50 deliciously decorative cookiesThese cookies are almost too beautiful to eat!

For bakers of all skill levels, this delightful book features 50 projects to try with a wide range of different decorating techniques: elegant cookies piped with royal icing, or fun and funky fondant cookies, or cookies made with amazing colored dough, or built up into awesome 3-D cookie sculptures! The projects are grouped according to the type of icing used, and a neat icon shows roughly how long it takes to make each one. And at the back of the book is a selection of cookie recipes, decorating tips, and a set of templates.

With step-by-step instructions and photography, each project features simple, elegant designs that are guaranteed to amaze and delight. (description from publisher)

great american chocolateThe advent and swift rise of the chocolate chip cookie offers some of the best stories in American myth-making and king-making. It might feel like this favorite treat is part of our national heritage, perhaps dating back to the founding fathers, but not until 1930 was the first batch impulsively baked in the kitchen of a Massachusetts inn. How quickly it became our nation’s favorite is what makes the chocolate chip cookie more relentlessly American than even apple pie. Easily commodified and mass-produced, it birthed new business moguls overnight, ultimately accounting for more than half of all homemade cookies, with sales of 6 billion packaged cookies annually in the U.S.–it’s the stuff of legend.

Revisit the Toll House Inn kitchen of Ruth Wakefield, who one fateful day took an ice pick to a block of chocolate and sprinkled it into her cookie dough, spawning a national craving that continues unabated to this day. Get to know the first chocolate chip cookie-preneurs and their unlikely success stories. Did you know that Wally “Famous” Amos was a successful music talent agent who signed Dionne Warwick and Simon and Garfunkel to recording contracts before he decided a brighter future lay in perfecting his dear aunt’s irresistible cookie recipe? Or that Mrs. Fields was a determined young trophy wife whose husband said her idea of trying to sell her chunky, chewy cookies would never work?

And the recipes are packed into this book like brown sugar in a measuring cup, from close approximations of the original Toll House and Mrs. Fields recipes to creative variations like Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan, gluten-free, and low-fat/low-cal recipes are here, too. So whether you prefer yours crunchy or soft, with or without nuts, you’ll be delighted by the wealth of fun facts and delicious recipes in The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book – and you’re sure to be scrambling for the pantry or nearest bakery to feed your craving. (description from publisher)

slice and bake cookiesChristmas is coming – some planning ahead may help make it a little less chaotic!

For those short on time but long on cookie love, Slice & Bake Cookies comes to the rescue! Elinor Klivans shares 50 recipes that are quick to mix up, stash in the refrigerator or freezer, and have at the ready to slice and bake whenever a sweet craving strikes. From classics such as old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies and Linzer hearts to modern takes on savory cookies and crackers, the recipes collected here fit the bill for any impromptu get-together. With a rundown of ingredients and baking equipment – plus tips on decorating, serving, storing, and even shipping – freshly baked, warm-from-the-oven cookies will always be on hand. (description from publisher)

flying brownieWhether it is a family member that lives across the country, or a loved one away on business, attending college, or stationed abroad in the military, everyone loves to get a treat in the mail that says “thinking of you.” It would be even more meaningful if that treat could be homemade, or is a number of different snacks, sweets, and tastes of home to make someone living far away feel closer.

Shirley Fan’s The Flying Brownie is the first and only book devoted to making, packing, and adding creative, homemade touches for food gifts that can be shipped a long distance. It features 100 recipes for baked goods and other snacks and treats, each with precise storage instructions and storage times. The book also offers plenty of guidance in navigating the various rules and restrictions of postal services, customs, and even secure military installations.

Separate chapters are devoted to brownies and bars, cookies, candies and confections, breads and quick breads, extra-light items for inexpensive shipping, savory foods, and mixes to be assembled upon delivery. From a veteran of the Food Network Kitchens and a registered dietitian, this is a reliable and inspiring guide that is sure to bring those families and friends who live apart closer together through the very same thing that unites them when they live together: good food. (description from publisher)

 

Sophisticated, contemporary cookie recipes from one of America′s most respected baking experts comes Simply Sensational Cookies, a delicious collection of cookie recipes that covers both the classics that mom used to make and modern, innovative ideas for the adventurous baker.

Whether you′re a novice baker, an experienced cook, or a parent looking for new treats to try, this is the ideal cookbook for cookie-lovers, with more than 200 recipes ranging from fast and simple no-bake preparations to challenging projects for experienced bakers featuring more than 200 recipes, from traditional cookies like chocolate chip to sophisticated, savory cocktail nibbles with gorgeous and inspiring photography throughout.

Whether you need quick treats for the kids to snack on or fancy fare for your next cocktail party, Simply Sensational Cookies offers a wide range of recipes that will satisfy your every craving. (description from publisher)

Make way, cupcakes—it’s whoopie pie time! Everyone is falling in love with America’s classic sandwich treat—two soft cookies with a creamy filling. Now, baker extraordinaire Claire Ptak takes the humble whoopie pie to new heights in The Whoopie Pie Book.

