Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I always love a good cookie - sometimes I prefer fancier cookies, sometimes I just want the quick convenience of a drop cookie - especially if I can make up a whole batch, portion out the dough and freeze them for fresh baking at a later date :) I always appreciate a cookie fresh from the oven, chased down with a nice cup of coffee or a cold cup of milk. Yum.

Of course, with my fixation on cookbooks, it is fair to admit that I have a whole shelf dedicated to cookbooks that focus primarily on desserts - cookies, pastries, cakes and ice cream - if its for dessert, its probably safe to say I can likely find a recipe for it in my cookbook collection - if not for the exact item, probably for something that can be adapted to suit.

Not long ago, I received a review copy of Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share - now, I have to admit that I don't subscribe to any of the myriad of Martha's publications, nor do I frequent the Martha Stewart website (I seem to prefer Food Network, Cooking Light or America's Test Kitchen) - with that said, several other individuals have pointed out that if you are a big fan of Martha's, this book may not have a whole lot of new recipes to offer you.

For me, the book was a pleasure to look at - 175 recipes, broken down by texture. The table of contents was unique in that it shows a small full color image of the finished cookie to aid the browsing :) Each recipe also includes a large beautifully photographed image of the finished cookie, so you know what you're aiming for when you start. While several of the recipes appear to be old favorites (meringues, snickerdoodles, macaroons, cocoa crackles, chocolate chip, classic shortbread, thumbprints, rugelach, and peanut butter, to name a few) there are still plenty to investigate and bake. My sister-in-law actually baked me up a bunch of the Lime Meltaways for Christmas last year - and I have to admit they disappeared quickly!

In addition to the wonderful recipes and photographs, the book also has a small section at the end that focuses on tools and techniques - providing tips on making, portioning, shaping and decorating the cookies...and finally, there is a great section on packaging your freshly baked treats for gifting. Once the weather cools down again, I'll hopefully start baking again :) (with temps starting to head into the upper 90s and with the 100+ temps to come, I can't bear thinking about turning on the oven!) Maybe I need to learn more about solar baking ;)

Anyhow, if you're looking for a good, well rounded cookie book, this one looks to be a good fit!

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