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Baking From My Home to Yours: Cookies

December 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Please post your full-length reviews of recipes from the Cookies chapter of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Salt & Pepper Cocoa Cookies were a disappointment. The recipe is not difficult at all, but the texture was very much like fine, dry sand. Plus I don't think there was quite enough sugar - and the recipe only uses confectioners sugar - to offset the unsweetened cocoa. I used plain old Hershey's cocoa powder; the recipe does not specific any particular type of cocoa powder other than unsweetened and makes no reference to dutch or non-dutched cocoa powder.

    The salt and pepper flavor was about right but totally overwhelmed by the bitterness from the cocoa powder.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      what is the difference between dutch and non-dutched cocoa powders?

        1. re: BKchompchomp

          Dutched cocoa has been treated with an alkali (Sp?) to mellow it. It also changes the way it reacts with leaveners. You shouldn't use them interchangeably in recipes without adjusting the baking powder and/or soda. If there are not any chemical leaveners, you can use whatever you prefer.

      1. I made the peanut butter crisscrosses. Like most folks who bake, I made a few revisions. I couldn't get a hold of salted nuts, so I used unsalted and upped the salt in the dough to roughly 1.5 tsp. I skipped the step about rolling them in sugar. And, to about 1/2 of the dough I added chopped up Callebaut bittersweet chocolate.

        These cookies were a real winner. I thought they were great tasting, nice texture (I would prefer chewier, but I think the only way to get really chewy peanut butter cookies is to use crisco, shudder) and help up well until the next day when my colleagues ate them all! My yield was ghenerous compared to her estimate (I got about 45 cookies, she estimates 40).

        One thing I did notice was that the recipe is nearly identical to the CI recipe in the Best Recipe (I was looking there to do a compare/contrast). Regardless, I think that at least for now, this is my go to recipe for peanut butter cookies.

        Next, I want to try to brown sugar/pecan shortbread!

        36 Replies
        1. re: Smokey

          how would vegetable shortening make a cookie chewy? I find that cookies seem chewier when there is a high ratio of brown sugar/moisture to flour.
          Do I have it wrong?

          1. re: toodie jane

            Mmmm, maybe that was the critical difference with her recipe? I always simply assumed it was the crisco as the shortening...

            1. re: toodie jane

              No I used to buy these wonderful sugar cookies from a bakery and I asked why were they so wonderfully moist and chewey. Their secret was that they used shortening in the dough.... I would of never guess that thinking it had to be butter.

              1. re: toodie jane

                If I'm not mistaken there are two ways you can make a cookies chewier:

                One way is to underbake them, either by reducing the baking time and letting them cool until set (warm undercooked cookies fall apart) or by chilling the dough before you work with it so that the centre remains relatively less baked while the outside is crisp, giving it structure, or by decreasing the amount of fat in your cookie. That sounds counterintuitive, but fat will actually get quite hot and brown your cookie faster resulting in a more crispy cookie.

                1. re: Torvum

                  I'll second that, Torvum. I'm learning that more fat--I usually stick to butter--equals more crispy, while more flour lends a cakier, chewier texture. Chewiness also depends on ingredients: dried fruit, for example.

              2. re: Smokey

                I made these too and everyone loved them... my great aunt asked for the recipe and that is always the greatest compliment... when an elderly person asks for a classic recipe like that! I have pictures to post as soon as I get them. I didn't have salted peanuts either, but I toasted unsalted peanuts in the oven for a bit and then tossed them with salt. We made ours a little smaller since peanut butter cookies are SO rich!

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  And the pictures from our mini baking extravaganza...
                  (Also pictured are the applesauce bars on the gold rimmed plate.

                  Also from the baking extravaganza, but not from Dorie's cookbook are the Cream Sandwich cookies, courtesy of Martha Stewart, the current best cookie title holder of the Katie Nell fan club :-)
                  Also pictured are the Chocolate Toffee Brownie Bites from "The Good Cookie", currently in second place for the best cookie of all time from the fan club... http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k25... (These really were AMAZING!!


