‘Tis the season to get baking! October through December, our giving spirit is on overdrive (which it should be all year round!) but the holidays develop in us the joyous spirit of sharing our passion with others. If you’re like me, you want to give every single stranger on the sidewalk a bag of homemade cookies, a box of brownies or a jar of fresh apple butter.
This is when “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies” by Alice Medrich comes in. Published by Artisan in 2010 and with gorgeous, clean photographs by Deborah Jones it has everything from shortbread to brownies, cookies to bars, biscotti and tassies.
More than recipes, the book has a knowledgeable “User’s Guide”, a “Components” recipe list, as well as an “Ingredients” section and an “Equipment” list and explanation. You won’t find the recipe classified as you’d except, but focused on textures such as: Crispy (Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies), Crunchy (Biscotti), Chunky (Bittersweet Decadence Cookies), Chewy (Blondies), Gooey (Apricot Lemon Bars with Hazelnut Crust), Flaky (Pecan Tasssies), and Melt-In-Your-Mouth (Chestnut Walnut Meringues). Below are a few of the gorgeous chapter photographs:
Alice has revamped, re-tweaked, and re-made the cookies, perfecting them for us. She’s added new flavors and techniques, and kept some classic ones as well. Throughout the chapters, snippets of techniques and how-to’s are explained and explored. Heck, even pronunciation of baked good is explained, such as tuiles. I won’t lie, I’ve called them “toolies” and not “tweel” all my life. Tuiles is a French word, thus the s is silent. Can’t win ’em all!
Chunky (not shown in pictures), was one of my favorite chapters and from which I tested out “My Chocolate Chip Cookies”. Her secrets? You’ll need to buy your own copy but two words: melted butter! As with all cookie dough, resting the dough after you’ve made it, even though it’s hard, is crucial to the end result. Alice recommends resting for a minimum of two hours or better yet, overnight!
Alice’s Chocolate Chip cookie recipe is delicious! Chopped Hazelnuts were added on my part and you can see below the cookies have two different shades of brown? One was baked for 10 minutes and the darker one was baked for 12 minutes. The first, chewier. The second, still chewy with more crunch on the outsides. Both amazing.
|Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from book, with the addition of hazelnuts!|
You can purchase a copy of “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies” on Amazon, as well as checking your local bookstore. Either way, get two copies (or four!), because not only will the recipes be perfect to make for the holidays as gifts from friends, teachers and family, but how gorgeous would it be to gift a copy of this book with a basket of cookies as well?!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on Cooking with Books are my own and based on testing and personal experience. I was sent the book free of charge, although not monetarily compensated for a positive review.