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Big Fat Cookies Paperback – November 11, 2004

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cookies don't always get much credit for being desserts, partly because of their small size. Klivans's creations, however, give cookies the size they need to hold their own at the end of a meal (or anytime). Though she is a former pastry chef and a second-generation cookie fanatic, her recipes are wonderfully clear and appropriate for bakers of all skill levels; in the opening section, she gives basic advice about ingredients, utensils and techniques and offers tips on storage and ingredient substitution. The cookies come in all varieties, supersized, and few are difficult when following the detailed, step-by-step directions. Some are classics or variations thereof (Chocolate Chip-Stuffed Cookies, Big City Black-and-Whites); others, like the Cornmeal Currant Crunch Cookies and the Pineapple and Macadamia Islands, are less traditional; but all look divine, especially as depicted in Antonis Achilleos's luscious photographs. Klivans's writing is friendly and enthusiastic ("This cookie is ready to party") and filled with anecdotes about her family, friends and recipes. The cookies are divided into three categories-chewy, crispy and sandwich-with something to please everyone. Even those who spend very little time in the kitchen will be inspired to break out their baking sheets after thumbing through this enticing book.
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"Elinor Klivans's Big Fat Cookies opens up a whole universe of giants, including chocolate chip whoppers and king-sized raisin pillows. If you're going to go blow 400 calories on a cookie, do it here." -Boston Globe

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811842169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811842167
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elinor Klivans is a notable cookbook author and food writer who has published articles for Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Pleasures, and the Washington Post, among others. A former pastry chef, she is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and lives in Camden, Maine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By L.Hart on May 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I love about this book is it creates big, soft, and delicious cookies. The sweetness is just right, so that it never feels like you're being overpowered by sweetness. If you bake it right, it turns out quite chewy on the outside and very soft and gooey in the middle. Surprisingly enough, I have baked ALL her recipes, from natural cookies to sandwich cookies to dipped cookies and they were all delicious! I have tried cooking with The All-American Cookie Book and BIG FAT COOKIES book had far less fats and oils and more pure ingredients - butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. The other recipes from different cookbooks were more complicated and seemed to detach from the home-made style of fresh ingredients.
I started out as a beginning cook with absolutely no experience in baking cookies, and a month later using her cookbook, I am able to make awesome cookies that have been a hit between my friends, family, and relatives.
This is a great book!

Update: October 2013
Almost 8 years since I purchased this book and I'm still using this one to create my chocolate chip cookies! Many things have happened since then. I graduated from college, got married, moved to a new country (Tokyo, Japan!) and started a new life. I'm still baking these cookies and my new neighbors (Japanese and Americans) are loving it. =)

Some tips:
Make sure that your measurements are exact. If the recipe calls for 3/4 tsp of salt, don't go 1 tsp or 2/4 tsp. Also, level them after you scoop it up, to be exact. You wouldn't want a "heaping tablespoon" of something. You want just "a tablespoon". Same thing for the flour. Also, when it calls for a mixer, use a mixer. You'd be surprised at the taste difference between a cookie made with a mixer, and one made by hand.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tina M. Mancuso on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Every cookie I've made from this book has been incredibly yummy and gotten rave reviews. I have only two complaints that caused me to give 4 stars rather than 5. First, though the pictures are very good, not every cookie is shown -- and I like to have some idea of what they're supposed to look like, especially with unfamiliar recipes. And second, some of the cookies are supposed to be like sandwiches -- two cookies with a filling between -- and these are not nearly so easy to achieve as the book seems to imply. It's really hard (at least for me!) to get two cookies to be exactly the same size and shape! However, those two small things aside, the recipes are excellent, and the book also has a couple things many cookbooks don't, such as summaries of prep and cooking time at the bottom of each page, and storage instructions for every recipe.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Siewers on December 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Elinor Kivans's new cookie book is filled with new ideas and variations on old favorites. Check out the Celebration Sugar Cookies on page 76 -- the snowman decorations are wonderfully fanciful. The book has crisp graphics and great photos, which are always a motivation to try something new. I also like how easy the recipies are. The recipies don't require any fancy equipment or a lot of time. This book is great for both the novice and experienced baker.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Big Fat Cookies" contains a good selection of recipes--an entire chapter each of "big chewy cookies," "colossal crisp cookies," and "two-fisted sandwich cookies." Whether you're looking for lemon whoopie pies, toasted coconut washboards, oatmeal trailblazers, toffee crunch cookie brittle, or chocolate chip-stuffed cookies, you'll find it in here. While you'll certainly find recipes that will please those who only eat "standard" cookie flavors, most of these recipes are inventive and unusual in at least some small way or another. For instance, the oatmeal cookies rolled in trail mix before baking (yum!) or the butterscotch "blondies" that are turned into drop cookies and have melted chocolate swirled into them.

As usual for a Chronicle book the production quality is quite high. Photos are elegant and tasty-looking. Layout is clear and easy to read. The recipe steps are simple and non-confusing.

The book includes notes on ingredients, tools, storing cookies, mailing cookies, and so on. Rather than providing hundreds of recipes of reasonable quality as many cookbooks choose to do, it concentrates on a more limited selection of higher-quality recipes. It certainly provides you with new ideas, however, from the cranberry-walnut cream cheese cookie mounds to the lemon butter crumb cookies and peppermint patties. Every recipe we've made from this cookbook has been delightful--particularly those butterscotch blondie cookies!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By NC Mom on January 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Elinor Klivans has once again created a cookbook that is practical and beautiful. "Big Fat Cookies" is full of impress-your-friends cookies that are easy to make. We made Chocolate Chip-Stuffed Cookies and Fudge-Filled Chocolate-Chip Cookie Sandwiches (pictured on the cover) for my toddler's recent birthday party and were besieged with compliments and requests for recipes from the parents of very happy two year olds. Once you master making these oversized cookies (and Klivans makes it easy for a non-baker like me to do so), you'll never go back to little ones.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Judy Bart Kancigor on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
by Judy Bart Kancigor, author of Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

From The Orange County Register
February 10, 2005

Go ahead. See if you can say "big fat cookie" and not smile. I dare you.

I asked Elinor Klivans, noted Maine pastry chef and author of "Big Fat Cookies" (Chronicle Books) how she got the idea for her beautifully photographed, irresistibly cookie-licious cookbook.

"I was working on my last book ("Fearless Baking") and someone asked, "What do you think you want to do for your next book?" and without thinking about it, `big fat cookies' came out of my mouth, and I thought, yes, that's the one I should do."

With Valentine's Day only a kiss away, what could be better than giving some big fat cookies to the one you love, but try to choose just one recipe from this stunning, new book. I double dare you.

If chocolate be the food of love, bake on. For the Chocolate Chip-Stuffed Cookies, two mammoth chocolate chip cookies are stuffed with even more chips for a "now, why didn't I think of that?" chocoholic's dream. And how does Klivans produce a cookie firm enough to stand up to this chocolate overload? "I use all brown sugar rather than the usual granulated and brown sugar combination, plus cold eggs and only slightly softened butter, rather than the usual room temperature," she revealed.

Not enough chocolate for you? Try the Chocolate Chip Whoppers, Chocolate Chunk Mountains or my personal favorites, Big City (read New Yawk, of cawse) Black and Whites.

Were you the kid that loved to make mud pies?
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