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Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book
By Judy Rosenberg
Reviewed by B. Keith Ryder
From the first sentence, Judy Rosenbergís effervescence and love for her work shines through. By the time I had finished reading her introduction, I couldnít wait to get into the kitchen and start baking. Iím glad I waited, though, because after the introduction, there were two chapters chock full of advice and information on ingredients, equipment, methods, types of cookies, and how to be as successful as possible with the recipes to follow. Before I measured my first ingredient, I found myself well prepared for the adventure to come.
The chapters of recipes are organized by craving. The logic is that when you set out to bake cookies, youíve probably already decided that you want something "crunchy" or "soft" or "chewy," rather than a "rolled cookie" or a "drop cookie." Of course, these distinctions break down by the time you get to the chapters on bar cookies and holiday cookies, but by then I was into her groove and didnít much care.
At first glance, some of the recipes can seem a little off-putting. Occasionally one calls for 1-1/2 eggs, or 2-1/2 egg yolks, or 1 cup minus two tablespoons flour. Ms. Rosenberg explains up front about her measurements. Sheís obviously done a tremendous amount of testing, and has come up with the exact amounts of each ingredient to combine for the perfect example of each type of cookie. I admire her effort. I also made sure when following her recipes not to be as precise as she was (whatís a couple teaspoons of flour among friends?). I imagine most home cooks wonít be quite as exacting as the author, and Iím pleased to report that the cookies came out wonderfully, despite my casual approach.
To test the recipes, I made seven batches of cookies from different sections of the book to take to a potluck dinner of food-savvy folks. I had also made yet another of the recipes for a similar gathering of foodies. The results? I heard comments akin to "outstanding," "excellent," "better than Iíve had from any bakery," "the best cookies ever." Words I certainly enjoyed hearing.
Personally, I agree that most of the cookies were terrific.
There was one recipe I wasnít crazy about (Banana Nut Chocolate Chunks),
one I thought was tasty, but more trouble than it was worth (Caramel Pecan
Bars), and one whose measurements must be off (Linzer Cookies). I
messed up the first batch of Linzer Cookies by
All in all, I was very happy with the results. Ms Rosenberg has poured a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm into this book, and has come up with something wonderful. If you love cookies, are serious about baking, or just want to dazzle your friends with some really dynamite baked goods, this is the book for you.
See the recipe for Fresh Ginger Crisps from this cookbook.
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