From the Publisher
"Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey's new cookbook does it all for cookie lovers! There are delectable cookies for every occasion, from Christmas to Passover to Thanksgiving, from kids' parties to the cookie jar. There's every kind of cookie filled, drop, bar, and...healthy. Even more, there are tips about ingredients, equipment, key cookie-baking techniques, and easy-to-follow recipe instructions that make it possible for even novice bakers to turn out perfect cookies every time. Barry and Kevin know how to wrap up the perfect cookbook, and they've done it once again for cookies!"
Abby Mandel, author of Celebrating the Midwestern Table
"The Complete Cookie is a celebration of all that is satisfying about the most basic of sweet treats. Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey bring their old-fashioned warmth and lack of pretension to this collection of irresistible recipes. From Kevin's Egg Nog Cookies to Chocolate Grouchos to Molasses Spice Cookies to Lemon Poppyseed Wafers, and lovely Lisa Schumacher's Chocolate Shots, the hits just keep on coming. Our cookie jar will never be empty again!"
Linda and Fred Griffith, authors of Onions, Onions, Onions
"Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey have assembled a collection of irresistible cookies that are as varied as they are delicious."
Nick Malgieri, author of How to Bake
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Delighted to be caught with their hands in the cookie jar, Bluestein and Morrissey (The 99% Fat-Free Cookbook) wax sentimental over the treats most associated with childhood, even as they include confections that would raise June Cleaver's eyebrows. In the afterschool category are Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, calling for a generous amount of peanut butter, and cinnamon-scented homemade Graham Crackers. Adult appetites are addressed by the likes of Ginger Pear Biscotti and Cappuccino-filled Hazelnut Sandwiches. There are shaped, pressed and molded cookies, such as a sophisticated Licorice Spritz. The chapter on bar cookies is nothing less than inspired, particularly Fig Port Bars and Roasted Almond Brownies. Holiday cookies come from lots of traditions; even the treats that are low in fat, salt and sugar are tempting. The authors advise on everything from selecting and storing ingredients to kitchenware it would be nice to have on hand. Upscale ingredients that weren't part of grandma's larderwhite chocolate, raspberries and hazelnutsmay capture an undue amount of attention and the authors' idea of quick and easy or readily available ingredients may not always jibe with the harried home cook's, but the end result is full of sweet, irresistible promise. (Sept.)
Read an Excerpt
Carefully sculpted and dressed to the nines, these are high-style denizens of the cookie world. Most are fashioned from firm, thick doughs that hold their form when baked, with little leavening added.
Shaped cookies include such fanciful hand-formed configurations as crescents, pretzels, and bow ties. The shaping is easier if you work with lightly floured fingers. Pizzelles, made with the aid of a specialized pizzelle iron, can be shaped into old-fashioned ice cream or dessert cones while still hot off the iron.
Biscotti and mandelbrot are shaped into loaves, baked, sliced, and baked once more. Mandelbrot, which contains oil, should have a toasty crust and a slightly pliable center. The drier biscotti ranges from merely crisp, if baked the second time standing upright, to downright brittleand begging to be dunkedwhen the slices are toasted on their sides.
Rich spritz cookies are made from a buttery dough that's pressed onto sheets using a cookie press fitted with a decorative disc. For best results, make sure the cookie sheets are at room temperature and position the press perpendicular to the sheet. Know that the first cookie or two out of the press will probably be a bit irregular in shape.
We call for fitting the press with a simple star-shaped disc; if you use a more intricate pattern, refrigerate the cookies on the sheet for about 5 minutes to firm before baking. Spritz dough can also be chilled for an hour, rolled out, and cut into decorative shapes with cookie cutters.
Our molded cookies include madeleines, shortbreads, and springles. Crispy shells with spongy centers, madeleines add an elegant finishing touch to any meal. They're baked in the sculpted molds of madeleine plaques. Be sure to grease the molds well; the cakes should pop right out of inverted plaques onto cooling racks.
Shortbreads and shortbread derivatives can be baked either in cake pans or in decorative ceramic, stoneware, or iron molds. The dough is pressed down firmly into the pan or mold, and often is prescored to facilitate cutting. For this type of cookie, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and place the pan on the upper rack.
Preparation of springles requires a special decoratively carved rolling pin that scores and molds a pattern onto the dough as it is rolled out. The cookies are then cut out along the scores and transferred to sheets for baking.
Store shaped, pressed, or molded cookies in cookie jars or cookie tins. They're in their prime for 5 days. Dry by nature, this type of cookie does not take well to refrigeration, but can be frozen for up to 3 months. Biscotti and mandelbrot will remain fresh and flavorful for weeks in a jar or tin.
Ginger Pear Biscotti
Yield=About 3 dozen biscotti
This highly unique biscotti is redolent of ginger and flecked with dried pear. We like to eat it in the classic manner, dipped in port or another dessert wine.
Take care not to overcook these during the second baking. Remove them from the oven as soon as the cookies are very dry to the touch and slightly crisp; like all biscotti, they will continue to crisp with cooling. For more brittle biscotti, lay the cookies on their sides rather than standing them upright during the second baking.
3 cups all-purpose flour l/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces dried pears, diced (about 3/4 cup)
4 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract l/3 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 12-by-15 inch baking sheet with baker's parchment.
Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, and sugar together into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the dried pears and make a well in the center.
Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Add the vanilla and honey, whisking until well blended. Pour into the well of the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely incorporated. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough in half and form each half on the prepared baking sheet into a 3/4-inch-high loaf about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden.
Remove the loaves to a work surface. With a serrated knife, cut into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. For brittle biscotti, lay the slices on their sides on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and toast for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. For slightly softer biscotti, stand the slices upright and toast for about 15 minutes.
Remove the biscotti to a wire rack and cool completely.