In WITF's Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Review - Dorie's Cookies

Written by Chef Donna Desfor | Apr 3, 2017 9:00 AM
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Dorie's Cookies, by Dorie Greenspan, copyright © 2016 by Dorie Greenspan.  Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a Rux Martin Book.  Photographs © 2016 Davide Luciano

Our Summary:

A 500 + page cookbook may not be at the top of every home-cooks wish list.  But, when it's a collection of recipes by Dorie Greenspan, it should be.  Dorie's Cookies may quite possibly be the most exciting thing to happen to cookies (and your kitchen), in a long while.  The recipes, though long, are thorough and thoughtful; the flavor combinations and varieties she offers are exciting and tasty.  Whether this is your first attempt at baking cookies or you're a seasoned veteran, you'll find plenty of options with virtually flawless results waiting for you each and every time you open this new - perhaps even iconic - classic. 

What you need to know:

Get ItDorie's Cookies, by Dorie Greenspan.  Photographs by Davide Luciano. Published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 25, 2016, Hardcover $35.00 (Amazon $20.83; Kindle $19.99)  

See It: 528 pages with color close-ups of each finished cookie photographed against often shockingly-bright colored backdrops.  Thoughtful but brief introductory chapters on Techniques, Ingredients, and Gear are included.  Chapters are broken down by type of cookie, ranging from Brownies, Bars, Break-ups, and Biscotti, to Cookies for Every Day, Any Day, to holiday cookies and Greenspan's bakery cookies, to Cocktail Cookies.  The thorough index is useful:  search by both cookie name and key ingredient.

Make It:  170 Cookies Recipes plus flavor options, variations, and fillings and flourishes, in her Playing Around side bars.

Our Review:

Iconic is not a word used often - or lightly - in the culinary world.  So when you hear that Dorie's Cookies is supposed to be just that, you sort of have to pay attention.  When you start from the place that this is Dorie's Cookies, as in Dorie Greenspan - the three-time James Beard award winner, you know it could be something special.  Having spent her entire career writing about food (and teaching us in the process how to flawlessly make it) is a pretty good indication that, indeed, a collection of 170 cookie recipes by New York Times dubbed "culinary guru" is, in fact, iconic.  And then you open the book.

Pages and pages of cookies recipes are sandwiched between the close-up photos of cookies (set against shockingly bright colored backgrounds) that look like real cookies, and probably just came out of the oven!  Read that sentence again.  Pages and pages of cookies recipes.  This is Dorie Greenspan.  If you've cooked from any of her previous cookbooks (Around My French Table is a go-to favorite) or collaborations you understand that thorough and thoughtful recipes are her benchmark.  When it comes to baking, that is never a bad thing.

Variety is another benchmark.  There is something in Dorie's Cookies for everyone over and over again.  Hosting a cocktail party?  Try baking up a batch of Triscuity Bites or Fried Potato Crackers to serve.  Looking for a new-fangled cookie to surprise everyone after dinner?  Try her Caramel-Sugar Pufflets or the Pain De Gênes Buttons.  Need a quick cookie for the office or school?  There's My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coffee Malteds.  Whoopie Pies?  Check.  Crazy combinations like Popcorn Streusel Tops? Got that too.  And we haven't even mentioned the coveted recipes from Greenspan's NYC bakery Beurre & Sel or covered the culturally diverse selection of recipes that take you around the world one cookie at a time.

With the endless options and variations in Dorie's Cookies, curiosity will rule the day in your kitchen. Even if you're not a great baker, Greenspan's tone and encouragement help you bake your way to exceptional results.  If you love to bake and were blessed with that baker's instinct, you'll still walk away from each recipe with a fresh perspective on what a cookie can be.  And no matter what your situation, at the end of the day, World Peace Cookies may be the answer to your kitchen prayers. 

Published in In witfs Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

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