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A Disappointing Follow-Up to Berenbaum's Bibles
on October 24, 2000
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.