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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahogany Buttercrunch Fix
I love this book, too, even though mine is in pieces. The problem with the buttercrunch is this: Once it comes to the boil, you must use a clean spoon each time you stir. I don't stir it often at that point, but when I do, I use a new spoon. If there is any sugar on the spoon, the whole thing will crystallize.
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by T. Giuliana

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Follow-Up to Berenbaum's Bibles
As professional reviews of Rose Levy Berenbaum's other books promised, I would not bake cakes or pies without her "Bibles." And so with great anticipation I read Rose's Christmas Cookies. While it is a lovely book, with useful photos and some delicious recipes, it lacks the scope, variety and scientific insight into baking that I expected. The recipes seem to...
Published on Oct. 24 2000 by Christie Hamric


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Follow-Up to Berenbaum's Bibles, Oct. 24 2000
By 
Christie Hamric (Dallas, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
As professional reviews of Rose Levy Berenbaum's other books promised, I would not bake cakes or pies without her "Bibles." And so with great anticipation I read Rose's Christmas Cookies. While it is a lovely book, with useful photos and some delicious recipes, it lacks the scope, variety and scientific insight into baking that I expected. The recipes seem to fall into only a few rather boring categories: several recipes for shortbreads, plain butter-type cookies, and meringues. While each recipe does include "smart cookie" tips, there is really no insight into the technique of baking cookies, no excellent tips that make the recipes fool-proof. Other than the opening section of "mantlepiece cookies," the book lacks innovative ideas for creative cookie interpretations. With Berenbaum's other cookbooks, I could barely wait to get into the kitchen and try her beautiful and delicious creations. I found the Christmas Cookie book a little boring. I am confident that I will use this cookbook, if not to the extent of some others, and am sure that the basic recipes will be excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahogany Buttercrunch Fix, Jan. 29 2004
By 
T. Giuliana "Happy Mom" (Lansdowne, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
I love this book, too, even though mine is in pieces. The problem with the buttercrunch is this: Once it comes to the boil, you must use a clean spoon each time you stir. I don't stir it often at that point, but when I do, I use a new spoon. If there is any sugar on the spoon, the whole thing will crystallize.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can anyone get these recipes to work?!?!, Dec 24 2001
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This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
Well, it's the second Christmas in a row that I have ventured to make cookies from this recipe book. Last year's "Mexican Wedding Cakes" cookies were a total disaster----couldn't even get a dough to form. Today I made the "Mom's Coconut Kisses" with some degree of success, but baking time was too long and I burnt the first batch. What is with these recipes? I am a decent cook, can certainly follow directions, and yet keep getting disappointed. Perhaps you will have better luck than I.
The book has photos of all of the recipes, which is nice, but is very wordy in terms of directions: the author includes every imaginable way of mixing the cookies and lists specific directions for each. While helpful, it makes each recipe look quite daunting.
