Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Art of the Cookie: Baking Up Inspiration by the Dozen
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on January 18, 2012
I bought this book and gave it 5 stars!!! I think it is a GREAT book.

In response to the review that stated this book was too complex for the "typical home baker:" I could not find a "Candy Cane" recipe, so I'm assuming you're refering to the "Peppermint Stick" recipe as being too complex. I would think that a "typical home baker" would read through this recipe and modify it to her skill level. For example, the author does give a lot of detail on how to make different shades of red dough and how to pipe this dough in different widths to obtain the striped effect. However, I would think that a "typical home baker" would realize that the coloring of the dough is just for show and does nothing to the taste of the cookie. This baker would omit this part of the recipe all together and just make the cookies with the plain dough.

MY REVIEW:
I really enjoyed this book!! I like how well it is organized. The first half of the book is devoted to Basic Cookie Baking and Decorating Techniques. There are 5 Cookie Recipes used throughout this section of the book: 1)Vanilla Sugar 2)Lemon-Buttermilk, 3)Brown Sugar, 4)Chocolate Sugar and 5)Gingerbread.

This section focuses on how to make different types of cookies using one of the 5 Basic Cookie Recipes. For example, there is a recipe for Lemon Window Panes that uses the Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe to make sandwich cookies with Lemon Curd filling. This section also contains information on decorating different shapes of cookies, i.e. alphabet cookies, flower cookies, etc. All the decorating techniques are throughly described. However there are no templates provided, but the shapes are relatively simple and can be easily duplicated.

The second half of the book is devoted to several different types of cookies and their recipe. A FEW of these are: Meringue Spirals, Chocolate-Butterscotch Crackles, Toffee Triangles, Apricot-Pistachio Biscotti, Graham Cracker Sandwiches,Vanilla Spritz Sandwiches, Orange Truffle Cookies, Chocolate Pretzels, Chocolate Chip Wafers, Dried Cherry Shortbread, Chocolate-Peanut Butter Squares, Maple Pecan Streusel Bars, plus many more delicious recipes. This part of the book also includes recipes for royal icing, several cookie/bar glazes like vanilla, chocolate and caramel glazes. Cookie fillings that include Lemon Curd, Vanilla Cream, and others. As well as recipes for Candied Orange Curls, Marzipan Roses,etc.

All in all, I found this to be a very informative book. I did not find any of the recipes to be particularily difficult, skill wise, but a few were a bit time consumming. These time consumming recipes could easily have steps
omitted and produce the same delicious results(i.e. the Peppermint Stick Cookies mentioned at the beginning of this review)

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK to anyone who enjoys making cookies. Even if you are not into cookie decorating, there is a lot of GREAT recipes in this book that makes it worth purchasing. You will not be disappointed!!!
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on January 29, 2012
Chapters include

Decorated Favorites
Hidden Classics

The beginning of the book includes descriptions of helpful tools and how to use them. Almost every page spread in this book has a beautiful photo, as does almost every recipe. These cookies look so pretty! The recipes are easy to understand and call for ordinary ingredients. The ingredients and tools needed for each recipe are clearly listed. I always find it helpful if prep and cooking time are listed but I don't really think they could be here since a good amount of handiwork is involved with the decorating and that could be different for everyone. Recipes that especially caught my eye were the Jam Swirls, Bird's Nests, Graham Cracker Sandwiches, and Chocolate Chip Wafers. This book was be great for anyone who enjoys baking and for those that would like to take their baking to a new level.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon July 16, 2012
Books like this get my creative juices flowing. Each cookie, even recipes that are somewhat familiar like Almond-Marmalade Spoonprints - reminiscent of thumbprint cookies, look sufficiently different to appear to be a new creation. So, in addition to exploring new recipes, this book made me look at my old standby recipes in search of a way to make them look fresh. The author of this book has the heart of an artist, and while not a necessity in cookie baking, that quality results in not only delicious pastries, but a feast for the eye.

I've picked up cookie books that were all about the decorating - one basic sugar cookie recipe and lots of pretty visuals of cookies coated in fondant or made into three dimensional critters, etc. And although they fill a need, I primarily want to create delicious cookies and secondarily make them beautiful. This book helps me accomplish that goal.

The required baking skill level is basic, but it helps if the user has a desire to spend a little extra time on the appearance of the cookies. I found nothing particularly complicated within the covers of the book and often the difference in appearance is accomplished simply by changing the expected shape of the cookie - something that takes no additional time. I prepared three recipes, Tree Rings, Chocolate-Butterscotch Crackles and Apricot-Pistachio Biscotti. All were excellent and I will make them again,

This is a quality hardback book that thankfully stays open while laying on a countertop and the paper quality permits quick clean-up of any spills without damage. The ink color used throughout the book is black which helps read the small size font (approximately nine point) from a standing position while looking down at the book on the counter. Included are fifty different cookie recipes along with recipes for icings and fillings, a solid index in the back to help in locating any recipe quickly, decorating instructions and basic equipment, etc.

It is obvious that significant care went into the creation of this book. It is a terrific addition to any baker's library and would make a great gift.
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on November 22, 2013
There are some neat ideas here, but it is oddly dedicated mostly to painting standard sugar cookies in cool ways.
We have tried three of the recipes. One is a keeper - the sables, which we have made with molasses, are great, very delicate and delicious. But the chocolate butterscotch crackles did not flatten out and crackle as they were supposed to. And the maple triangles were so-so at best.
Has anyone had good luck with the chocolate butterscotch crackles and offer suggestions about how to make them work?
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on June 22, 2013
Full of solid cookie recipes that work. I especially like the jam-swirls. Most recipes are a riff on the vanilla sugar cookes, decorated in different ways, but there are enough original recipes that I haven't really seen anywhere else to make this one worth buying. One of my favorite cookie cookbooks.
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on January 7, 2012
This cookbook is like none other! Each cookie is shown decorated in a fresh new look. Everyone commented on the gorgeous cookies that I merely copied from this book. My cookie trays for the holidays this year were a work of art thanks to the many new ideas I acquired through "The Art of the Cookie". Get this book, you will not be disappointed!
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on January 16, 2012
On the positive, each cookie recipe is accompanied with a nice, colored illustration. However, I found a number of the recipes (like the candy canes) to be too highly complex for a typical home-baker. The recipes that I tried were a disaster. Most of the cookies use a sugar cookie base. I found the sugar cookies to be too cake-like in texture, without any commentary on how to modify the recipes based on preferences. Mine may very well be an opinion based on personal preference. When I bought the book, based on a skimming of the illustrations, I believed that a shortbread base was used. All in all, this is a recipe book for decorated sugar cookies.
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on September 22, 2012
LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK....I MUST HAVE EVERY COOKIE DECORATING BOOK THAT IS AVAILABLE. GREAT PICTURES AND INSTRUCTIONS AND A GREAT PRICE...I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TO EVERY COOKIE DECORATOR!
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on January 4, 2013
Love this book. Great recipes!!!! This book takes a modern approach to cookie baking. Highly recommend this ooh if you wish to step out of the box.
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on July 10, 2015
Pretty cool little book, but there isn't much variety in the recipes. They are the same ones over and over again. The pictures are great.
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