Cookie Swap! Paperback – Oct 13 2010
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About the Author
Lauren Chattman is a cookbook author and former professional pastry chef. Her most recent book is The Baking Answer Book; others include the IACP-winning Local Breads, which she cowrote with Daniel Leader, and Dessert University, written with White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier. She lives with her family in Sag Harbor, New York.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was pleasantly surprised when this book showed up in my mailbox, as I had forgotten I'd left my card with the publisher at BEA. I had left my card with several publishers, but Workman Publishing is the only one to have kept their promise of sending me a review copy. Yea Workman!
This title arrived at a perfect time, as I was able to try some of the recipes in time for Thanksgiving. Received nothing but rave reviews, and the recipes I tried were all easy to make! I'm a big fan of drop cookies, but this book also offers recipes for sandwich cookies, bar cookies, pastry cookies, biscotti, and shaped cookies. There's even a section on cookies for special diets (nut-free, wheat-free, sugar-free), which is a great addition.
Each recipe has a picture of the finished product, a list of ingredients, simple to follow directions, and some even offer variations. For instance, I've been making chocolate chip cookies for years, but never thought to add cinnamon and cayenne pepper to spice things up! Can't wait to see the reactions to that cookie!
All in all I think this is a great book for the cookie-lover! Loads of great recipes as well as helpful advice for hosting a cookie swap of your very own. There's even a countdown checklist to help you prepare for the cookie swap. Very helpful! So if you love to bake cookies, I think you'll love this book! Think I'll try the molasses raisin recipe next....
Each of the 71 cookie recipes includes a color photograph of the cookie. The instructions are clear and the cookies I prepared - Incredibly Fudgy Brownies, Gingery Chocolate-Orange Slice-and-Bakes and Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies -- were all delicious and ones I will make again. I look forward to systematically working my way through the rest of the book.
Beginning with a chapter on the specifics for organizing cookie swaps the remaining chapters are Swapper's Delight (The Cookie Baker's Bag of Tricks,) Drop Everything (drop cookie recipes,) Raise the Bar (bar cookie recipes,) Best of Both Worlds (flaky pastry cookies,) Refrigerator Madness (insanely good ice box cookies,) Play Dough (shaped and cut cookies,) Slam Dunk (biscotti and Mandelbrot,) Something for Everyone (special diet cookies,) Snack Attack (savory cookies,) Easy Peasy (shortcut cookies) and Beyond Milk (drinks to serve at the swap.)
The back of the book contains a liquid conversion table for Metric and Imperial, a weight conversion table, an oven temperature table for Celsius and gas mark along with approximate equivalents. There is a list of resources for materials and ingredients along with a solid index so recipes can be located by primary ingredient or proper name, etc. This is a paperback book so it won't lay open on its own, so a cookbook holder will be useful. Black ink is used for the actual recipes in a readable font size, making it easy to see from a distance -- like laying flat on a kitchen countertop.
Hints and tips are noted in the recipes indicating what can be frozen and how to pack the dough for the deep freeze. The author crammed just about everything a cookie baker might need to know within the covers of this book making it useful for all skill levels from novice to advanced cook. I appreciate the obvious care taken by everyone involved in the production of this book. I whole heartedly recommend this terrfic cookie cookbook.
Every cookie that made the cut here has an accompanying photo. I don't know why that's so important to me, because you would think by now that I could visualize a cookie based on the title. However, there's just something about casually flipping through the pages and using the photos to make initial decisions about which seem most appealing. Honestly, I probably would have passed right by Flaky Pastry Pinwheels, but the photo nabbed my interest.
The recipes are organized by type: drop cookies, brownies & bars, icebox cookies, etc. I like when cookie books are organized like this, because chances are, I already have know they type of cookie I would like to make. When I'm ready to bake, I can gauge if I'm in the mood to roll out dough and bust out the cookie cutters or feel the need for the ease of a bar cookie. In addition to the traditional categories, Chattman also offers a few more unique chapters. The Savory Cookies seem so interesting to me; I can definitely get behind rich buttery cookies studded with nuts, cheese, olives and sea salt!
We tried holding a cookie swap one year at my office, with less than desirable results. After reading Lauren's tips and hints, I am inspired to take another crack at it. I think she provides exactly the information I need to put together a super fun and successful swap.
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The idea of baking up a batch of cookies, and then sharing them with friends is more fun than rolling downhill in a rusty wagon. Each recipe pictures the real cookie in finished form- I love that. There are invitation and decoration suggestions and even a section on how to carry your goodies to and from.
The recipe cards for each participant are a vital tip.
The drink recipes in back are a fabulous addition.
Ever heard of cookie swap math? Buy this cookbook and you will. I can't wait to plan my own cookie swap.
Review by: Pamela Robinson of Night Owl Reviews
Disclosure: Most books that Night Owl reviews are received courtesy of the publisher, author or publicist. In most cases - reviewers get to keep the books they review and choose the books they will review themselves from an available to review database and based on their favorite authors and genres. Publishers, authors and publicists are not guaranteed a glowing review just because they have provided a copy of their book for review. Reviews are based on each individual reviewers opinion and not based on receiving a free copy of the work.