- Series: King Arthur Flour Cookbooks
- Hardcover: 536 pages
- Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (November 9, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0881506591
- ISBN-13: 978-0881506594
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.9 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 128 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook (King Arthur Flour Cookbooks) Hardcover – November 9, 2004
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Americans spend over $550 million annually on Oreos, some indication of our cookie infatuation. Meeting that passion head-on, The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion offers 400-plus recipes for almost every cookie under the sun--from traditional favorites like oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies (13 recipes including the soft and crisp kinds, plus 11 variations, such a Orange-Pistachio Milk Chocolate Chippers); to global treats like shortbread, tuiles, springerle, and biscotti; to all kinds of bars and soft bites such as brownies, Whoopie Pies, and Hot and Sweet Ginger Squares.
The Cookie Companion is in the King Arthur tradition, which means that it's a teaching cookbook--one overflowing with tips, pointers, lore, and other compelling information. Thus, for example, the introduction to Special Roll-Out Sugar Cookies informs readers that thorough dough-rolling creates thin, snapping-crisp cookies, but roll the dough a bit thicker, and "youve got crunchy." Their no-detail-too-small introductory basics are greatly aided by the tour-de-force illustrations of Laura Hartman Maestro. For example, a box on bar-cookie cutting shows readers the five basic size configurations, depending on pan dimensions. Bakers who have routinely paused, knife in hand, before a pan of just-baked brownies, trying to decide how to end up with, say, 24 large squares, won't, following the illustrations, do so again. A section on cookie decoration is equally definitive, as is a final chapter on ingredients, which offers, for example, a full discussion of sugars, plus asides like "Is Splenda the Answer to Low-Calorie Baking" (maybe) and "Can I Substitute a Liquid Sweetener for a Dry One to Make My Cookies Sifter?" (sometimes, but never measurement for measurement).
With "Create-a-Cookie," a section that focuses on manipulating basic dough mixtures to make checkerboard and pinwheel cookies among others; recipes for glazes, icings, dips and finishes; illustrated equipment profiles; plus color photos that depict the cookies in all their edible glory, the book is, simply, a must-have for cookie bakers everywhere. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
The holidays may be the only time of year when store-bought cookies just arent special enough to share with friends and family. Even novice bakers are willing to move beyond their comfort zone and try something festive. Now, they dont have to go it alone. The King Arthur Flour Company, the largest educator of bakers in the world, has provided a thorough how-to on cookies that will appeal to beginners and advanced bakers alike. The companys bakers have already won The James Beard Foundation KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year award for the King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion (2003), and now they set their sights on the cookie. The bakers have singled out eight essential cookieschocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, peanut butter, shortbread, molasses-ginger, brownies and biscottiand offer both traditional and exotic recipes, as well as variations and decorating tips to allow for bursts of inspiration. Of course all baking starts with the basics, so the bakers begin by providing information on measuring, baking pans, cookie cutters, ingredients, tools and flour, and they end with a chapter on The Finishing Touch, where they dissect icing. With mouth-watering photos as motivation and drawings to offer assistance, this cookbook is a must for any serious baker. It leaves no cookie unturned.
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Top customer reviews
Ease of use: Beginner.
My favorite recipes are the lavender cookies, hobnails, soft oatmeal raisin, chewy chocolate chip, and their variation on the Jewish tricorn cookies Hamantash.
If you want to have endless fun with cookies, buy this book and a 25lb. bag of flour and call your friends over--this will never disappoint!
If you live at altitude, page 22 alone is worth the price of the book. Photocopy it and tape it at your baking prep area.
The chapter division in the Companion is very baker friendly. How many times do you say, "I think I want to bake a drop/bar/cutout cookie" and how many times do you just think, "I would like an oatmeal cookie." Go to the chapter for the flavor or main ingredient of what you are in the mood to bake (or have the ingredients for). You will be sure to find a cookie that interests you.
I really liked the wide range of choices offered by the multiple recipes for the old standards. Do you want an oatmeal cookie that is soft, chewey, crisp, etc. You can select a recipe that meets your needs and wants for the moment.
The recipe headers are fun to read. The descriptions are sometimes amusing and it seems that the author is being very friendly and honest...almost like a friend handing you a recipe with his or her opinion of the results to be achieved.
I enjoyed the wonderful illustrations. It is obvious that the artist is quite familiar with baking techniques. The art really enhanced my appreciation of the recipes and the book.
Step by step and easy to follow--trademarks of baking with King Arthur recipes. These could be used by a beginning baker as well as by more experienced cooks. The sidebars contain interesting tips on ingrediets or techniques.
The only negative I have is the touting of some of the more exotic kitchen equipment (which can be purchased from King Arthur's Baker's Catalogue) in the comprehensive equipment listing. But I also read every issue of the catalogue when it arrives, so it is a very minor point.
This is another winner!
Besides all that, though, there are many useful tips throughout. From easier pan greasing to easier icing. The recipe directions are all laid out as simple as possible, too. There are often points in baking something new when the cook might wonder if this is supposed to have a certain consistency or look to it, but these directions even point that out. "The batter will seem very curdled to you. Keep mixing it, though, and it will be smooth." Or, "The batter may feel very dry, but keep pressing it out until it is level." These are little tips that don't sound like a big deal, but can be very helpful and encouraging. This is a good book to buy someone who is new to baking. They will get really good results. The book includes a section on the different pans and tools to bake with that anyone can find useful, as well as a chart for measurements and weight. The recipes and tips are so thorough, though, that it would make a good buy for the seasoned baker as well.