If you miss the days when snacks were simple and handmade, you’ll love this homespun encyclopedia of cookies. Full of hand-drawn illustrations and gorgeous photographs, The Cookiepedia features 50 classic recipes for everything from Amaretti and Animal Cookies to Gingersnaps, Rugelach, Snickerdoodles, and dozens of other favorites—plus hundreds of ideas for adapting recipes and making them your own.
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Nobody you know will not come by when you say you’re baking homemade mint thins. (If they don’t so much as ask, consider defriending them immediately.) The question is: Do you want to share? The baking and dunking takes no time (especially if you’re tasting as you go), but these bite-size treats do hold up best (and taste yummiest) once the mint chocolate has had ample time to set. If you’re protective of your stash, store them in the freezer. They’re best with a chill anyway.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Makes: 3 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter teaspoon peppermint flavor
1. Cream the butter until it’s light and fluffy.
add the powdered sugar and continue mixing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture by halves, beating to incorporate after each addition.
2. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and form it into a disk with your hands. Split the disk in half and place them in the fridge to firm up for 1 hour. Tip: If you’re short on time, do 25 minutes in the freezer instead.
3. Working on a floured surface (you’ll need a decent amount, since the dough is sticky), roll out the dough to O/8-inch thick. Shape the cookies using a 1.-inch round cutter and place them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, then let cool completely.
4. Break up the chocolate into a bowl and set it over a small pot of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Add the butter and the peppermint flavor and stir the mixture steadily until it’s fully melted and looks glossy and smooth. Remove the bowl and let the chocolate cool slightly.
5. One by one, drop the cookies in the chocolate, then scoop them out with a fork to let the excess drip off. (Tap the cookies against the side of the bowl to help drain the extra chocolate.) Move them carefully to a wire rack or parchment-paperlined baking sheet. When they’re all coated, move the sheet to the refrigerator or freezer to set.
Prepare a batch of the mint thins and store them in the freezer. Then prepare a batch of the chocolate chip dough on page 43. When both are chilled, sandwich the mint cookie between 1 tablespoon each of the chocolate chip dough, then press the dough around the mint thin to cover it completely. Bake according to the chocolate chip directions.
Anything I’ve ever baked with loads of honey and salt has come out incredible. When I added lemon to the mix, it took this dough to a whole new level. I like these cookies to be just an inch in diameter, since they pack a sweet, lemony punch. Between their teeny size and the back-of-the cheek pucker you get from biting into one, they really make you feel like a kid again.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey teaspoon lemon zest
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set it aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until they look light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and mix to incorporate.
3. In a separate bowl, crack in the egg and add the honey. Stir them together until they’re fairly well mixed. Then add it to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture a third at a time and let it mix in fully each time before adding the next batch; you’ll see the dough start to come together. Blend just until it looks smooth.
4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Then scoop teaspoons of the dough and roll them gently into little balls. Place them on the sheets about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with the tips of fingers or a fork. Tip: Flour the fork if it sticks. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are set and bottoms are golden brown.
Dusted in Sugar
Anytime of day, anytime of year, this is a cookie that calls my name. Reminiscent of graham crackers in flavor, it’s a treat that makes the perfect breakfast (albeit one your mom would never approve), snacktime or end to a meal. I dream about floating one in a glass of milk for dessert before dinner is even over. By the time you’ve rolled a few of the snaps in the sugar, you’ll start to feel the same.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Makes: 4-5 dozen cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1. Sift the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt into a bowl and set it aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for several minutes until smooth, light, and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg, then the molasses, and mix again. The dough will start turning a lovely brown color.
4. Mix in the flour mixture one-third at a time. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a big piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into one 18-inch log or two 9-inch logs—they’re much easier to handle. Tuck the parchment around the ends and stick dough in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to slice.
5. Grease several cookie sheets. Fill a small bowl with the extra sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut slices S- to 3/8-inch thick. Coat the slices in sugar and place on the sheets about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes, until set but not browned. Tip: For chewy cookies, remove them from the oven a minute or two earlier, when each cookie is just barely holding it’s shape when nudged. Cool sheets for a few
Sandwich two gingersnaps around a small dollop of marshmallow fluff, then dunk in melted and slightly cooled milk chocolate. (Follow the chocolate dunking recipe on page 147, step 6, but substitute milk or semisweet chocolate.)
Gingersnap Sandwiches with Dulche de Leche
Gently spread about 1 tablespoon of store-bought dulce de leche onto the flat side of one cookie; top with another cookie. Dust lightly with powdered sugar, if desired.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE ABCS OF COOKIE BAKING
Fun with Decorating
Frosted Maple Pecan Cookies
Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Chocolate Spritz Cookies
Triple Chocolate Cookies
Black and White Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Green Tea Cookies
Molasses Spice Cookies
NUTTY AND SEEDY COOKIES
Caramel Nut Bars
Peanut Butter Cookies
Poppy Seed Squares
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've made it my personal goal to bake my way through this book, cover to cover. So far, I have not been disappointed by a single recipe in the book. The animal cookies and blondies with brown butter have been HUGE favorites of those with whom I've shared. If you have a baker on your holiday gift list, this is the PERFECT cookbook for him or her! Unlike many baking books, this one is practical and doesn't have a single recipe I won't try. No crazy ingredients, no difficult methods. Just good, old-fashioned easy to follow recipes for both the novice and the experienced baker!
