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Julia M. Usher's Ultimate Cookies Paperback – November 1, 2011
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This time the clever cookie comes in the guise of Julia Usher. [I] love the fact that she has created an instructional book with clear intent, [and] thoughtful and excellent recipes topped with quality decorations. I see a lot of adequate decorating out there, but this work is inspirational. Cupcakes had better not rest on their laurels: I can easily be persuaded to put them aside when enticed by the decorative crumbs of Julia's cookies. Beautiful book, beautiful work . . . [I] recommend to all edible artists.(Kerry Vincent, Food Network Challenge Judge )
This really is the ULTIMATE cookie book. Whimsical, elegant, colorful and creative!! What more could you ask for? You will not be disappointed.(Colette Peters Colette's Cakes )
Julia Usher has integrated insane creativity with a passion for cookie decorating to produce one of the most inspirational sugar art books ever printed. Ultimate Cookies delivers a lip-smacking guide to creating gorgeous cookies for any season.(Nancy Quist, President Fancy Flours, Inc )
Julia Usher is the most talented and creative cookie decorator I know. Her techniques are flawless, as are her beautiful cookies, and this book is the ultimate reference for beginners as well as seasoned cookie decorators. Flip through these pages and you'll soon find yourself in the kitchen, creating awe-inspiring edible works of art and decorating like a pro.(Tish Boyle, Editor Dessert Professional )
Astonishingly beautiful cookie creations with effective, user-friendly explanations make Ultimate Cookies an absolute must-have resource for experienced and new decorators alike. Every page is an absolute delight!(Marian Poirier Sweetopia.net )
Julia Usher has integrated insane creativity with a passion for cookie decorating to produce one of the most inspirational sugar art books ever printed. Ultimate Cookies delivers a lip-smacking guide to creating gorgeous cookies for any season.
(Nancy Quist, President Fancy Flours, Inc )
From the Author
Move over, cupcake! The decorated cookie has arrived! Don't get me wrong. I love cute cupcakes as much as the next baker, but can we be frank? They've hogged the spotlight for far too long, don't you think?!
The present of a lovely decorated cookie is truly transcendent. We all know this instinctively. We bask in its fragrance as it takes shape in the oven. We ooh and ahh over the icing artfully laid on its top. We smile as its buttery crumbs caress our tongues. It's a rare gift that not only tickles the fancy and teases the palate, but satisfies all the way to the heart.
What?! You say I've got a soft spot for cookies? I won't deny it. It comes from years of cookie-decorating fun with my sibs under the supportive tutelage of my mom. Each Christmas we donned her frilly June Cleaver-esque aprons and tried our darnedest to outdo one another with the cleverest cookie design. Even when disfigured cutouts or errant icing blobs foiled our plans, we earned Mom's unswerving praise -- and, better yet, the excuse to eat our mistakes.
Warm and fuzzy memories aside, cookies are practical and infinitely adaptable, too. Dough can be made ahead, frozen, and then cut and baked when you've got the spare time. Cookies can be top-coated, flocked, stenciled, marbled, rubber-stamped, stacked, and arranged into countless 3-D designs. And once baked and decorated, cookies have the advantage of a relatively long shelf life. If you've poured your heart and soul into a fabulously decorated treat, it only makes sense that you should be able to admire it for a few days without it going stale or bad, right?
Okay, yes, a part of me hopes that Ultimate Cookies will spur the next crazy baking trend. But my bigger aim is to share my joy of cookie decorating and all the tools needed to bring this joy more completely into your life. If you smile while turning the pages, then I'll smile, too, knowing that Ultimate Cookies struck a chord with you.
Live sweetly, Julia M. Usher
Top Customer Reviews
The numerous photos of the decorated cookies are literally breathtaking!!! The 3D Peacocks are amazing and templates are provided for making these, as well as other 3D cookies. There are a handful of cookie recipes, including Sugar Cookie, Shortbread, Tuiles, "GoofProof" Macarons, Meringues,Gingerbread, etc. There also is a recipe for Royal Icing with detailed instructions on how to achieve the "right" piping consistency. Several other useful recipes are included(chocolate clay, chocolate ganache,Italian Buttercream,etc). The extensive Resource List is helpful for locating decorating necessities.
This is a BEAUTIFUL, informative book. The author REALLY takes Cookie Decorating to the next level!!! She is extremely creative in her decorating. It's worth purchasing this book just for the photos of her beautiful cookies!!! I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys decorating cookies. Her cleaver decorating ideas are very impressive!!!!
Ultimate Cookies goes over, not only the basics of decorating cookies, but all the extra fancy techniques, too. Each recipe has complete instructions and pictures to help you to produce extra special delights. The Party Girl section seemed more like the "royalty" section to me with its ornate cookie jewelry boxes and jewel toned rings, pendants and crowns. Incredible Edibles has show-stopping treats for parties like meringue ice cream cones and cupcakes and adorable tiny tiered cakes. Where the Wild Things Are has ideas like stunning butterflies, cute cookie caterpillars, ladybugs, and more. There's even a gorgeous peacock cookie that can be transformed into a turkey for Thanksgiving!
Of course, there are seasonal favorites for the whole year. I just loved the darling little topiary cookies, perfect for any Spring holidays or get-togethers. And the author uses the classic stained glass cookie effect, popular for Christmas cookies, to make spooky fun spider webs and Jack O'Lanterns for Halloween. I can't wait to make the cookie snow globes, with their beautiful 3D Winter scene! I just loved Ultimate Cookies, its like a complete cookie course in a book!
I love the variety of using royal icing, fondant, wafer paper, stencils templates and the list of ideas goes on and on. This book is for everyone who wants to decorate beautiful cookies. The recipes are perfect, too. I highly recommend Ultimate Cookies. I would give it 10 stars if I could.