Sandy's "Joy of Cookies" Blog

One Christmas-time when my three kids were tiny and at least some of them were napping each day (never all at once, dang it!) - I decided to expend some of my hyper by baking every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I can't remember if I actually met my weird goal, but I do recall taking the kids on sleds and delivering many confections to the neighbors.  Looking back, they probably thought I was nuts, which I kinda was/am.

Anyhoo - all of BookLand is raving about Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook:  Dorie's Cookies.  Here she takes a fresh look at cookies, to see what they could be when "along with butter, sugar, eggs and flour" she brought curiosity to make her faves even more delish.  We had some of her cookies out for our Small Business Saturday, and they are so good they actually inspire the follow up "oh my gosh!  what's in these? yum!"  

So naturally it seemed like a great idea to me to bake every December day from this book.  This time, I enlisted a team of bakers and together we will bake and chat our way through a couple a'dozen Dorie's Cookies recipes starting December 1st.  Look for our "The Joy of Cookies" blog every Friday before Christmas; Karen and me and Jenny and Cathy and Wendy and Maggie will tell you all about their 24 days of happy baking, with a few photos to inspire. 

This week, I made Dorie's chocolate shortbread caramel bars to add to my girls' college finals care package.  They are together at school and there, they have quarters and not semesters.  That means finals are NOW, so cookies and fuzzy study socks are on their way.  

Call us if you want us to set aside a book for you - I promise you'll be glad you did, even if you take your time baking your way through it!  (630) 765-7455 

 

Karen's "Joy of Cookies" Blog

Growing up, the Christmas holiday season was not complete for me until my mom purchased butter, pecans, and chocolate. I knew she was getting ready to make homemade turtles, one of my favorite candies. The Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars in Dorie’s Cookies remind me of an old-fashioned turtle albeit stepped up a notch or two! The base for the bars is a chocolate shortbread, which makes a very nice, flaky bar beneath the caramel and nuts. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never made a caramel sauce before. Give it a try! The instructions are clear and easy to follow. I have never tried adding chopped chocolate to homemade caramel before, and I don’t know why! The flavor reminded me of a Werther’s chocolate caramel, only better because it was homemade. The bars are rich and delicious and the recipe says to cut the 8”x 8” pan of bars into 21 pieces, just enough to get a mouthful of gooey chocolate caramel and nuts. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed making Blondies from Dorie's Cookies this week. I love the combination of chocolate, pecans and coconut and this recipe did not disappoint! The ingredients were easy to combine and I went from start to finish in under an hour. I tried two of Dorie's suggested techniques for baking--using muffin tins as well as a mini-scoop drop cookie. I have never baked cookie dough in a muffin tin before and I really enjoyed the results. The cookies bake at a lower temperature for longer than a regular cookie but the results were amazing. A slightly crisp exterior with a nice chewy interior filled with pecans and chocolate and a hint of coconut. The drop cookies spread more than I had anticipated but since I had used a small scoop, they turned out just fine. Another winner and a festive treat for the holidays!

My mom was very close to her dad, my grandpa, who died when I was only 3 1/2 years old. I feel like I know him just a bit because of my mom's memories. One of those was "he only liked two kinds of pie--hot or cold." My mom and my grandma were fabulous pie makers and I remember asking how to become such a good baker. My mom said, "The only way to become a good pie maker is to make pies!" My love of baking comes from my mom and over the years I have had a lot of fun trying new techniques and tinkering a bit here and there to find the best recipes and to make desserts people find comforting and delicious.

 

Cathy's "Joy of Cookies" Blog

Dorie Greenspan calls these "Friendship Cookies" because everyone she serves them to" want to follow her home and be her best friend".  I, on the other hand, have always called them Rugelach.  Coming from New York and frequenting many Jewish neighborhoods, this is how I knew them.  And yes, I too have enjoyed raves and my friends do look forward to my Christmas Rugelach.

Now though, with this new recipe from Dorie, and just devouring one, I can honestly say "I want to be her friend".   From the delicate cream cheese dough to the sweetness of the chocolate, raisins, and apricot jam...... Wow! Just a beautiful bite!

P.S.  If you don't want any more friends, don't hand these out😊

I became familiar with the ANZAC cookie (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) after reading a beautiful book, The Light Between Oceans".  It took place in Australia, and since it was my book club selection, I decided to do some research on the foods of that area.  I came to find out that this cookie was a staple for wives and mothers to send the soldiers during war time.  The reason for this was that this cookie did not contain eggs and therefore kept well for overseas travel.

They're an easy cookie to make and come together nicely.  I've added a little something to the original recipe, cranberries.  They work so well with the coconut and oatmeal.  But be careful, they are addicting and it's hard to put them down once you start.  Remember I warned you!

I became familiar with the ANZAC cookie (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) after reading a beautiful book, The Light Between Oceans".  It took place in Australia, and since it was my book club selection, I decided to do some research on the foods of that area.  I came to find out that this cookie was a staple for wives and mothers to send the soldiers during war time.  The reason for this was that this cookie did not contain eggs and therefore kept well for overseas travel.

They're an easy cookie to make and come together nicely.  I've added a little something to the original recipe, cranberries.  They work so well with the coconut and oatmeal.  But be careful, they are addicting and it's hard to put them down once you start.  Remember I warned you!

 

Jenny's "Joy of Cookies" Blog

Simply scrumptious and savory:  "Rosemary-Parm Cookies" and "Parmesan Galettes."  These are ridiculously delicious.  The great thing is that you can make these two recipes one after the other in your food processor.  No need to wash between the doughs--just wipe out and prepare the next recipe.  The first is an incredible combo of parmesan and fresh rosemary with just a hint of sweetness.  The butter in the recipe makes the texture of the cookie perfect.  Super easy to roll into a log, chill, slice, bake and EAT.  O.M.G.  So yummy.  The "Parmesan Galettes" have an incredible texture and intense cheesy taste.  I kind of wanted to roll around in the galettes they were so tasty.  I'm telling you, serve these fresh out of the oven or make the day ahead--still perfect the next day.  A must-make for your next dinner party.  Both these recipes are super easy and over the top in taste and texture!  (If you make them both, start with the galettes first, then do the cookies.)

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