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Three Favorite Cookie Cookbooks!
The best from my collection!
I love cookies. And, as everyone knows, homemade cookies are always best! So it's a good thing that I love to bake, too.
I also love cookbooks. Through the years I've accumulated hundreds of them. The shelf devoted to baking is at least six feet long. I love reading them, drooling over the pictures, and planning which recipe to try next.
These three cookie cookbooks are the ones I reach for most often. Every recipe I've tried from each of them has been delicious, the directions clear, and the resulting cookies have disappeared faster than I'd like to admit.
Photo courtesy of kimberlykv on Flickr.com via Creative Commons.
"Happiness is baking cookies"
- Maida Heatter
Death by Chocolate Cookies - by Marcel Desaulniers
This oversized cookbook is gorgeous. It would be worth having just as a coffee-table book for the quality of the pictures and the pleasure of reading Desaulniers' stories.
Death by Chocolate Cookies is also logically arranged - both by chapter and within each recipe. Desaulniers not only lists all the ingredients required for each recipe, he includes an equipment list and "The Chef's Touch" - notes that go beyond the simple instructions to hints and tips that make them extraordinary.
My very favorite recipe in Death By Chocolate Cookies is Chocolate Lemon Biscotti on page 92. Biscotti take a while to make, but are so incredibly worth it. The author even gives mixing time for each ingredient as it's added - pay attention for perfect biscotti!
I grew up watching Julia Child and her show on PBS "The French Chef." Then I watched the hilarious spoofs on Saturday Night Live. She was a wonderful entertainer and seemed to have a great sense of humor about herself and her great love of cooking. It was wonderful to revisit her in this clip with the amazing Marcel Desaulniers.
I remember him having a show about cooking, at his restaurant "The Trellises" many years ago, but I haven't been able to find any clips from it.
To dunk or not to dunk - that is the question
I used to think Biscotti had to be dunked to be bitten. Then I started making them and realized the ones I'd tried before were either stale or tough. Now that I have tender, toasty, delicious Biscotti, the choice is mine!
Photo courtesy of Vegan Feast Catering on Flickr.com via Creative Commons.
So - do you dunk?
Maida Heatter's Brand-new Book of Great Cookies - by Maida Heatter
Like Maida Heatter says in the introduction, I too, believe that "Happiness is Baking Cookies." This book isn't particularly pretty, there are no pictures and the pages aren't glossy. It is filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of wonderful cookie recipes, arranged by method: Biscotti and Zwieback, Bar Cookies, Drop Cookies, Dropped and Rolled, Icebox Cookies, Rolled Cookies, and Shaped Cookies.
Every recipe includes a little story about either it's origins, or the author's experience with the recipe, making it a truly personal and delightful read. My favorite recipe is for the Chocolati on page 97. The author notes "Watching these cookies bake is one of the prettiest sights I know. The cookies behave so well. They rise slightly into perfect shapes." And she's right - I love watching these cookies bake. They come out perfectly every time!
Is it a good way to spend your time?
I don't really trust my oven, so I do watch cookies bake, or at least check on them fairly often. My oven also bakes unevenly, so I switch my cookie pans half-way through baking - back to front and top to bottom. If I'm making the effort to bake, I want them to come out perfectly!
Photo courtesy of slgckgc on Flickr.com via Creative Commons.
Have you ever watched cookies bake?
Mrs. Fields Cookie Book
I don't know whether the actual Mrs. Fields is still involved with the business - but I do know that this cookbook is one of the best around. I have the soft-cover version, which is handled lovingly and carefully. It's a glossy book, filled with pictures of not only the finished product, but photo illustrations of methods used. Chapters include: Drop Cookies, Fancy Cookies, Filled Cookies, Bar Cookies, and Special Treats.
I know that Mrs. Fields is known for the Chocolate Chip Cookies - and I do think those are spectacular. However, my favorite recipe in this book is the Surprise-Filled Cookies on page 76. They are a version of Thumbprint Cookies - but better than any other recipe I've tried.
Debbi Fields had a cooking/baking show on television for a while. I enjoyed watching it, but not many episodes seem to be available.
Which do you love best?
In all honesty, with all the cookies I can bake and all the flavors available - I tend to reach for the Chocolate Chip Cookies most of the time.
What's your favorite kind of cookie?
© 2012 Hope