17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2010
Baking with Cookie Molds is a guide to using cookie molds to create aesthetic and delicious cookies. Cookie molds are notoriously difficult to use properly, but Baking with Cookie Molds walks the reader through the process step by step, from making the dough, to preparing the mold, to molding the dough, unmolding the dough, and baking the cookies. Nearly two dozen recipes and a hundred black-and-white photographs fill this excellent, spare-no-detail primer ideal for cookie bakers of all skill and experience levels.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
I have quite a selection of Brown Bag cookie molds and House On The Hill springerle molds. However, the results were less than stellar before reading this book. The author's photos solved some of my problems as well as stating they were not JUST for shortbread! That was what was causing me grief with the cavity molds (Brown Bag molds). I live at a high altitude in Colorado and not everything works as it does in other parts of the U.S. Shortbread was too crumbly, greasy, and tough because of the dry climate and troublesome in the molds as well as with their cookie stamps. Yet I liked the molds and sought a solution.
I took what the author said but added these tweeks:
1. Bake at 300 degrees for a lighter cookie. The raised sections are enhanced after baking when dusted with edible glitter or superfine sugar. I just wet a pastry brush and run it over the baked cookie before adding the sugar or glitter,,,,kind of like using a sealer.
2. I prefer pale cookies. To achieve this, place a cookie sheet on the lower shelf of your oven to prevent browning of the springerle or cavity cookies.
3. Bake the smaller cavity cookies for less time than the larger shortbread (pan) molds, based on the cookie size and your altitude. She did not state this. I am going to separate by size the springerle cookies I bake so I get a more even bake time. (That and back off the flour to get a softer cookie in this dry climate!)
I am enjoying baking this year for the first time in a long time. Thanks, Anne!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2010
This book is probably the only one you'll find on the topic written in English. The photographs will be especially helpful for novice cookie mold bakers. I wish this book was available last year when I was trying to teach myself how to make springerle. The history of the cookie mold adds a nice sprinkle of information in between recipes and "how to" information.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Anne L. Watson has continued her typical way of writing so that the reader feels the author is speaking with that person. Each step is fully explained, problems and questions are anticipated and answered in depth.
The first recipe I tried were Anne's Lemon Cookies and it was a great one for a first timer. The necessary ingredients did not even require a trip to the store. The cookies turned out beautifully even though I do not consider myself a baker.
One word of caution though and it is addressed in the book. Don't waste your money on molds or rolling pins that are not of the quality described in the book. I was sure I would not want to make anything so complicated and difficult so I bought a less expensive rolling pin that was not of high quality. The pictures on the cookies I made were not as raised and clear as I wanted them to be. I will, of course, now find the molds and rolling pins that will be more useful and aethestic for my future baking since baking cookies with molds is not the challenge I worried about, thanks to the author's skill at teaching.
I recommend this book to the new baker and all experienced bakers wanting to learn a little more about cookie molds and cookie baking. Great book, well done.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2012
I bought this book purely on impulse when I bought my springerle molds. Finally got a chance to use them after a few months, and the first time I tried to use them, my prints came out horribly. I got adequate results after an hour of rolling dough and pounding on the back of the mold with a rubber mallet! I've only made springerle once before, so as a beginner having spent a lot of money on molds, I was pretty frustrated and discouraged.
Then I pulled Baking With Cookie Molds off the shelf. Anne's photos of her molding technique were KEY, and after five minutes' paging through the book I was making vastly better prints showing every detail of my molds. This book saved my motivation to continue making springerle. It demystified the molding process, and there was no rubber mallet needed. (My husband and downstairs neighbors are very relieved.) I also increased my output from 11 mediocre prints an hour to three pans of great prints an hour! It's all about the technique of getting the dough into and out of the mold, and this book provided exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2010
I love this useful book, and have been waiting for some great instructions on how to use my cookie molds for years. The stories and recipes are wonderful, and all the details are really helpful. I couldn't put it down. It's like having an experienced baker there to walk you through the process.
