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Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich Paperback – November 12, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Medrich presents a compendium of exciting and enticing cookie recipes that reflects every aspect of our widening culinary landscape. Whole-grain flours as well as wheat-free alternatives are becoming more and more prevalent, and people are more often exposed and open to exotic spices and unique flavor combinations. Nibby buckwheat butter cookies, golden kamut shortbread, honey hemp bars, and whole wheat biscotti showcase whole-grain flours, while wheat-free versions of rugelach, toffee bars, butter cookies, and caramel cheesecake bars (just to scratch the surface) aim to please an increasing number of gluten-intolerant dessert lovers. There's a good chunk of dairy-free cookies as well as lower-fat versions (two Weight Watchers points, to be exact). Comfortingly, there are also homey recipes for classic peanut butter cookies, cakey brownies, and rocky road bars. Flavor combos are intriguing, as in the wheat-free grapefruit and basil butter cookies, aniseed and almond shortbread, and nutty cocoa cookie bark with Parmesan and sea salt. The recipes are organized by texture, hence the title, but there's also a section grouping cookies into categories like those containing whole grains, those that keep at least two weeks, ridiculously quick and easy cookies, and cookies to make with kids. This book has redesigned and reframed the often-overlooked cookie and is a boon to the modern, conscious baker. (Dec.)
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Textures, as her title shouts out, drive Medrich’s latest, more-than-130-recipe-filled cookie collection. Crispy? Try ginger Florentines and lavender tuiles. Crunchy means biscotti and nut slices. Oatmeal and honey hemp stands for chewy. As for gooey, flaky, and melt-in-your-mouth? Check out brownies in many flavors, rugelach, and the resurrected French macarons. Medrich sets the table by insisting (insofar as the written word can) that readers first review the user’s guide, a handy compendium of critical FAQs (e.g., how soft is softened butter?), an index of categories (e.g., whole grain, quick and easy, etc.), and troubleshooting details (e.g., the biggest issue with not-great cookies: too much flour). She carefully prepares bakers for success, including upgrades for most recipes (read variations) and notes about specific types, such as biscotti, tuiles, phyllo dough, and macarons. Last is her tech-support chapter, which wraps up her teachings on ingredients, equipment, and resources. It’s time to turn on the oven. --Barbara Jacobs
Top customer reviews
The sections in the book are divided by the topics in the title (crispy, crunchy, chunky, chewy, gooey, flaky, and melt-in-your-mouth). At the end, there are a couple of other informative sections. There is a component section with various things like fillings, frostings, cookie icings, and crusts. There are also ingredient and equipment explanatory sections.
Some of the dry ingredients in the recipes, such as flour, sugar, and nuts, are given in both volume and weight measurements. Many of the recipes have an "upgrade" (variation) section following the recipe. There are also mini tutorials throughout the book. For example, there are a couple pages devoted to tuiles. The mini tutorial talks about tuile basics, how to make and use a stencil for tuiles, more efficient tuile baking, and how to make ice cream cones from tuile batter.
There are a variety of recipes in this book. There are a few traditional stand-bys like chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles. There are also more unusual recipes, such as honey hemp bars, pebbly-beach fruit squares, breakfast biscotti, spicy carrot masala macaroons, and alfajores. Also, macarons are becoming popular, and there is a recipe, with variations, for French macarons.
One note for people looking for recipes for individuals with food sensitivities or special diets - there is a guide at the back of the book the lists recipes for wheat-free cookies, dairy-free cookies, cookies made with whole grains, and less fat and 2 (Weight Watchers) point treats. Each of the cookies in the point section lists how many cookies you can have for the points. For example, melting chocolate meringues - 2 cookies for 2 points. Other listings include doughs that freeze well, cookies that will keep for at least two weeks, and quick and easy recipes. For some reason, the listings don't have page numbers with the names of the cookies, but the index immediately follows the listings.
There aren't very many pictures in the book - only about 2 to 4 recipes in a chapter are pictured. I find that a little disappointing because I love to see what I'm about to make.