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The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 30, 2004


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 30, 2004
$12.52 $9.95

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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 509 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press (October 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881506591
  • ASIN: B001F7AP9I
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,632,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Americans spend over $550 million annually on Oreos, some indication of our cookie infatuation. Meeting that passion head-on, The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion offers 400-plus recipes for almost every cookie under the sun--from traditional favorites like oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies (13 recipes including the soft and crisp kinds, plus 11 variations, such a Orange-Pistachio Milk Chocolate Chippers); to global treats like shortbread, tuiles, springerle, and biscotti; to all kinds of bars and soft bites such as brownies, Whoopie Pies, and Hot and Sweet Ginger Squares.

The Cookie Companion is in the King Arthur tradition, which means that it's a teaching cookbook--one overflowing with tips, pointers, lore, and other compelling information. Thus, for example, the introduction to Special Roll-Out Sugar Cookies informs readers that thorough dough-rolling creates thin, snapping-crisp cookies, but roll the dough a bit thicker, and "you’ve got crunchy." Their no-detail-too-small introductory basics are greatly aided by the tour-de-force illustrations of Laura Hartman Maestro. For example, a box on bar-cookie cutting shows readers the five basic size configurations, depending on pan dimensions. Bakers who have routinely paused, knife in hand, before a pan of just-baked brownies, trying to decide how to end up with, say, 24 large squares, won't, following the illustrations, do so again. A section on cookie decoration is equally definitive, as is a final chapter on ingredients, which offers, for example, a full discussion of sugars, plus asides like "Is Splenda the Answer to Low-Calorie Baking" (maybe) and "Can I Substitute a Liquid Sweetener for a Dry One to Make My Cookies Sifter?" (sometimes, but never measurement for measurement).

With "Create-a-Cookie," a section that focuses on manipulating basic dough mixtures to make checkerboard and pinwheel cookies among others; recipes for glazes, icings, dips and finishes; illustrated equipment profiles; plus color photos that depict the cookies in all their edible glory, the book is, simply, a must-have for cookie bakers everywhere. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

The holidays may be the only time of year when store-bought cookies just aren’t special enough to share with friends and family. Even novice bakers are willing to move beyond their comfort zone and try something festive. Now, they don’t have to go it alone. The King Arthur Flour Company, the largest educator of bakers in the world, has provided a thorough how-to on cookies that will appeal to beginners and advanced bakers alike. The company’s bakers have already won The James Beard Foundation KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year award for the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (2003), and now they set their sights on the cookie. The bakers have singled out eight essential cookies—chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, peanut butter, shortbread, molasses-ginger, brownies and biscotti—and offer both traditional and exotic recipes, as well as variations and decorating tips to allow for bursts of inspiration. Of course all baking starts with the basics, so the bakers begin by providing information on measuring, baking pans, cookie cutters, ingredients, tools and flour, and they end with a chapter on The Finishing Touch, where they dissect icing. With mouth-watering photos as motivation and drawings to offer assistance, this cookbook is a must for any serious baker. It leaves no cookie unturned.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I have tried many of the recipes in this book and found them to be very good.
Sheryl Davis
As a beginning baker myself, the part of THE KING ARTHUR FLOUR COOKIE COMPANION that I find extremely helpful is the "Getting Started" section.
Jeremy W. Forstadt
There are lots of tempting cookie recipes with numerous options...many are very easy to follow.
RikkiMama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Van Meter on October 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received my copy of the Cookie Companion at 10:30 and I had already baked two of the recipes by 5:00. One of the advantages of this great book--no trips to the store for exotic ingredients. Anyone who is a frequent baker already has everything needed on a shelf in the pantry.

If you live at altitude, page 22 alone is worth the price of the book. Photocopy it and tape it at your baking prep area.

The chapter division in the Companion is very baker friendly. How many times do you say, "I think I want to bake a drop/bar/cutout cookie" and how many times do you just think, "I would like an oatmeal cookie." Go to the chapter for the flavor or main ingredient of what you are in the mood to bake (or have the ingredients for). You will be sure to find a cookie that interests you.

I really liked the wide range of choices offered by the multiple recipes for the old standards. Do you want an oatmeal cookie that is soft, chewey, crisp, etc. You can select a recipe that meets your needs and wants for the moment.

