Making things look simple is sometimes easier said than done.
Noun: A book giving information on many aspects of one subject, namely, the cookie.
Anyone who reads any of my writing knows one thing for certain. Baking isn’t my thing. It just seems so hard. When I see a plate of fresh, out of the oven goodies, I’m NOT thinking “That had to be a no-brainer”. Quite the opposite takes place in my head. “WOW, unless that’s from a tube of pre-made cookie dough, it looks like work”. That’s my mind set. Easy? Hardly.
My friend Kathy makes/bakes some killer chocolate chips. She’s told me on more than one occasion that all of the ingredients are strictly legal. I know she’s honest, but, my craving for them makes me doubt her words. It seems from appearances like there is really nothing special going on here. But, I can’t stop eating them. I love them, but, I don’t want to make them.
Now, there’s a glimmer of hope for skittish, non-bakers like me. Author, Stacy Adimando, is attempting to calm my surely unfounded baking fears. Her new book, The Cookiepedia: Mixing Baking, and Reinventing the Classics, shows you just how simple the baking life can be.
Included are amazing recipes for Snickerdoodles, Ginersnaps, Cornmeal Cookies and yes, let’s not forget, the beloved Chocolate Chip. There are some cooking making basics up front that show you just how easy it can be to impress your friends with a sheet of fresh baked delights.
One of the books more practical features is note taking spaces that accompany each recipe. It’s nice to able to jot down what went right (or wrong) with your creations. It makes the next attempt that much easier and might lead to some of your own delicious variations.
With all of this cookie making talk you’re probably ready to try a big batch for yourself. Kathy won’t give me her secret recipe (I really don’t want it. I want her to make the cookies). But, Stacy is more than happy to share hers with us.
Here’s how to do it.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (about 8 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a big bowl and stir. Set the bowl aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugars for several minutes, until they look light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Add the flour mixture right into the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until they’re incorporated. Then the fun part: stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Go down the line dropping tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. Leave about 2 inches between them so they have plenty of room to spread. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking.
4. Try one hot out of the oven, but let the rest cool for a minute or two before lifting them to a rack to cool. If you get melted chocolate on your hands, you’re eating these too slowly.
Recipe and above image: Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Stacy Adimando, The Cookiepedia: Mixing Baking, and Reinventing the Classics, Quirk Books.
The Bottom Line: Looking for a great beginner cookie baking book? You just found it. These recipes are easy to execute and produce a fantastic result. Even for a novice baker (like yours truly). The Cookiepedia would be a welcomed addition to the cookbook collection of anyone who likes to turn out a warm batch of cookies.
Author: Stacy Adimando
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books: (September 6, 2011)