I love cookbooks...and I love cookies, so why would I not want to take a sneak peek of a publication called the Cookiepedia! They also are giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader. Stick around to the end to find out how to enter!
The book is filled with the author's favorite cookies and I think that's a good sign. I like cookbooks that contains recipes that you feel like someone has actually tried! The cookies are grouped in categories that remind me of the way I class cookies - nutty, chocolately, fancy!
Another major plus of this book is that there is at least one picture of each and every cookie. I tell you what...it makes it hard to choose which one to bake!
I really love the chatty descriptions of each cookie and this one in particular gives you the flavor and theme of this whole book. Although the title suggest an encyclopedia of cookies, it is more like browsing through a personal diary of the author's cookie memories. I think after reading her lead in to these Pistachio Butter Cookies I might like to start a little history of my own with them!
I had a really hard time narrowing down one particular cookie to try for this review, so I didn't! I tried three :-)
The first one I attempted was from the Chocolately Chapter. Mint Thins are Thin Mint wannabes and were supposed to be dipped in chocolate per the recipe. I ended up kind of flubbing (totally my fault) the dipping chocolate and ended up with more of a mint ganache filling. So I "made do" and did sandwich cookies instead. Even with my boo boo these were wonderful.
Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
¾ 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.
surface (you’ll need a decent amount, since the dough is sticky),
roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Shape the cookies using
a 1-1/2-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
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.
1 cup almond meal or finely ground blanched almonds
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cups sugar 3 egg whites
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons almond meal or ground, blanched almonds
1. First make the shells: Grind the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor until superfine. Sift the mixture, tossing out any big pieces left behind.
2. Whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Bump up the speed to medium and slowly stream in the sugar, pausing to let it incorporate, until the egg whites form soft to medium peaks. You can test this by pulling a spoon through the egg whites-the peak should stick almost straight up, but then droop downward at the end. Remove the bowl and gently fold in the almond meal mixture a little at a time.
3. Fit a pastry bag with a large, plain tip. Fill the bag about halfway with the macaron batter. Working on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, pipe small disks (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches( about 2 inches apart. don't worry if the dough seems difficult to pipe at first-it will soften as you go. Set the piped creations aside for 30 minutes for the tops to set slightly. When you've got a few minutes to go, preheat oven to 375°.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, turning the oven down to 300° for the last 5 minutes. The cookies will taste delicious now, but if you plan to fill them, wait until they've cooled.
5. To make the filling: Beat the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and almond meal and mix until they're combined. Pair up the cooled macarons, matching by similar size. Spread a thin layer of filling (about 1/8 inch thick) onto one flat side of pair. Create a sandwich with the other macaron.
And finally, my third try..a very simple but very tasty cookie - Italian Biscuits or S cookies! I especially like this one because its my initial. Absolutely perfect for coffee or tea. Its really sturdy. Aren't they the cutest little Sssss?
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups plus
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set it aside.
2. With a mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed for a minute. Add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, continuing to mix on medium until they're combined. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the cooled butter and vanilla.
3. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together.
4. Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough and roll them between your fingers into ropes about 5 inches long. Gently form the ropes into S shapes. Place cookies on sheets about 2 inches from one another. Let them sit for 15 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°.
5. Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, until they're golden brown and delicious.
I loved reviewing this little book and I think it would make a great addition to anyone's cookbook collection. With Christmas only weeks away this would be great in someone's stocking! It's available at Amazon and other fine book stores.
One lucky reader may also get a free copy. Nothing tricky...just leave a comment below with a way for me to contact you by Sunday, December 11th at 12pm PST and I will randomly pick a winner to be announced later the same day.
Participating this week in:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday