December is really the time to break out the cookies – between cookie exchanges, neighborhood gifts, and tables loaded down with favorites lining every hallway in offices around the country, now is the time to make an effort to bring a tasty cookie.
Fortunately, I have three books that I turn too when I am in need of a good cookie. I would recommend any of these for your special baker this holiday season:
I am sure I have commented about this book before, I love it so. The concept is simple – make one Master Dough, then flavor it with different items to make 50 excellent tasting cookies. For best results, use a stand mixer to make the Master Dough, and use it right away to make your cookies. I had a bad experience making the dough ahead – when I was ready to mix-in my different flavors, it was rock solid from being in the fridge. Learn from my mistakes.
Favorites from this book: Mocha Butter Balls, Shattered Chocolate Balls, Russian Tea Cakes, Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Walnut Maple Syrup Cookies
Over the last year, and especially when baking cookies with my daughter, I often turn to this cookbook from the Martha Stewart Cooking Empire. Yes, she might be overbearing and a little too confident with household chores, but the woman does know her cookies. Recipes are fairly straight forward, and there are enough pictures to make a cookie chef drool. Important note – some recipes make very small batches, like 2 dozen. Make sure you double check before starting, so you are not surprised. Some cookies, IMHO, need to be made in ginormous batches. Chocolate chip, for example.
This book has much more than cookies, but cookies are such a strong suit for Greenspan that I find myself turning to this book often for inspiration. In addition to many sweet treats, she also includes a few savory cookie varieties, perfect with a glass of wine. Some pictures, lots of variations, all-in-all a good book. Only downside is that it is still only available in hardback, a bit more of an investment. Good gift option, though.
Favorites from this book: World Peace Cookies, Parmesan Sables, Midnight Crackles
Any of these books would be helpful in the kitchen this holiday season!
Photos courtesy of Amazon.