The recipe headers are fun to read. The descriptions are sometimes amusing and it seems that the author is being very friendly and honest...almost like a friend handing you a recipe with his or her opinion of the results to be achieved.

I enjoyed the wonderful illustrations. It is obvious that the artist is quite familiar with baking techniques. The art really enhanced my appreciation of the recipes and the book.

Step by step and easy to follow--trademarks of baking with King Arthur recipes. These could be used by a beginning baker as well as by more experienced cooks. The sidebars contain interesting tips on ingrediets or techniques.
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108 of 116 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
`The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion' by King Arthur staff bakers and recipe testers, with a major assist from Laura Brody and the usual platoon of editors and designers from W. W. Norton and The Courtryman Press of Woodstock, Vermont is certainly the very best general purpose cookie book I have reviewed to date. I say this with the important caveat that I have yet to review major cookie books by baking heavyweights Nick Malgieri, Maida Heatter, and Carol Walter.

It is important to say that the value of the book is not based on its exhaustive coverage of cookie recipes, although in over 500 pages, the book certainly covers all but a few corners of the far flung land of cookie baking. While it does leave out some important recipes, such as the famous thin Moravian ginger cookies of North Carolina, its real value is in its meticulous description of all those factors that influence great cookie baking.

While a lot of cookie baking is a lot more forgiving than, say, pastry or biscuits or cheesecake, it is still baking, which means that a change in ingredients which would mean nothing to a sautee or a braise will mean the difference between a great cookie and a disappointment. The clearest example of this sensitivity is in the selection of shortening, where the major choices are butter, lard, margarine, or vegetable shortenings such as Crisco. Each option has a significant effect on taste and the degree that a drop cookie will rise or spread. And, that's before you even take nutritional aspects into account with tradeoffs between the saturated fats of butter and the transfats of margarine. Add in the effects of different sugars and different flours and you start to wonder how a cookie ever manages to get made.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By ktgnewjersey on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have many cookbooks with cookie recipes but this one is the best. It is a must have for both experienced and beginner bakers. The selection is very impressive and the baking tips throughout the book are great. The Essential Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies are the best I have ever made - full of chocolate chips. Everyone at my job loved the Butter Pecan Fantasies even more.

I would have rated this book a 5 except for 1 glaring omission. There isn't one mention in the book about softening the butter or having ingredients such as eggs at room temperature. When I first noticed this, I thought I must be imagining it. They are standard instructions in any other baking cookbook. But I have searched the book from front to back and still don't see any mention of this. This is no big deal for an experienced baker but could cause problems (and discouragement) to new bakers.

I also agree with the other reviewer that it was annoying that some of the recipes included ingredients that were not readily available to most home bakers. Sure, you could order these ingredients from King Arthur Flour. But it takes away the spontaneity of making cookies to have to pre-order an ingredient.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy W. Forstadt on December 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is, in short, spectacular and I expect it to become a classic reference for bakers everywhere. Here's the thing. When I was growing up, my mother baked the most wonderful oatmeal cookies. They were soft and didn't flatten out much, so they stood up like little mountains of tasty goodness. Now that she doesn't cook anymore (God knows why), I have been unable to find cookies quite like them: oatmeal cookies bought in mall bakeries or baked by my colleagues at work are (inevitably) flat cookies that are either stiff and crunchy or soft and chewy. Now, I loved crunchy oatmeal cookies and chewy oatmeal cookies as much as the next guy, but I miss the old softies. Enter THE KING ARTHUR FLOUR COOKIE COMPANION!

THE KING ARTHUR FLOUR COOKIE COMPANION outlines nine "essential" cookies and oatmeal cookies are one of them. For each of these "essential" cookie types, the authors include from two to four basic recipes depending on what style of cookie you want to bake. Thus, for the oatmeal cookie, for example, there are recipes for a chewy cookie, a crunchy cookie, a crisp cookie, and (tada!) a SOFT COOKIE! My prayers have been answered.

But wait, there's more! There are literally dozens of variations on each "essential" cookie. Just choose the basic recipe that matches your preferences and then follow the additional instructions for creating the variation. Thus, each variation can be made in two to four different ways. In addition to oatmeal cookies, the other "essentials" are chocolate chip, sugar, molasses, peanut butter, shortbread, biscotti, brownies, and decorated cookies.
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