Here are 60 irresistible recipes—made with fresh, seasonal ingredients—that show home bakers how to make the components for more than two dozen distinctive, flavorful whoopie pies from Classic flavors to frozen varieties to holiday-themed desserts that are sure to become favorites.

The Whoopie Pie Book will inspire and guide every time the whoopie-pie urge hits! (description from publisher)

This beautiful book, The Viennese Kitchen by Monica Meehan, based on an original notebook and recipe journal of a 1900s baroness, takes readers on a journey through fin de siecle Viennese high society.

With over 100 original recipes, all of which have been tested and brought up to date for the modern cook, it is not only a wonderful collection of recipes but also a fascinating look at the life of a Viennese family. Filled with anecdotes and personal stories to bring the recipes to life, this book is a charming insight into a bygone era. The classic recipes cover a variety of dishes both savory and sweet, with a strong emphasis on the desserts and pastries for which Vienna is famed. Enchanting photographs of Vienna grace the book, capturing the architecture, cafe culture, and beauty of this elegant city.

One Sweet Cookie by Tracey Zabar is a delectable collection of cookie recipes from New York’s best chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers. Cookies are the perfect end to a wonderful meal from one-bite meringues and macaroons that melt in your mouth to linzers and tuiles that are the ultimate fanciful confections.

Tracey Zabar has selected distinctly original cookie recipes from seventy-five of the very best culinary talents in Manhattan. Some are the chefs’ personal recipes, while others are the signature creations of top restaurants such as Le Cirque, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Artisanal and City Bakery. This irresistible array of more than ninety cookie recipes for the home baker includes butterscotch and oatmeal cowboy cookies from Chef Mario Batali and his son Benno; coconut macaroons from master baker Sarabeth Levine; a chocolate chip cookie invented by Chef Todd English of Olives that combines his children’s favorite chocolate flavors with walnuts; Chef Jason Weiner of Almond’s rugelach; and Eli Zabar’s tempting buttery sugar cookies. There are also international cookies-Jammy Dodgers from England, wedding cookies from Puerto Rico, Kipferl from Austria, and Lamingtons from Australia.

This beautifully photographed book will not only appeal to discriminating dessert lovers but also to fans of New York City’s culinary scene, the cookie-swap aficionado, and the bake-sale maven.

Warm up your mixers people, it’s Cookie Season again! (Of course, in my book, it’s always Cookie Season, but December is the main event of the year)

Here are some of the latest and greatest cookie books from the Davenport Library.

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich – Brand-new cookies and delicious new spins on the classics are here, with simple well-tested recipes and all the tips, techniques, and ideas that you need to please a crowd or satisfy the most sophisticated palate around.

 

Crazy About Cookies: 300 Scrumptious Recipes for Every Occasion and Craving by Krystina Castella – Delicious riffs on the classics and more adventurous offerings (like savory cornmeal olive cookies). There’s something for every occasion, from melt-in-your-mouth after-school snacks to fun Christmas cookie constructions.

 

Very Merry Cookie Party: How to Plan a Christmas Cookie Exchange by Barbara Grunes – Make a gorgeous variety of delicious Christmas cookies without spending days upon flour-smudged days mixing, rolling, and baking. This is your guide to the Christmas cookie exchange, where everyone shows up with a few batches of homemade cookies to swap.

 

Betty Crocker Cookies Cookies: 100 Recipes for the Way You Really CookEveryone has a favorite cookie, and chances are they’ll find it in this collection of tried-and-true as well as new cookies, brownies and bars from Betty Crocker.

Here is almost 70 years of history one cookie at a time. The editors of Gourmet magazine (which recently ceased publication) went through their vast files of cookie recipes and chose one “best” cookie for each year, 1941-2009. The result is The Gourmet Cookie Book, a treasure trove not just of recipes, but as a reflection of our history.

Presented year by year, it is remarkably easy – and fun – to watch how recipes and baking have changed over the years. Early recipes are much more casual than what you may be used to now  with instructions like “bake in a moderate oven until done” or “add flour until stiff”, indicating that they assumed that the reader was an experienced cook;  more recent recipes give precise measurements and directions.

The style of recipes has also changed – early on, they are written in an almost conversational style, in paragraph form very different from the now standard list of ingredients followed by mixing instructions. Each recipe is presented as it originally appeared in the magazine but never fear – added notes take the guesswork out of anything that might be unclear.

It’s also interesting to track the trends and interests of the country through the years. The 40s reflect the lean years of wartime shortages and food rationing – cookies are simple and plain, using few ingredients. Recipes became more daring in the 60s with many international flavors, the 80s were the decade of chocolate and the 90s see the introduction of espresso as a regular ingredient. The look of cookies changes through time too, from simple shapes to colorful and complex. Yet they all hold one thing in common – they’ve all stood the test of time and they all taste great.