125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor

125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor

by Elinor Klivans
     
 
Who doesn't love the warm, butterly smell of freshly baked cookies? Now you can satisfy all your cookie cravings with the recipes from 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor.

Cookies are the ideal make-ahead dessert. They can be stored in tins, frozen, or packed and shipped to loved ones. Elinor Klivans, cooking teacher, baking expert, and busy mom, show

Overview

Who doesn't love the warm, butterly smell of freshly baked cookies? Now you can satisfy all your cookie cravings with the recipes from 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor.

Cookies are the ideal make-ahead dessert. They can be stored in tins, frozen, or packed and shipped to loved ones. Elinor Klivans, cooking teacher, baking expert, and busy mom, show today's cooks how to enjoy these melt-in-your-mouth morsels anytime.

Satisfy your sudden urge for something rich like Dark Chocolate Truffle Macaroon Sandwiches or White Chocolate and Raspberry Ripple Brownies, or indulge your sweet tooth with something lighter like Millionaire's Shortbread or Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies. From simple s'mores and chocolate chip cookies to elaborate truffles and French macaroons to savory cheese crisps and spicy crackers, there is something here for everyone. For year-round entertaining, try some of the festive treats in "Especially for Holidays." And cookies aren't just for sweet tooths--a chapter on "Savory Cookies" offers cheese ribbons, herb-flavored bars, and other tasty treats that can be served as appetizers and snacks.

Elinor's "Good Advice" accompanies each recipe to guarantee your baking success. These helpful asides explain unfamiliar terms, suggest shortcuts and quick fixes, and anticipate baking problems before they arise. And Elinor's tips on freezing, storing, and even shipping cookies guarantee that they'll taste fresh for weeks.

With Elinor Klivans by your side, you'll be baking delicious cookies in no time, then nibbling and savoring the results.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Proust made the most of his madeleines, but for serious cookie fans, like Klivans (Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts), just one variety will never satisfy. In this appealing but not essential collection that's a combination cookbook, memoir and travelogue, 19 chapters consider various kinds of cookies (Brownies; Bars with Fruit; Tassies, Tea Cakes and Truffles) and related issues (Baking Equipment; Freezing and Shipping Cookies). Readers are introduced to Grandma Theresa's Sugar Cookie Cutouts and the Gingerbread People she bakes for her family. From around the world are Rafiki Oatmeal Cookies, which seem like any other oatmeal cookies except for their association with a friend who runs a safari company; an impressive range of treats inspired by visits to the U.K. and Europe; and Avenue J Butter Cookies from Brooklyn, which vie with selections from Maine neighbors like Maple, Date, and Walnut Chews. Readers will find holiday cookies, savory selections, and child-friendly possibilities, including Super S'Mores to make in the oven (inventive... but with pecans?). Each recipe concludes with bits of advice, some of which is intriguing (when beating the butter and sugar for shortbread Petticoat Tails, "Listen to the butter... to make a soft slapping sound against the side of the bowl"). Klivans disregards cholesterol fears, guiltlessly admitting to having occasionally upped the shortening content for a more buttery taste, triggering another nostalgia for lost times. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Klivans (Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts, LJ 8/97) is back with more delectable, indulgent recipes, from Super S'Mores to Grasmere Ginger Shortbread to Caramel Crunch Butter Cookies. A good introduction covers techniques, equipment, and ingredients as well as freezing and shipping cookies. There are "Kid Easy" cookies and more sophisticated ones, too, holiday favorites, bars and brownies of all types, even a whole chapter on shortbread, and more. Recommended for all baking collections. Benedict, who has worked as a bartender, cocktail waitress, and caterer, offers cookies flavored with liqueurs and other alcohol, grouped into chapters such as "America's Favorite Cocktail in a Hurry" and "Trendy Mixology." While a "spirited" glaze, for example, may add to a simple butter cookie, and bourbon balls are perennially popular, this seems like overkill: Strawberry Vodka Linzer Cookies, Raspberry Schnapps Thumbprints, Irish Whiskey Shortbread. Not a necessary purchase.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780767901543
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Publication date:
09/08/1998
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.24(w) x 9.45(h) x 1.01(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

We have a cookie division of labor at our house. I bake and freeze the cookies; my husband, Jeff, takes charge of our daily allotment. At dessert time he chooses cookies from the freezer and arranges them on a plate. One day, I looked down at that plate of cookies and realized it was my family's legacy. I remembered my Grandmother Sophie for her butter cookies and the cookie legacy she left our family. I saw my mother as forever young as we rolled strudel together. I thought of Jeff's Grandmother Tillie baking hundreds of her chocolate chip raisin cookies in her big old-fashioned Midwestern kitchen, and my Uncle Howie, the family cookie inventor, baking his new butterscotch bars. My own chocolate chip cookies were there to transport me back to a time when anything could be cured by eating a chocolate chip cookie.