I will be using this book for years to come, and now I can bake some edible, delicious AND beautiful Christmas gifts without fear.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2012
Cookies or biscuits - easy to make as a basic product in itself but if you want to make something a little more delicate and fine you can soon end up in a world of hurt and frustration if you are not careful. Many people think that only cakes can be really decorated yet the decorated cookie is, itself, a real wonder of art... and often tasty too should you dare to break it up!
Anne L. Watson has, in this reasonably slim book, managed to lift the lid on a whole unseen world of biscuit baking that is, in fact, steeped in history and has been an/is a real artisanal art form in its own right.
To most people, the reviewer included previously, biscuit moulds are plastic or sometimes metal, often in the form of a shaped press or a basic 3D mould if you are lucky, but there is truly a whole different world out there. For example over time cookie moulds have been made from almost every sustaining material that exists such as glass, wood, porcelain and even wood. One can even purchase resin copies of old moulds that now exist within many prestigious museums around the world!
In a very pleasant and easy-to-read manner the author goes through the entire A to Z of using cookie moulds, starting with the history of cookie moulds before looking at the art and methodology of preparing and using a cookie mould. Once you have learned the magic arts and are ready to take things to a more advanced level your horizons can be expanded further with additional tips, different methodologies and a wide range of recipes. For those who want to truly master the art there is also guidance on making sandwich and layer cookies. Or why not try the ultimate test of skill and determination and make your own mould!
In many ways this is one of those wonderful hybrid books that gets the right balance between aspirational encouragement and practical development. You can read this book and garner much interest and knowledge in your comfortable living room chair and, of course, fine tune your practical experiences whilst in the kitchen. Even if you never plan to make some cookies using cookie moulds you won't feel cheated as you will learn an immense amount of knowledge about what can go into making such wonderfully detailed cookies and gather a lot of culinary history to boot. Not too many "cook books" achieve that goal.
Probably the most negative (with a small N) thing this reviewer found (except the lack of a package of ready-made cookies by the author as a control sample) is that the photographic images are in greyscale. Having some colour images, even if bound in as a supplement to keep printing costs down, would have made just that little extra difference. It is not a thing that means "don't buy this book" but sometimes - where possible - a bit of colour makes a difference. This would have been one of those times.
The book concludes with additional resources available to the reader including a source of various supplies. Clearly, as a book written by an American author, the companies referenced are located in the United States, but you can normally order items internationally if a comparable product is not located in your home market.
And as the reviewer can conclude: A wonderful book, an inspirational book and a book that teaches a lot of things that could even be used, in part, within other "cooking branches." Delicate rice moulds, for example, anyone?
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
What a wonderful book! It's easy to read, easy to follow the instructions, easy recipes and ingredients - and it all works! There are lots of photos to help you along the process as well. This instructional cookie book contains entertaining history and facts, clear and concise step by step instructions, hints and tips, recipes for beginners and also more challenging recipes for the adventurous. There's a wonderful section on all the ingredients too, in case you have preferences or need to change 1 or 2 things. I've tried a few of the recipes and wowed my friends with the awesome molded cookies. A great investment for the baker, you can make cookie gifts too! Yum! Highly recommended!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2010
True to her step-by-step, easy to understand, easy to read and follow writing style, Anne has put together a fabulous book on making cookies with molds. She has taken what can be a daunting task and turned it into an easy and friendly process, combining the interesting history of making cookies with molds with step-by-step instructions on how to create beautiful cookies. There are tons of recipes included for anyone, beginner or expert, and she also shows you how to create your own recipe if you wish! Also included is a valuable list of great resources for you to find needed supplies to create beautiful cookies. These cookies especially make wonderful handcrafted Christmas treasures! I highly recommend this book!
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
The author's premise is that only doughs made with liquid sweeteners will work well in cookie molds and has based her recipes on this premise. So far I've made half the recipes in the book and though the dough has been very easy to work with, I'm yet to find a "keeper," a cookie that tastes as good as it looks. I've found better tasting and equally well behaved doughs elsewhere on the web and in my own recipe box. That said, the book is excellent for demonstrating molding and decorating techniques and is worth having for those alone.