One should never consider offering a store-bought treat when serving on the refreshment committee for a Baton Rouge Art League meeting, I’ve decided. That’s because most members are creative cooks and always seem to provide great dishes for the meetings.

That’s why I carefully considered what sweet I would take to the February morning meeting. I turned to “Better Homes and Gardens The Ultimate Cookie Book Second Edition” for inspiration. The cookbook has recipes for more than 500 treats from classic drop cookies, cutouts and slice-and-bake to no-bake and bar cookies. There’s also a section on express cookies, those that start with a mix.

Among the recipes are Chocolate Macadamia Dreams, Mocha and Apricot Jam Bites, Cherry Crumb Bars, Greek Honey-Nut Wedges and Fig Cookies. I decided to try the easy-to-make Cinnamon-Coffee Cookies, reasoning they would be a good accompaniment to coffee and not overly sweet for a midmorning snack.

The book also includes plenty of information on making pretty and tasty cookies, from proper measuring, freezing and decorating. It is illustrated with lots of full-color photographs.

IACP award finalist

A cookbook co-authored by New Orleans chef Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe, “Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything,” is one of four finalists in the American category of the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ prestigious Cookbook Awards.

Link, of Herbsaint, Cochon, Pêche Seafood Grill and others, will learn if he is the winner during IACP’s 37th annual conference in Washington, D.C., on March 29.

IACP’s Cookbook Awards have been presented for more than 25 years “to promote quality and creativity in writing and publishing and to expand the public’s awareness of culinary literature,” the IACP said in announcing the finalists.

Cookbook signing

Author Jyl Benson and photographer Sam Hanna will be signing copies of their new cookbook, “Fun, Funky & Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes,” at Juan’s Flying Burrito, 515 Baronne St., New Orleans, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

The restaurant’s chefs will prepare samples from the book and happy hour cocktails will be available.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is