From Library Journal
Klivans (Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts, LJ 8/97) is back with more delectable, indulgent recipes, from Super S'Mores to Grasmere Ginger Shortbread to Caramel Crunch Butter Cookies. A good introduction covers techniques, equipment, and ingredients as well as freezing and shipping cookies. There are "Kid Easy" cookies and more sophisticated ones, too, holiday favorites, bars and brownies of all types, even a whole chapter on shortbread, and more. Recommended for all baking collections. Benedict, who has worked as a bartender, cocktail waitress, and caterer, offers cookies flavored with liqueurs and other alcohol, grouped into chapters such as "America's Favorite Cocktail in a Hurry" and "Trendy Mixology." While a "spirited" glaze, for example, may add to a simple butter cookie, and bourbon balls are perennially popular, this seems like overkill: Strawberry Vodka Linzer Cookies, Raspberry Schnapps Thumbprints, Irish Whiskey Shortbread. Not a necessary purchase.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
What makes a cookie sophisticated? In Benedict's kitchen, it is the addition of liquor to an everyday recipe. Liquors and liqueurs are, in fact, close cousins to commonly used extracts such as almond and vanilla, where flavors and aromas that do not dissolve readily in water find themselves suspended in alcohol. Whether in extract or in liquor, once heated, the alcohol evaporates, and the flavor stays behind. Benedict takes advantage of this property of liquors to perform such culinary feats as adding the brilliant flavors of scotch whisky to shortbread. She also strengthens other cookies' nut flavors by incorporating nut-based liqueurs, such as Frangelico and Amaretto, to a basic dough. This use of liquors gives adults a rationale for enjoying the childhood comfort foods they crave. Benedict's book makes a good addition to any baking collection. Mark Knoblauch