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Cookie Craft Christmas: Dozens of Decorating Ideas for a Sweet Holiday Hardcover – October 7, 2009
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About the Author
Valerie Peterson is the co-author of Cookie Craft and Cookie Craft Christmas, and the author of Peterson’s Happy Hour and Peterson’s Holiday Helper. Prior to her full-time writing career, she worked for various publishers including Random House and John Wiley. She lives in Manhattan, New York.
Janice Fryer is co-author of Cookie Craft and Cookie Craft Christmas. She is a Pastry Arts graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, and lives in New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, I'm a fan of these ladies' Cookie Craft book and I pre-ordered this one and eagerly awaited it's arrival, so after I read through the whole thing I came away feeling disappointed. That's it? I felt there were too many "easy" cookies that weren't that impressive. Their best work is all represented on the cover so I was hoping for much more of that, but didn't find it. Oh well, it's still a cute book that might give you some ideas to work with.
Back to the size - you should take it into consideration because if you want it for a coffee table book, it's a bit too small for that. Also, if you want to prop it up on your counter to look at while you're working (like I do), good luck. You'll need something to keep the book open, but still not block what you're trying to see.
It's a good book for straight-forward Christmas cookie icing with lots of style. It's worth buying!
As far as the content, it's ok. There are a lot of really basic designs. Being a cookie decorator who has self taught for the past year, it was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for new ideas and really cute cookies I never would have thought of. Instead it was a lot of basic Christmas cookies. I know there's people who don't have a cookie background that this book would benefit, but I feel like cookiers are more likely to purchase (and be disappointed) by Cookie Craft Christmas. I also don't care for the amount of fondant decorated cookies in the book. I don't tend to specifically make the cookies I see in the books, more use them as inspiration and to pick up tips on different techniques. That being said, there are many books that are far better.
It's a Christmas AND Cookie book, so if you MUST have anything in those categories, it's great. I do love that it's a subject I love. But I wish it were better executed. When I look at this book (and its' predecessor), I tend to think it's just outdated. The photography isn't as vibrant as 'newer' ones, the cookie techniques seem to be a step behind, etc. Seeing that the book was published in 2009 wasn't a shock to me at all. There's plenty of newer, more cutting edge books. There's a lot more to be found on blogs, websites, social media, and pinterest. So if you're looking for really up to date ideas, look somewhere else. If you're looking for a good book for cookie bakers that pretty much only use their (limited) skills every christmas, you might be in luck!
Authors Janice Fryer and Valerie Petersen provide three basic recipes for cut-out cookies - Plain, Chocolate and Gingerbread - each of which will make
● about 30 2.5 inch cookies
● about 16 3.5 inch cookies
● about 12 4.5 inch cookies
You'll also find detailed instructions for cutting & baking the dough, freezing the cookies and numerous techniques for decorating your masterpieces, both before and after baking.
Royal Icing, which dries quite hard, is the icing of choice for complicated cookie decorations. Fryer & Petersen give recipes for a number of variations - large and small batches, icing suitable for piping or suitable for flooding (a runnier icing used for filling in the outline, icing made with powdered egg whites, liquid pasteurized egg whites or meringue powder - as well as a number of decorating techniques that use the icing. (If you're a decorator, the handy charts alone are worth acquiring the book!)
▶︎ NOTE - One reviewer mentions an error in her copy of the book in one of the Royal Icing recipes. I've double checked all of the Royal Icing recipes in the Kindle version of the manuscript and all of them are correct.
Part Two contains full color photos for more than 60 different cookies (I counted variation as just one), all gorgeous, each accompanied by a complete list of equipment & embellishments needed and and detailed instructions for reproducing the cookie. Sadly, there is no master list of the included designs and page numbers referred to are neither actively linked or useful in Kindle. You'll have to page. (I subtracted a star.)
Part Three contains detailed directions for packing your cookies for shipping, planning a cookie swap party and a lengthy list of resources for cookie cutters and decorating supplies.
Grandma's $0.02 - These gorgeously decorated cut out cookies really let a decorator show off her creativity and make wonderful Christmas ornaments. Great activity for a snowy afternoon.