Although I find cookies the easiest desserts to bake, I include some recommendations with almost every recipe. These words of good advice explain a term, tell where to find an ingredient that might not be easily available, try to anticipate questions that might come up, and just prevent problems. When I've questioned a step in a recipe, or someone has asked me about the directions in a recipe, that becomes part of my good advice. If you read, "watch these cookies carefully at the end of their baking time," that means I answered the phone for just one minute and burned the bottoms. When I add "be careful not to burn yourself," it means I burned myself or almost did, and I don't want it to happen to you.

Now my family is scattered around the country, but when I fill a Pecan Tassie my mother is gently warning me not to add too much filling; when I bake GingerbreadPeople, my daughter, Laura, is next to me with her tiny fingers making the raisin faces on her gingerbread family; and as I spoon out any kind of chocolate chip cookie, there's my son, Peter, sneaking extra chocolate chips into the dough. Like mother like son.

Although this book is complete, I keep baking cookies and the ideas keep coming. Friends continue to share recipes, uncles call with new suggestions, the freezer is stocked, and the cookie welcome mat is always out.


Mistake Shortbread

One day I was making a cookie base for some bars and I accidentally mixed in twice as much butter as the recipe called for, but couldn't bear to throw away the dough. I spread the dough in a square pan, baked it, and produced this delicate shortbread that melts in your mouth.

Makes 25 cookies

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound (2 sticks) soft unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Have ready a 9 x 9 pan with 1- to 2-inch sides.

2. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder together and set aside. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture lightens slightly in color and looks fluffy, stopping the mixer and scraping the sides of the bowl once during the mixing. Decrease the speed to low and mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, mixing until a smooth, sticky dough forms. Use a thin metal spatula to spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan.

3. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the top is evenly golden. Use a small, sharp knife to cut the warm shortbread in 5 rows lengthwise and 5 rows across, cutting through to the bottom. Cool thoroughly in the pan on a wire rack.

To Freeze: Place the bottoms of 2 cookies together and wrap them in plastic wrap. Put the wrapped cookies in a metal or plastic freezer container and cover tightly. Label with the date and contents. Freeze up to 3 months.

To Serve: Defrost the wrapped cookies at room temperature. Store leftover cookies, wrapped in plastic wrap, up to 3 days at room temperature.


The Best of Everything Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's one brilliant cookie idea, if I do say so myself. One side of the cookie is a brown sugar chocolate chip cookie and one side is a chocolate chocolate chip cookie. It's all made from one dough so it's simple to mix.

Makes about 34 cookies

1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large cold egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, such as Droste or Hershey's European
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Position 2 oven racks in the lower middle and upper middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 175°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Place the ounce of semisweet chocolate in a small ovenproof container and melt it in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove it as soon as it is melted and stir it smooth. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

4. Put the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds until blended thoroughly. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl during this mixing. Decrease the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated.

5. Transfer half the dough to a medium bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, stir in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder until combined. Stir 1 cup of chocolate chips into each bowl of dough. Using a small spoon, scoop a rounded teaspoon of chocolate dough onto the spoon, then dip the spoon into the plain dough and scoop a rounded teaspoon of that dough beside the chocolate dough. Place paired dark and light dough mounds on the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. The cookies will spread as they bake.

6. Bake the cookies for about 11 minutes, or until the edges are dark golden, reversing the baking sheets after 6 minutes, front to back and top to bottom, to ensure even browning. Watch carefully as the cookies near the end of their baking time. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

To Freeze: Place the bottoms of 2 cookies together and wrap them in plastic wrap. Put the wrapped cookies in a metal or plastic freezer container and cover tightly. Label with the date and contents. Freeze up to 3 months.

To Serve: Defrost the wrapped cookies at room temperature. Serve within 3 days. If you prefer cookies with warm, soft chocolate chips, spread the defrosted cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and warm them in a preheated 200°F oven for 5 minutes before serving.


White Chocolate and Raspberry Ripple Brownies

White chocolate and raspberries turn any dessert into something elegant, even a familiar brownie. The white chocolate batter is rippled with sweetened raspberry purée that turns rosy pink inside the brownies and forms a lovely pattern of red swirls over the top.

