Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets

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Overview

Carole Walter’s fans know her as an award-winning author, teacher, and mentor, and her new book will keep them cheering, as she turns her attention to the most popular theme in home baking: cookies.

Packed with more than 200 delectable recipes and more than 150 tantalizing photographs, Great Cookies skillfully and joyfully answers the call for a colorful, all-inclusive cookie book. From traditional favorites like Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal Raisin, and Favorite Lemon Squares to ...

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Overview

Carole Walter’s fans know her as an award-winning author, teacher, and mentor, and her new book will keep them cheering, as she turns her attention to the most popular theme in home baking: cookies.

Packed with more than 200 delectable recipes and more than 150 tantalizing photographs, Great Cookies skillfully and joyfully answers the call for a colorful, all-inclusive cookie book. From traditional favorites like Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal Raisin, and Favorite Lemon Squares to future stars of the cookie jar like the trail mix–inspired Teton Trailers and chewy, chocolaty Midnight Macaroons, Great Cookies provides something to satisfy every taste and every occasion.

There’s even a section devoted to the quintessential American cookie—chocolate chip. With nuts or without? White chocolate or milk? Chocolate dough? Oatmeal in the dough? Carole provides a dozen chocolate chip recipes in all, plus definitive research on a crucial issue: “Not All Chocolate Chips Are Created Equal.”
Drop cookies. Bar cookies. Piped, pressed, and rolled. Great Cookies covers every conceivable method for baking these tasty confections. In the more than thirty years that she has studied and taught baking, Carole has cataloged a wealth of helpful tips and troubleshooting hints that for the first time are gathered in one collection.

With guidelines for measuring and substituting ingredients, storing and freezing, recapturing that fresh-from-the-oven flavor, decorating, even gift-wrapping and shipping, Great Cookies addresses all the basics and then some. And this ultimate guide is rounded out with authoritative information on ingredients, equipment, and the foolproof techniques for which Carole is known, including the essential “Secrets To” hints for every type of cookie.

With master baker Carole Walter by your side, you may never look at a glass of ice cold milk the same way again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
If you want to know how to make a chocolate chip cookie that doesn't run or how to cut Lemon Squares so the edges are neat, Walter (Great Cakes, Great Pies and Tarts), winner of a James Beard Award, has just the careful advice. All of the classic American cookies are here-Hermits, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Carole's Best Brownies and Gingerbread People-as well as treats like Hamentaschen and Athena's Baklava that have been assimilated into the North American palate. Most recipes make three dozen (or more, as in Blondies), so unless you have five children, you'll be halving ingredients. Missing, too, are recipes that kids can make. However, directions are easy to follow-even on the first try, home cooks will enjoy attractive, predictable results for tidbits like Sesame Coins or Coconut Lemon-Lime Tassies. Special sections, like secrets for making Chocolate Chip Cookies, tell how to reheat cookies and explain how brown sugar provides a chewier texture. A glossary of ingredients and methods covers everything from the right temperature for ingredients to the difference between jelly roll pans and cookie sheets. Some recipes are time-consuming and require special ingredients, such as superfine sugar for Florentines or rice flour in Scotch Shortbread, and most require electric mixers or processors, resulting in more refined and reliable cookies, rather than homey creations. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Walter's Great Pies & Tarts and Great Cakes are standards in the field. Now she turns to everybody's favorite baked treats with 200 recipes for delectable cookies, from Zach's Chocolate Coconut Devils to Coconut-Crusted Key Lime Napoleons. Walter is a talented teacher as well as baker, and her recipes are detailed and thoughtfully written. All the classics are here (with her own particular twist) along with many of her own creations. More than 150 color photographs show off the cookies, and the book concludes with "The Teacher's Secrets for Sensational Cookies," an invaluable guide for novice and experienced bakers alike. A good companion to Tish Boyle's The Good Cookie, this is highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609609699
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/4/2003
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 10.35 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Carole Walter has studied patisserie and the culinary arts with notable chefs in the United States, France, Austria, Italy, and Denmark. A master baker, cooking teacher, writer, and consultant, she is the author of the James Beard Award–winning Great Cakes and the Julia Child Award finalist Great Pies & Tarts. She lives in northern New Jersey.
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Read an Excerpt

oatmeal raisin cookies

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies

Savor the flavors of this favorite comfort cookie made with old-fashioned oatmeal, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, raisins, and lots of toasted pecans. The orange zest really complements these ingredients.

Pan: Cookie sheets
Pan Prep: Moderately buttered
Oven Temp: 350°
Baking Time: 15-17 minutes

Difficulty: U

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 teaspoon grated Navel orange zest
2/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup broken, toasted pecans or walnuts
1 cup dark raisins, plumped (see page 000), drained, and patted dry on paper towels

1. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.

2. Strain together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, soften the butter with the orange zest on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute; add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar and mix until light in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Blend in the molasses and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and mix for 1 minute longer.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and pour in the dry ingredients, half at a time, mixing only to incorporate the flour, then blend in the oatmeal. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans and raisins.

5. Drop by rounded tablespoons 3 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back toward the end of baking time. Do not overbake or the cookies will be too crisp and difficult to remove from the pan. Let cookies stand for 2 minutes, then loosen with a thin metal spatula. Cool on wire racks.

Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 1 week. These cookies may be frozen.

spiked apple cookies

Makes about 4 dozen 21/4-inch cookies

Here is a recipe that was inspired by hermits, the classic New England cookie. Flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, the dough is flecked with bits of dried apples that have been macerated in apple liqueur. Try these along with a mug of hot mulled apple cider. What could be better to warm the tummy when there is a chill in the air?

Pan: Cookie sheets
Pan Prep: Moderately buttered
Oven Temp: 350°
Baking Time: 12-14 minutes

Difficulty: U

1/2 cup firmly packed dried apple slices
3 tablespoons Calvados or applejack liqueur
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup broken walnuts

1 recipe Vanilla Glaze (page 000)

1. Place the apple slices in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Drain well and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Toss the apples with the Calvados in a small, deep bowl and let macerate while preparing the cookie dough.

2. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.

3. Strain together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, on medium-low speed, using paddle attachment, mix the butter until creamy and lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in the egg, then the sour cream and vanilla.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until well combined. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the apples and walnuts.

6. Drop from the tip of a teaspoon, making walnut-size mounds of dough (about 1 1/4 inches), onto the cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Toward the end of baking time, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Loosen with a thin metal spatula and place on wire racks set over wax paper.

7. Using the back of the spoon, apply 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Glaze while the cookies are still warm.

Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen before glazing.

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First Chapter

oatmeal raisin cookies

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies

Savor the flavors of this favorite comfort cookie made with old-fashioned oatmeal, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, raisins, and lots of toasted pecans. The orange zest really complements these ingredients.


Pan: Cookie sheets
Pan Prep: Moderately buttered
Oven Temp: 350°
Baking Time: 15-17 minutes


Difficulty: U

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 teaspoon grated Navel orange zest
2/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup broken, toasted pecans or walnuts
1 cup dark raisins, plumped (see page 000), drained, and patted dry on paper towels



1. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.

2. Strain together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, soften the butter with the orange zest on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute; add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar and mix until light in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Blend in the molasses and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and mix for 1 minute longer.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and pour in the dry ingredients, half at a time, mixing only to incorporate theflour, then blend in the oatmeal. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans and raisins.

5. Drop by rounded tablespoons 3 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back toward the end of baking time. Do not overbake or the cookies will be too crisp and difficult to remove from the pan. Let cookies stand for 2 minutes, then loosen with a thin metal spatula. Cool on wire racks.

Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 1 week. These cookies may be frozen.



spiked apple cookies

Makes about 4 dozen 21/4-inch cookies

Here is a recipe that was inspired by hermits, the classic New England cookie. Flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, the dough is flecked with bits of dried apples that have been macerated in apple liqueur. Try these along with a mug of hot mulled apple cider. What could be better to warm the tummy when there is a chill in the air?


Pan: Cookie sheets
Pan Prep: Moderately buttered
Oven Temp: 350°
Baking Time: 12-14 minutes

Difficulty: U

1/2 cup firmly packed dried apple slices
3 tablespoons Calvados or applejack liqueur
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup broken walnuts

1 recipe Vanilla Glaze (page 000)


1. Place the apple slices in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Drain well and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Toss the apples with the Calvados in a small, deep bowl and let macerate while preparing the cookie dough.

2. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.

3. Strain together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, on medium-low speed, using paddle attachment, mix the butter until creamy and lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in the egg, then the sour cream and vanilla.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until well combined. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the apples and walnuts.

6. Drop from the tip of a teaspoon, making walnut-size mounds of dough (about 1 1/4 inches), onto the cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Toward the end of baking time, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Loosen with a thin metal spatula and place on wire racks set over wax paper.

7. Using the back of the spoon, apply 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Glaze while the cookies are still warm.

Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen before glazing.

Copyright© 2003 by Carole Walter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I love this cookie cookbook!

    This is the second copy of this cookie book that I have purchased. The last one as a Christmas present that was very much appreciated!<BR/>I always get great results and the cookies are delicious. This seems to be my "go to" cookie book even though I have a large collection of baking/cookie books to choose from.<BR/>The photos are beautifully done and the recipes are easy to follow.<BR/>A good choice for the novice or expert baker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    A Fantastic Cookie Book

    I have made many of the recipes with fantastic results. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cookies. Whenever I make her brownies, the crowd goes wild.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    One of my favorites!

    Having tried several different recipes from this book over the past three years, the cookies have always turned out well and have tasted delicious. This past year, our favorite cookies were the Apricot Meltaways - they were absolutely delicious! Additionally, all of the recipes that I have attempted in the international section have been great! I'm not sure what happened with the other reviewers, but this is one of my favorite cookie books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2005

    Beautiful Photographs with disappointing results

    I tried two cookies in this book in two different parts of it, one was bland and the other was just nasty. I had high hopes for it because of the beautiful photographs and nice directions, however, two bad out of two in different parts of the book says return it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2004

    Disappointing

    This is a beautiful looking cookbook and a lovely read, but the 5 different recipes I have tried so far have ranged from bland to disastrous (I think one may have been a misprint. A lot of effort for average or disappointing results.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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