I should start off by staying that I had this one on my wishlist for ages before it was published, I buy a good number of books but my wishlist is always full to bursting! Anyhow, when I was offered the chance to review it - I grabbed it! J
It’s a clean and fresh book, lots of white and many tempting pictures to help you on your way to the kitchen and get baking. Chapters are *Brownies, Bars and Cakey Cookies *Nuts, Chips and Oatmeal Cookies *Pastry, Petit Fours and Chocolate Cookies * Meringues, Macarons and Macaroons * Biscotti, Spice Cookies and Seed Cookies * Sugar Cookies, Shortbread and Doughnuts. There is also a couple of pages at the back called ‘Tracey’s Bookshelf’ which I found interesting to read through.
The chefs who have given their favourite recipes are many and varied, for example: Florian Bellanger and Ludovic Augendre give a recipe for Raspberry French Macarons, Eli Zabar of E.A.T. gives Eli’s Mother’s Best Cookies, Lidia Bastianich of Lidia’s Italy gives Orange Cookies, Maida Heatter gives Palm Beach Brownies with Chocolate Covered Mints, plus a Bali Hai variation which I have made before and loved . These are just a handful of the many contributing chef’s and their recipes, Tracey herself also gives some recipes including Wicked Chocolate Biscotti and Sugar Valentines.
I have really enjoyed reading through this book and compiling my own list of to-make recipes. I find it fascinating to see the differences in what one person and another thinks of as their favourite cookie. Like a lot of Mums I had a number of school things to bake for in December, and I did something that I’ve not done before, I made three recipes from this book to go to events without testing them for just us first. It’s a perilous strategy, but for one reason and another December was a difficult month. Still I am really pleased to report that all three worked out perfectly first time! The three I made are below, and I have kindly been given permission to share one of the recipes with you, it was a hard choice I tell you!
The Baker Man’s Classic Thumbprint Cookies from Seth Greenberg of Seth Greenberg’s Just Desserts
These are delicious little mouthfuls, rich shortbread-y cookies filled with jam. I used the end of a spurtle to make my thumbprint holes. This is the first thumbprint cookie I’ve made but it won’t be the last, that is for sure.
Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars from Karen DeMasco of Locanda Verde
A really easy bar that is full of oats, pecans and raspberry jam. These were very good and have the bonus of being filling too.
Todd’s Favourite Triple Chocolate and Walnut Cookies from Todd English of Olives
Chef English devised this recipe to incorporate what his children like and also himself by adding the walnuts. These were outstanding chocolate cookies, and they had the bonus of still tasting good when cold the next day. Note: I have given you Todd’s recipe here, the only change I made was to substitute the peanut butter chips for more chocolate chips, as I didn’t have any, I also used less salt. I baked mine in a fan oven @ 170oC for 14 to 16 mins. I have also found the recipe halves perfectly.
Todd’s Favourite Triple Chocolate and Walnut Cookies
From Todd English of Olives, with many thanks to Rizzoli for permission to post the recipe here from One Sweet Cookie by Tracey Zabar 2011.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup milk chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup peanut butter chips (optional)
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Set out three ungreased half sheet pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until incorporated. With a silicone spatula, fold in the semisweet, milk, white, peanut butter chips (if using) and walnuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto the pans. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned. Cool completely on wire racks. Makes about 36 cookies.
Next up: Home Cooking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale