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Cookie cookbook recs?

  • t

Anyone have thoughts on what basic cookie cookbook I should get? I'm not so much looking for elaborate confections as great recipes for the basics (oatmeal, peanut butter and the like). Actually, I guess I'm also interested in (separate, probably) recs for more complicated stuff, too.

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  1. I know you will get excellent recommendations for your query. I feel bad starting it off with an obscure choice - maybe you could look at this in the library first.

    I really, really like the cookies in the China Moon cookbook. I think the story is that Barbara Tropp stole away a pastry chef from Stars in SF because she loved her small cookies. Anyway, I dislike the rest of the cookbook, but the section on the cookies is so great. I think I've tried most of them and like them all. Not the basics, but not exotic either. Shortbreads and capuccino coins and little gingery cookies. The kind of thing it's nice to serve with coffee or as a complement to a soft dessert like poached fruit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ks

      Let me second that China Moon recommendation. The cookies are sublime. Really incredible. I have a dozen baking and cookie books but none have equalled the recipes in China Moon. (Though I agree that the other recipes in the book are exceedingly complicated and time consuming for a home cook.)

    2. I have seen Nick Malgieri (sp?) on The Food Network, and perused his baking books at the book store. They are the ultimate source for bakers. Take a look I think it's exactly what you're after.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Toni10

        I have the Nick Malgieri cookie book and I'm not thrilled with it, I think the Good Cookie is a way better book.

      2. I have over a dozen cookie cookbooks and the one I use for the basic cookies I take to the guys at work are from:
        Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg.
        I also have a lot of long time recipes I use from the Maida Heatter books.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AGM/Cape Cod

          yes to Maida Heatter!! I've been making cookies out of her cookbooks since I was a kid and everyone always raves. I know she one dedicated just to cookies.

          1. re: wurstle

            Maida Heatter's cookies are utterly reliable and full of flavor, well written recipes, couldnt ask for more. Pick up one of her earlier books you will be very satisfied. The pecan bars americana, in her first two dessert books have become a catering staple.

        2. Cookbook - King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cynthia

            I love the King Arthur Cookie Companion! By the way, King Arthur has a wonderful website with lots of basic recipes. Here's the link:

            Link: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/cgibin...

          2. For a basic, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookbook, King Arthur is the gold standard. But for more interesting, and some very easy, cookies, I'm head over heels for Tish Boyle's "the Good Cookie" The first thing I made was Earl Grey tea infused shortbread dipped in dark chocolate. Melted butter and tea, flour, sugar - what could be simpler? And the little orange cookies with candied kumquat decorations were delicious, different, lovely and earned a permanent place im my Christmas cookies after the first try!

            I'm making the chocolate chip cookie variations, and my husband is purring away. I think what I'll wind up doing is a "Julie/Julia" type thing, and just work my way through the whole book, week by week. did I mention I love this book, LOL?

            1 Reply
            1. re: pastrytroll

              I love Tish Boyle's _The Good Cookie_. Fantastic recipes for both basic cookies (the oatmeal cookies are fantastic and I can't figure out exactly why, since the recipe looks so similar to most other oatmeal cookie recipes) and more interesting cookies. Most of the interesting cookies are still pretty simple in terms of technique, they just have a creative twist to make them better.

            2. This is an obscure recommedation, but is the one book I go to time after time for a great cookie (pies and breads too) It's called "Sylvia's Cakes & Breads" by Sylvia Adams Hocking. I bought it on vacation in Maine and it is a winner! Good luck with your search.

              1. This is an obscure recommedation, but is the one book I go to time after time for a great cookie (pies and breads too) It's called "Sylvia's Cakes & Breads" by Sylvia Adams Hocking. I bought it on vacation in Maine and it is a winner! Good luck with your search.

                1. c
                  Caitlin Wheeler

                  Well, my obscure choice is Dede Wilson's Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies. It doesn't have either chocolate chip or oatmeal. However, it does have good shortbread, bourbon balls, all different kinds of ginger cookies, sugar cookies, etc. etc., some more commonplace, some more unusual. Every recipe I've made from it is wonderful, and it's very easy to use (and inexpensive, at about $10.)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Caitlin Wheeler

                    Another obscure one...Steffi Berne's "Cookie Jar Cookbook" which may be out of print. Great recipes and terrific pictures of the cookies along with the author's cookie jar collection (peanut butter cookies next to a big peanut cookie jar and like that). I learned to bake cookies from this book. Really!

                    1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
                      Caitlin Wheeler

                      I forgot to say that Dede Wilson has also published the Baker's Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I look forward to owning. I've used another cookbook of hers - the Wedding Cake Book -- with a lot of success.

                    2. Thank you enormously, everybody. I'm bringing a copy of all your advice to the bookstore & library this weekend. I knew I was asking the right crowd!

                      1. c
                        cookie monster

                        The all american cookie book by nancy baggett
                        rose's christmas cookies by rose levy beranbaum
                        great cookies by carole walter
                        big fat cookies by elinor klivans
                        alice medrich's cookies and brownies alice medrich
                        one pot cookies andrew schloss

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cookie monster

                          I'll second the rec on Nancy Baggett's book, All American Cookies. All the recipes I've tried in her book have turned out well.

                          1. re: Gayla

                            I agree as well, some of most requested cookies I've made are from that book. As for Alice Medrich's book, I hear it is the best, but it is out of print and somewhat expensive on Amazon.

                          1. I agree about the China Moon cookies. Seems like an odd place to find great cookie recipes, but I love them. I'm also a big fan of Elinor Klivan's cookie books, including 125 Cookies, and Fearless Baking. I think Nancy Baggett's book is overrated. Alice Medrich's "Cookies and Brownies" is great, as is her book "Bittersweet."