You want to bake a stunning, gorgeous and (above all) delicious cookie? Then you’ve come to the right book!
Sarah Kieffer is the baking fiend behind “The Vanilla Bean Baking Blog” and she’s bundled all that yummy sweetness in one fabulous book!
We start with general baking tips and ingredient tips (i.e. what kind of dairy, oils, flour work best with her recipes + equipment) and from there – the cookies.
Now she splits her cookies into a few categories.
There’s “The Classics” – choco-chip, sugar, peanut butter, shortbread and so-on.
And then there’s the “Brownies & Blondies” – where you an make the classic fudgy brownies and also branch out to turtle, marshmallow peanut butter and expresso carmel.
Then we mosey on down to the “Fruitextravaganza” – which has lemon sugar cookies, grapefruit cake bars, mixed-berry crumble and banana cream pie bars.
I loved the cookies proposed for the “Next Level” – those ones were pretty wild. Smoky butterscotch, French silk pie bars & crème brûlée cheesecake bars. Then “Time to Play” for the really finicky cookies (like macaron varieties, scotcharoos, kitchen sink cookies).
And of course this book has her signature “Pan-Banging Cookies”. (note: a pan-banging cookie was made with a specific technique that occurs during the cooking process that involves (spoiler) banging the pan at certain intervals).
So, my overall thoughts on this cookbook – I like it!
Every Christmas season, my family and I make literally dozens of batches of cookies and while we have our staples (peanut blossoms, candy cane cookies, cut-out), I am always looking to try a few more recipes.
And I love the sheer variety offered by this book – and while I can’t see myself doing all of these cookies (i.e. banana-expresso-cacao nib cookies and lavender cookies with white chocolate crème fraiche glaze seem a bit outside my usual cooking zone) they definitely all look like a TON of fun.
Now before every recipe is a little blurb about where the idea or concept came from. Personally, I love learning about how bakers come up with flavors or the history behind a family recipe.
All in all – I quite liked this book!
With thanks to Chronicle Books for sending this one my way