Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cookie Love: My Review

About the Book:
Mindy Segal is serious about cookies. And Cookie Love is your new go-to, never-fail reference for turn-out-perfectly-every-time cookie recipes. Mindy, award-winning pastry chef and self-professed “cookie nerd,” shares all of her secrets for turning classic recipes into more elevated, fun interpretations of everyone’s favorite sweet treat. From Peanut Butter Peanut Brittle Cookies and Fleur de Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah, to Malted Milk Spritz and Peaches and Cream Thumbprints, Segal’s recipes are inspired and far from expected. Inside you’ll find more than sixty perfected recipes for every kind of cookie including drop cookies, bars, sandwich cookies, shortbread, thumbprints, and more, as well as the best tricks and tools of the trade and everything you need to know to build the ideal cookie pantry. A must-have for anyone looking to up their cookie-baking game, Cookie Love is a celebration of the most humble, delicious, and wonderful of baked treats.

My Comments:
It is my opinion that there are two types of cookbooks.  The first is for people who need to get food that the family will eat onto the table on a regular basis with minimal fuss. The second is for people who consider cooking to be a hobby--something in which you enjoy investing time and money beyond the amount necessary for utilitarian success. While cookies are one of my favorite things to bake, and while homemade cookies are a family favorite, I have not made anything from this book despite the fact that it has been in my possession for several months. In short, Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary  is a book for the cooking hobbyist, not for the mom who wants to make a quick batch of cookies for the kids.

Had I decided to use one of the recipes, I could have chosen Raspberry Rose Rugelach (page 181).  To make these, I would start out by making Classic Cream Cheese Dough (p 179), which calls for both Kosher salt and Sea Salt, neither of which is in my kitchen. The dough itself is easy to make and then must be chilled for at least two hours.  While the dough chilled, you could make the Raspberry Framboise Jam (p 214) which calls for raspberries, framboise lambic (a Belgian ale brewed with raspberries, which, if you can find it,  appears to cost about $6.00/bottle.) and sugar.  Making the jam takes about thirty minutes.  Once the dough is cool, you roll it out and the put it back in the refrigerator for another thirty minutes.  Next, you spread the jam on a sheet of dough, and cut the dough into triangles.  Each triangle is then rolled up and put on the baking pan.  Next, the cookies are brushed with egg white and sprinkled with rose sugar (p 12.--made by combining rose water, sugar, and if a pink color is desired, rose petals).  Finally, the cookies are baked.  

A favorite cookie at my house is Oatmeal Scotchies.  I use recipe on the back of the butterscotch chip bag.  This book has a recipe for Oatmeal Scotchies so I thought that might be the one I would try.  This recipe called for both light and dark brown sugar, both kosher salt and sea salt, and both regular flour and cake flour.  It had about twice as much butter in proportion to the dry ingredients as my recipe does and it makes a cookie that spreads a lot more.  I will say though that this recipe would not be hard to make--it would just take a lot of stuff I don't keep in the house or use regularly.

The cookies on page 73 are Smoked Chocolate Sables.  The ingredient list includes smoked cocoa nibs, smoked sea salt flakes and demerara sugar.  I'd have to research where to find these before I started to think of making these. The dough making itself is pretty standard, but then you have to chill the dough overnight.  The next day you let the dough sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and then you cut it into strips.  You use a pastry brush to coat both sides of the dough in egg white and then dip it in the demerara (large grain) sugar, and then slice the strips in half before baking, cut side up.  

In short, for a gourmet cook looking for something new and original in the cookie department, this book would be a lot of fun.  For the rest of us, it is kitchen porn--lots of pretty pictures of fantasy.  

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