortbread, and nutty cocoa cookie bark with Parmesan and sea salt. The recipes are organized by texture, hence the title, but there's also a section grouping cookies into categories like those containing whole grains, those that keep at least two weeks, ridiculously quick and easy cookies, and cookies to make with kids. This book has redesigned and reframed the often-overlooked cookie and is a boon to the modern, conscious baker. (Dec.)
Ready, get set, bake!
There's a little bit of magic in homemade cookies. Plain or fancy, soft or crispy, they somehow carry the ineffable essence of home and hearth, love and kindness, tradition and family—and they say Christmas loud and clear. This holiday season we're blessed with three fabulous new cookie cookbooks.
SWAP AND SMILE
In Very Merry Cookie Party, Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt tell you how to plan and host a Christmas cookie exchange, a wonderful way to amplify your holiday array without going crazy. You simply ask six (or any number that suits) friends to bake six dozen (one per every guest) of one of their most favorite cookie and then you swap, everyone going home with different kinds of cookies. You can make rules or go with the flow—either way, you'll have a great day. They've included more than 100 inventive recipes for everything from Dressed-Up Classics to pink and white Candy Cane cookies, Mint Meringue Wreaths, Stained-Glass Ornament Cookies made from fruit-flavored Life Savers to no-bake coconut Christmas Mice with red current noses and almonds for ears.
BEST OF THE BEST
The Gourmet Cookie Book showcases the single best cookie recipe from each year of Gourmet's almost seven decades as our epicurean magazine of record. And every recipe is a gem, starting with the almond-scented Cajun Macaroons that appeared in 1941 to James Beard's 1969 Galettes de Noël to a 2006 recipe for Chocolate Peppermint Bar Cookies and last year's Grand Marnier Glazed Pain D'Épice, the honey-tinged Christmas bread of Dijon, France. There's a scrumptious, almost-edible photograph with each recipe so you'll know exactly what you're aiming for.
A MULTITUDE OF TASTY TREATS Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookiesis Alice Medrich's paean to the perfect cookie, cookies that reflect "our modern culinary sensibility" without losing their home-sweet-home appeal. To achieve this delectably honorable goal, Alice revisited her cookie repertoire, experimenting with ingredients, constantly tweaking, tinkering and tasting, tuning up classics, never settling for "pretty good," and wound up with an extraordinary selection that is "whimsical yet practical, quirky but comforting, eccentric but engaging"—though I'd say all Alice's cookies are definitely divine. You'll find must-taste innovations like Lavender Tuiles, Carrot Masala Macaroons, large, flat, ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies, wheat-free Double-Oatmeal Cookies, Whole Wheat Hazelnut Cookies, ultra-chocolaty Bittersweet Decadence Cookies, Dulce-de-Leche-filled Alfajores, Chestnut Walnut Meringues and more.
All these creative treasures are arranged by texture—a cookie cookbook first, as far as I know--just check out the title again. Though most cookies don't require demanding Cordon Bleu techniques, Alice doesn't leave much to chance, providing detailed instructions, plus lots of extra info on beating and folding, piping and prepping. She starts off with a User's Guide that demystifies recipe language and answers 38 of the cookie world's most-asked questions.
Commercial cookies beware: Your days are numbered.