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Cookies at Home with The Culinary Institute of America
Format: HardcoverChange
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 28, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have been baking cookies off and on for many years and we have 'family favorite' recipes but I still bought this book. I wanted to see if ideas had moved on since 'Fanny Farmer' (Marion Cunningham), the King Arthur Flour Cookbook and my grandma and mother's traditional recipes. I believe that this book, written by expert instructors at the Culinary Institute of America, offers a great way to get organized for cookie baking, to learn a wide range of basic techniques and to learn how to bake and decorate a range of cookies, using good recipes that show influences of Austrian, Italian, French, Hispanic and American baking traditions. More advanced bakers will find recipes that challenge notions of what flavors one finds in cookies and artistic bakers can learn how to do more ambitious cookie decorations.

The 218-page, square-shaped book fits on the typical bookshelf and features plenty of 'tasty' full-color photographs of finished products and of some key baking techniques (where appropriate.) The book starts with a chapter on useful cookie baking equipment: weighing and measuring tools; hand tools from rolling pins to sieves to knives, graters, zesters, whisks, spoons and spatulas; tools for baking such as parchement paper, pots, pans, baking sheets and cooling racks; and appliances like ovens, mixers, blenders and food processors. Next, the authors present material on basic ingredients and methods in cookie making. There is a chapter devoted to decorating and packaging cookies that is aimed at the home baker who wants to 'gift' cookies but is probably of more interest to the culinary student who is looking to open a shop or to bake for the restaurant trade. The remainder of the book addresses recipes for various types of cookies: drop cookies, bar cookies, rolled-out, sliced or cut-out cookies, molded, stenciled or otherwise shaped cookies, piped cookies and twice-baked cookies. A final chapter introduces the idea of savory cookies and biscuits to be used with appetizers or partnered with dessert items to add 'punch' or contrast. For seasonal interest, there is a section on baking a Holiday gingerbread house and a template set is included that can be traced and used to cut the cookie panels to assemble the project.

Recipes make roughly two-to-three dozen cookies and use traditional ingredients (not commercial bakery substitutes and additives). The focus on ingredients is aimed at real butter, true vanilla extract, cane sugar products, quality chocolate products and the like. Chocolate Chip, Gingersnaps and Peanut Butter cookie recipes aim to produce 'soft and chewy' products. Crisp cookies include the very popular pecan shortbread and Italian-influenced recipes include Amaretti and Pignoli cookies. Of course there are recipes for brownies: fudge brownies, cake brownies, peanut butter swirl brownies, German Chocolate brownies and Blondies. There is a recipe for homemade Whoopie Pie filled cookies. There is a fine recipe for Baklava, made with walnuts and spiked with orange zest. French-influenced offerings include Macaroons and Madeleines. A basic Biscotti recipe is presented and almond, anise and orange biscotti variations are explained. One could continue but you get the idea... Read, bake and enjoy. Make the recipes you feel comfortable with. Adventurous or experienced bakers will appreciate the more advanced recipes on offer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There are almost 100 cookie recipes in this book. They, for the most part are the traditional old fashioned cookies that have been made for years. Recipes contained in it are: drop cookies, bar, rolled, cut-out and sliced, molded, stenciled and shaped, piped and twice baked and savory cookies.
There is advice on equipment needed for baking, basic ingredients and methods to make and mix. There are some photos that show how to do this and also decoration. Hints are given for such things as; freezing and baking in batches. There are pictures or diagrams for most of the cookies.

For the most part the recipes are the same as in many other cookie books, with the exception of the savory cookies; many of which are excellent.
There is a glossary and resources, 1 for Canada and others for the United States. Templates are included, that will have to be enlarged for the gingerbread house recipe. There is also an index.
This is a book that, if you do not have cookie recipe books, will come in handy, or if you want some of the very tempting savory cookies included in that chapter.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The only bad point about it is that should come with metric measures as well as home measurements.
Because it came from a Cooking Institute, it should come with precise measurements instead of only cups and spoons.
But really, this is only my opinion.
It is a gorgeous book with lots of easy and Yummy recipes. Just tried the Carrot Cookies and used some my home Juicer pulp and became the best cookie I've ever made.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wow! This book is worth it for the wonderful Chocolate Crackles cookie recipe alone -- layers of chocolate flavor, a couple of textures and a cut above any chocolate cookie I've ever had. The special quality is what I would expect from the Culinary Institute. I will try more cookies from this book with pleasure.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have only made two of the recipes so far, but was disappointed that the second had an error. The Turtle Bars are pictured with three even layers: crust-brownie-caramel nut. However, for the caramel layer the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of cream for the 9 x 13 pan. There is just no way that amount of caramel will cover the nuts in more than a drizzle - yet the photo clearly shows a generous caramel layer. I ended up doing a second, double batch of caramel. But the top layer is firm enough that when you try to slice them it pushes the softer brownie layer out and makes a mess.
I am still anxious to try some of the other recipes, but have other CIA books and know they sometimes do not test their recipes properly in home kitchens.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
If you enjoy baking but don't want it to be too complicated then this is the book for you. The direction are easy and the photos are great
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The picture on the cover got me. I love these Linzer Tart cookies. I am originally from New York and the bakeries there ALWAYS have these wonderful tarts or cookies. We live in Pennsylvania and no one
ever heard of them! When we go to New York...maybe once a year, we stop in our favorite bakeries for these and other treats that only New York offers. In fact, I am going to make them soon. We love NY cheesecake too. I probably have at least 400 cook books....most of them are Cake, Pie, Dessert or Cookies. One thing they must have is PICTURES!!!! This is a good book.
Linda
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Excellent
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Great to see an awesome book all about cookies from one of CIA's finest!!! Love the pictures and recipes! Thank you Chef!
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