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Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York's Milk & Cookies Bakery Hardcover – April 20, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tina Casaceli is the chef/owner of Milk & Cookies and a pastry instructor at the French Culinary Institute. She lives in New York City.

Antonis Achilleos is an award-winning food photographer.

Jacques Torres is an acclaimed pastry chef, author, television personality, and chocolatier. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811872548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811872546
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Edit: Changed to 5 stars, read bottom.

I bought this book in Tina's store in NY within an hour of trying one of her cookies. A food tour took us by Milk & Cookies where we sampled Tina's amazing chocolate chip cookies (which I'd still recommend to anyone!). The book is incredibly disappointing.

I bake a lot, and while I've made mistakes before, I've tried several times to use this book and am sure I didn't make any mistakes in following directions EVERY time. I also used a scale to measure ingredients, and keep premium ingredients in my house.

Like others here, I agree the measurements are off. The first recipe I tried was the one that made me buy the book in the first place: the chocolate chip cookie. And like others, mine went wide and flat, delicious, but with a poor texture. There's no shortage of tasty cookie recipes. Funny thing about mixing fat, flour, and sugar in large quantities, it generally tastes good. I bought the book to hit that texture and balance I'd never seen in a cookie before.

And like others, I'm left to experiment. I increased the flour, and they're still unsatisfactory. I increased it even further, and they're STARTING to get closer to where I want them to be. I could also try processing the oats less, decreasing the butter, adding additional oats at the end to help with structure and chewiness, or kneading the dough longer (something borderline unheard of with quick breads). I could try all these things and more. I didn't buy the book to waste ingredients and guess at the missing parts to a recipe. I bought the book to replicate the cookies that sold me on the book in the first place. I had no shortage of "fun ideas" for baking. This book provides little more than a finger pointing in the general direction for success.
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This book is a bit like two cookbooks in one. The first half of the book consists of the recipes for the basic doughs and their variations. There are five basic doughs: vanilla, double chocolate, oatmeal, peanut butter, and sugar. Some of the recipes that accompany the doughs call for simple additions (salted peanuts + peanut butter dough), but others take the dough and make it into a different type of cookie (sugar cookie dough to lemon drop cookies). I love making up a batch of dough and then baking fresh cookies from it over the next few days. These recipes are a great way to take it one step farther and make up one dough but get several different kinds of cookies from that dough. The book says that the doughs can be stored in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month, so they definately lend themselves to being made ahead of time.

I tend to judge a cookie book by it's chocolate chip cookie recipe. The vanilla dough has ground oatmeal in it, and the chocolate chip cookies that come from it remind me of the ones from the $250 department store cookie recipe legend (which I mean as a compliment since I like to make those when I can't decide between chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies). I did find that even though the recipe doesn't call for refridgerating the dough before baking, that my cookies held their shape better after the dough was chilled. There is also a more traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe (with an untraditional ingredient), and a recipe for chocolate chip bars.

The second half of the book has individual cookie recipes and is divided into special cookies, family favorites, and brownies and bars. Some of the recipes are pretty standard (snickerdoodles, gingersnaps, etc.), but there are also some recipes that are more unusual (ciambelli, sfingi, etc.)

All of the recipes have measurements listed by weight and by volume.
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Flavorful cookies. Enticing pictures. But the recipes take some figuring out- note in the margins, trial and error, which is not what I paid for.

At the beginning of the book, we are advised to use weight measurements instead of "cups" or "tsp" etc. The thing is, when something called for "1 1/2 cups", she would list it as "7 oz." Well, a cup is supposed to be "5 oz". I went ahead and followed her measurement instructions since they were just a bit off; and I have no idea if my base dough turned out correctly. I do know that while she says the dough should make 2 dozen cookies, mine made over three, and although I could have possibly made smaller cookies (though I was shooting for 1 1/2 inch balls, just as advised) the interesting thing is that they were still incredibly under done at 8 minutes. In fact, they weren't really ready for 15 minutes. Is my oven going out? I don't think so; I just baked a cake for my daughter's birthday last weekend, without much deviation from the recipe. I suspect the cookies would turn out differently if I used measuring cups.

It would, as some other reviewer suggested, be helpful if Tina would have described how the dough is supposed to feel. The peanut butter dough turned out the lightest peanut butter cookie dough ever (which is a good thing!) but was it right? Was it too light, and therefore took longer to bake? Maybe I'll have to go down to the bakery and taste one to find out.

June 1 update: My daughter was attracted the picture of the creme-filled chocolate cookies (like Oreos) and we made them- again, I decided to go with the weight measurements. Is anyone else using those? Or are you just using cup measures? Anyway, they turned out beautifully- but almost inedibly sweet.
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