Makes 12 to 16 brownies

1 cup sweetened frozen raspberries, defrosted and drained, or fresh raspberries mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar
9 ounces white chocolate, chopped (preferably Callebaut, Lindt, or Baker's Premium)
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 175°F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan.

2. Use the back of a spoon to press the sweetened raspberries through a strainer to remove the seeds. Measure 1/4 cup strained purée into a small bowl. Set the purée aside and save any additional for another use.

3. Place the white chocolate in a nonreactive ovenproof container and melt it in the oven about 12 minutes. As soon as it is melted, remove it from the oven and stir it smooth. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven to 325°F.

4. Stir the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

5. Put the butter and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, blending until the eggs are incorporated. You will see pieces of butter. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl once during this time. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Mix in the flour mixture just until it is incorporated and the batter is smooth.

6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Drizzle the 1/4 cup raspberry purée over the top. Draw a thin metal spatula gently through the purée to swirl it with the white chocolate batter until the top is marbleized.

7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack about 1 hour. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into 12 to 16 pieces.

Good Advice: Lightly sweetened raspberry purée adds more flavor to the brownies than unsweetened raspberry purée. Use sweetened frozen raspberries or add sugar to a pur&e acute;e made with fresh raspberries. Defrost frozen raspberries before purée ing them.

To Freeze: Wrap each brownie tightly in plastic wrap. Place in a metal or plastic freezer container and cover tightly. Or, put the wrapped brownies in a plastic freezer bag and seal. Label with the date and contents. Freeze up to 3 months.

To Serve: Defrost the wrapped brownies at room temperature for about 3 hours. Refresh them with a light dusting of powdered sugar if necessary. Leftover brownies can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature up to 3 days. The brownies can be served with raspberry ice cream or sorbet and garnished with fresh raspberries.


Camden Cheese Ribbons

Summer in Camden, Maine, is a time for parties. Old friends sail into the harbor or arrive on our doorstep. Every long sunny day is an excuse for celebration after the short quiet days of winter when every invitation depended on the track of the latest snowstorm. One thing that is sure to show up at every summer party are these thin cheese crackers, which are always the first to disappear. There can never be enough of them, so I just bake as many as I can and resign myself to running out. They are exceptionally thin, rectangular cheese crackers, rich with butter and cheese and topped with a sprinkling of salt.

Makes 40 cheese ribbons

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups (about 5 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or hot Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Stir the flour, cheddar cheese, and pinch of salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Put the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. Add the flour mixture and mix just to incorporate the flour. Increase the speed to medium and beat until a smooth dough forms that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. You will see specks of cheese in the dough. Divide the dough in half and press each piece into a square about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

3. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Remove 1 piece of dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Flour the rolling surface and rolling pin lightly. Roll the dough into a rectangle that measures 12 x 5 inches and is 1/8 inch thick. Trim the edges. Use a large, sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel to cut 20 strips 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Cut 20 strips by cutting 5 rows lengthwise and 4 rows crosswise. Slide a thin metal spatula under the dough to loosen it from the rolling surface. Separate each strip and roll it until it is 4 inches long and about 1/16 inch thick. Use the spatula to loosen the strips from the rolling surface and transfer the strips to the baking sheet, placing them 1 inch apart. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Sprinkle the strips lightly with the kosher salt. Each strip will have only a few grains of salt on it.

5. Bake 1 sheet at time until the edges of the cheese ribbons are light brown and the centers are just golden, about 6 minutes. The ribbons should not become brown all over. Bake the remaining baking sheet of cheese ribbons about 6 minutes. Cool the cheese ribbons 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Good Advice: To achieve a rich butter and cheese flavor, these crackers must be prepared with a full-fat cheddar cheese rather than a reduced-fat kind. The best way to make this thin cracker is to roll it twice. After I roll the dough into a square about 1/8 inch thick, I cut it into strips and roll each strip even thinner. These cheese crackers can have a straight edge if cut with a knife or a zigzag edge if cut with a fluted pastry wheel. Use coarse-grained kosher salt for the topping. Kosher salt can be found in the spice section of the supermarket.

To Freeze: Stack 6 cheese ribbons together and wrap them in plastic wrap. Put the wrapped cheese ribbons in a metal or plastic freezer container and cover tightly. Label with the date and contents. Freeze up to 3 months.

To Serve: Defrost the wrapped cheese ribbons at room temperature. They can be stored in a clean metal tin at room temperature up to 5 days.

Meet the Author

Elinor Klivans is the author of Bake and Freeze Desserts and Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts. She is an award-winning pastry chef and food writer, and she has written for numerous national magazines, including Bon Appetit, Eating Well, and Fine Cooking.   She lives in Maine.

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