Unlike your typical cookie cookbook, The Cookiepedia is categorized in a different way. The chapters she used to delineate the cookies are Buttery, Chocolaty, Fancy, Fruity, Spicy and Nutty/Seedy. Each of the sections include examples of rolled, dropped, shaped and bar type delights. Every chapter begins with a beautiful two page photo of all the cookies in it and then there are additional photos and fun line drawings throughout. The fifty recipes in The Cookiepedia really come across as the best-of-the-best. In addition to delicious recipes for the classics, like Brownies and Snickerdoodles, there are also intriguing new ideas, like Salt and Pepper "cookies", which are actually a savory treat to eat with soup or chili. The recipes for the popular Black & White Cookies, French Macarons and Palmiers offer tips so you can get them just right. And the bright Green Tea leaf cookies colored with matcha powder or the jewel toned Thumbprints would make a striking impression on your friends. I enjoyed reading the interesting blurb that the author includes with each recipe to explain a little more about it. I also appreciated the handy conversion chart on the back cover that compares American, Imperial and Metric measurements. All in all, The Cookiepedia is an excellent addition to your cookbook shelf!
The Good Stuff * The spiral binding of this is outstanding and oh so practical. Easy to lay open and flat so that you can easily consult your recipe without damaging or getting chocolate all over the book * Has a space on each recipe for you to make notes - love, love this feature (so did Chef Jeff) * Nice simple, quick easy to make and delicious cookie recipes * Easy to follow steps, nice size font, everything spaced out perfectly so you see what you need * Both simple and more fancy type cookies - lots of variety * Nice tips, tricks and variations for every recipe * Most recipes have pictures * Recipes actually made the amount of cookies listed due to proper description on how big each cookie should be before cooking * Fabulous tasting results - I made the Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodles and Thumbprint cookies and they all came out delicious * Good brief nice introduction and acknowledgments were a nice touch * The ABC's of Cookie Baking are perfect for the novice cookie maker (and I learned a few things too) * This will be a very well used cookbook in this house - we are actually entering the Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Bolton Fall Fair next week * We watch the movie Hoodwinked a lot and Snicker-doodles are mentioned, but we had no idea what they were. Now thanks to this fab recipe for them, I am hookedThe Not so Good Stuff * Would have liked a picture on each of the recipes - although the simple group shots were a good idea tooFavorite Recipes * Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate Chips - Pg43 * Snickerdoodles - Pg 123 * Jam Thumbprints - Pg 101Who should/shouldn't read * Perfect for the beginner and advanced cook * Will definitely be buying a copy for Tanya for Christmas * For anyone who loves cookies & wants to make them4.75 Dewey'sPhotographic Evidence of how simple and easy the cookies are to makeChocolate Chip Cookies Pre Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies Finished Chocolate Chip Cookies - Delish Snickerdoodle Recipe Pre Baked Snickerdoodles Finished Snickerdoodles Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe Finished Jam Thumbprint - don't look as nice, but they be yummy! Jake loves all three - but his fav hands down is the SnickerdoodleWe received this from Random House in Exchange for an honest review - thanks guys this is a keeper & one that we are going to buy for Tanya
This is a very good cookbook. The overall product is very pleasing, from its size and shape to the quality of the paper and printing, the fonts, drawing and photography styling, merit alone a mention for their quality. They do introduce the reader to a world of homey pleasures and whimsical tastes, and make this book a beautiful present for bakers and design enthusiasts alike. The quality of the writing and recipes is remarkably good too. The baking process is always clear and explained in detail, as well as little tips to avoid disasters and basic troubleshooting, and there's also a very handy table of equivalences, a glossary of technical terms and a list of essential equipment. It's all written in a very friendly tone but there's serious knowledge behind it, and recipe instructions show there's a deep understanding of ingredients and their combinations. This book got the seal of approval when I shared a few of its cookies with an elderly know-it-all relative and she asked for the secret ingredient, which shows the flavors are subtly complex and very well achieved (they were the animal and the crinkles, btw). The recipes contained cover both the simple and complex (and challenging!) in terms of making and in terms of taste, from pedestrian snickerdoodles to high brow macarons, from incredibly sweet alfajores to intriguing salt and pepper cookies. They have an interesting categorization, though about 90% of the cookies perfectly fit in the "Buttery" section. The only cookie I can think of that's not included is the Anzac biscuit, though my copy does (I wrote it in one of the "Notes" pages), and nothing with yeast is covered, I think, but it's alright. While it's not exactly a book geared toward a young audience I think most of the recipes contained can be made by children with minimum adult supervision, and many of the recipes are great for crowds of children - the thumbprints were a success at my daughter's school. I believe this book would be better if it explained how to achieve similar results with less equipment, particularly without a food processor. I think it should also take a page or two to explain basic ingredients as flour, butter and oatmeal, because these days there are so many varieties to choose from and it's good to know how to choose or what to do with what one has. It should also suggest more ingredient substitutions, as some are quite hard to find where I live (maple syrup, golden syrup, pecan nuts, matcha tea), and to make the recipes more friendly to people with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. I detected just two typos, and none were in the ingredient list so they don't matter. I think it would be a nice addition to have more information on icing and decoration. In spite of the last comments I think this is an excellent book and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any home baker. If you're looking for one definite cookie book, as a gift to yourself or someone else, for cooks young or old, newcomer or experienced, this could well be your choice, and it's one of the few American cookbooks I would love to see translated into Spanish.