“The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies & Bars” by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen, $35, 438 pages, hardcover
Offer me a yummy, chewy cookie or a slice of cake, and I’ll choose the cookie every time. If you’re a cookie fan like me, the holiday season is especially tempting. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without our favorites, from rolled sugar and chocolate crinkle cookies to biscochitos, the anise-flavored holiday cookies of New Mexico.
For inspiration, take a look at the first all-cookie book from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. Like the company’s other cookbooks, “The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies Brownies & Bars” provides plenty of tips and baking techniques for wowing family and friends with perfect cookies. It opens with information on measuring, mixing, forming, baking, cooling, storing and shipping cookies; equipment and tools; and cookie ingredients, from the basics of flour, butter, sugar and eggs to mix-ins, flavorings and chocolate.
There are 250 recipes for drop cookies; slice-and-bakes; rolled, shaped and pressed cookies; sandwich cookies; fancy cookies like ladyfingers, Florentine lace cookies, and Old World Butter Horns; brownies and blondies; bar cookies; no-bake cookies and candies, like Buckeyes and bourbon balls; Christmas cookies; and gluten-free cookies. I’ve earmarked the recipes for Stained Glass Cookies, perfect chocolate chip cookies and cornmeal-orange cookies to try sometime soon.
The book features full-color photographs of completed cookies, plus many illustrating step-by-step instructions for assembling or decorating. I wish they also included basic nutrition information. We’ll just have to assume none are low in fats or carbohydrates.
I found the recipe for Spumoni Bars in the chapter on slice-and-bake cookies and thought they had a festive holiday look.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.