I'm sure there are many other recipe books that include just as many nice recipes but actually work....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Dec 21 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
I feel compelled to dissent from the glowing comments I've read here. I've tried 5 recipes, only one of which I'd make again (Bernachon's Biarritz); the other four varieties went into the trash. I bake extensively and have many cookie books, and to be fair, find most of them hit or miss, but this book is one of the most mediocre I've encountered both in range of recipes and results. The binding is doing fine, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cookies, Feb. 10 2000
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
I found this book disappointing compared to the Cake Bible. I have worked extensively with both books and the Cake Bible's recipies are far more sound. I am a huge fan of Beranbaum's work but the cookies just don't taste nearly as good as the cakes do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious cookies; frustrating book, March 27 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
I have tried at least 8 of the recipes in this book and they all tasted great. I give them as presents, and people always ask for them again. But I get annoyed each time I pick up the book because of its shoddy construction. I treat all books carefully. However, within less than 1 year of purchase, whole chunks of pages were falling out of this book. The book is in about 10 pieces - delicious cookies, but I wouldn't spend money on the book again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best holiday cookie book, EVER!, Feb. 3 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
This is the most concise, clearly written cookie book that I've ever come across. Rose includes photos of every cookie (so you know what it's supposed to look like) and gives the best directions. And the cookies are all delicious
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5.0 out of 5 stars A necessity for cookie bakers, eaters and lovers, Aug. 18 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
Like many of you out there in review land, I bake a couple thousand or so cookies each Christmas to give as gifts. Usually round about September, friends and relatives start asking me if I'm going to bake the ones that are their particular favorites, whatever those might be. As a veteran cookie baker, I can't say enough good things about this book from Rose Levy Beranbaum. First of all, there is a large, full color glossy of every single cookie in the book. So you know exactly what they should look like. Secondly, she not only gives you very, very explicit measurements in both cups and grams, but her directions are quite thorough and well-explained. Then she tells you exactly how to store each kind of cookie, and how long it keeps. This is really helpful to me, since I bake about a dozen different kinds of cookies for gifts between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This way I can bake the cookies that keep the best first, and work my way toward the more fragile ones toward the end.
It's hard to imagine how anyone might have failed with any of these recipes. They're fabulous, and guaranteed to win you popularity, if not outright love.
Some of my favorite ones from this book have been the Swiss Lebkuchen, the Peanut Butter Jewels, the Lemon Bars, and the Melting Moments. The Lemon Bars are a lot more work than the usual version of this cookie -- you have to pre-bake the shortbread crust, cook the lemon curd, then combine the two and bake, but it's well worth it -- by far the best lemon bar I've ever made or eaten. The Melting Moments cookie, a fragile meltaway covered with high-quality dark chocolate is my personal favorite.
The only thing in this book that didn't work for me was the gingerbread for the gingerbread house. I won't go into the lengthy and hilarious story of how my kitchen-challenged friend and I tried to make a gingerbread house with our friends the 6 musician-brothers (also not cooks) -- but it was an unqualified disaster! The whole thing just fell apart endlessly. However, considering the glory of all the other recipes in the book, I'm quite sure that we did something wrong, and that the fault does not lie in the recipe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cookie Wonderland, March 8 2003
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
Rose did an excellent job choosing the recipes for this book. Some recipes could be difficult to make if you are a beginner, but if you are an adventurous baker, I am sure you will be happy to get this book. The instructions are clear, every recipe has a picture of the final cookie, all in all it is a very beautiful book to have. I have collected all of her cookbooks, and this is one of my favorites.
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4.0 out of 5 stars watch out for the buttercrunch recipe!, Dec 22 2002
By 
Ellen Hoch "hellocutie" (Providence, RI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rose's Christmas Cookies (Hardcover)
This is an excellent cookie book and every cookie I've made from it has been outstanding. Unfortunately, there's one recipe that temps me over and over again -- even though I've failed at it everytime. It's a divine-looking recipe for a chocolate- and almond-topped toffee called Mahogany Buttercrunch. It looks so-o-o tempting. Unfortunately, I am a novice at candymaking and every attempt to prepare this recipe has been an ignominious failure. I even went out and bought a professional candy thermometer -- didn't help.
The instructions are pretty skimpy and don't tell you anything about how (or if) it's possible to rescue the toffee if the sugar crystalizes or the butter separates out (both have happened to me). I've tried to supplement my knowledge by going to candymaking sites on the internet, but they're full of conflicting advice. I should avoid hot days, damp days; I should use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture; I should raise the temperature under the pot and stir continuously; I should lower the temperature and stir as little as possible. If the butter separates, try dumping in a half cup of very hot water; no -- add a little bit of hot water a tablespoon at a time; no -- do nothing but keep cooking and stirring, it might go back in by itself.
My advice is to buy the book and make the cookies. However, unless you have candymaking experience, don't attempt the Buttercrunch!
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Rose's Christmas Cookies
Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose L Beranbaum (Hardcover - July 1 1991)
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