                  Okay, now I'm not sure if the applesauce bars fit in this category or not? These were really good... we did sub dried cranberries for the raisins. Loved the glaze! And now it's time for their close-up...

                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    KatieNell those are some great pictures! Looks like a lot of great baking went on :-)

                    If you have time, would you mind posting the recipes for the cream sandwich cookies and chocolate toffee brownie bites?

                    1. re: eriberri

                      Here are the cream sandwich cookies... obviously, I didn't do hearts! People would be mad if I only made them once a year! ;-) I recently discovered that if you roll the dough in balls and then roll in sugar and flatten, then you don't have to mess with rolling out the dough and cutting with a cookie cutter (I get tired of that sometimes). I use regular granulated sugar instead of the sanding sugar usually. http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...
                      I'll have to paraphrase the chocolate toffee brownie bites tonight!

                      1. re: Katie Nell

                        Thank you! I actually found the brownie bites out on the
                        internet after googling for a few minutes. I like the idea
                        of rolling by hand rather than cutting out. They sound
                        really yummy! I think I'll try them with rasp. jam. Thanks

                    2. re: Katie Nell

                      It's funny, all of the posts I have read on those applesauce bars have been really glowing, and I just can't get interested. Different strokes for different folks, huh?

                      1. re: Smokey

                        I even like that kind of thing but it just sounds like another spice cake to me - I have a recipe I like already, and there are so many things to bake, so little time ;) In fact the whole book seems like that to me, love to bake but the internet is so full of variations on these themes that I can't get excited about it. Except for the brioche post...

                        1. re: julesrules

                          You know, you hit the nail on the head with my issue about the pumpkin muffins. I think I'm looking for "Smokey's personal Best recipe compendium" and I simply decided the pumpkin muffins weren't up to that caliber (for me). Similarly, she's got like 7 recipes or something for brownies, but I've got no interest in baking any of her brownie recipes, even though folks have really liked at least one of them. I've developed my favorite brownie recipe and I'm no longer straying from it. I'm using the book to search for recipes that might make it into my Best Recipe compendium (and, I'll grant you, the peanut butter cookies are SERIOUS contenders).

                          1. re: Smokey

                            Yeah, I feel the same way about the brownies too... I already have my 'best of' recipe for that. I don't know, I really liked the applesauce bars, but I don't usually make that sort of thing, so I suppose it was a bit of a novelty. It would probably still be third on the list of those 4 things that I made, but I'm a chocolate girl all the way! (I also mostly tried the applesauce bars because they got such rave reviews on egullet and I knew the great aunties would like them- it's right up their alley! :-)

                            1. re: Katie Nell

                              You know, I've read each of those brownie recipes a couple of times and can't get excited about any of them either. I feel the same way about the chocolate chip cookie recipes. I think that if I gave friends anything other than the CI recipe, they'd ask me what I did wrong. I'm tempted to do a side-by-side, but as you say, too many recipes, too little time.

                              However, I don't yet have a "personal best" brownie. Could you, have you, Smokey and Katie, posted yours before? Do you have links? If not, could I ask you to paraphrase? I'm still searching.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Yeah, I'm with you on the CI CCC recipe. After searching around and trying quite a few (even after trying the CI recipe), I've decided that really is the best (for me). I just shrugged at her CCC recipes--too many recipes, too little time.

                                I'll write a note to myself about the brownies. Just to give you a sense of what I'm after in brownies, I do not like super 'fudgey' brownies. To me, fudgey means there isn't enough flour in them and I like something more toothsome, not something delicate. And I definitely don't want cakey. I like chocolate cake, but consider it to be a cake, not a brownie and I want a brownie, not a cake. (Can you tell, the texture is what I really care about?!) I also use decent quality chocolate (usually sharffenberger, TJ's pound plus, Penzey's cocoa). Honestly, I think you can make a decent brownie from lots of different recipes if you're willing to pony up on the chocolate, because it's the dominant flavor in a brownie. Finally, I like my brownies thick, not thin. I strongly believe in the importance of the nut in a brownie, but do not feel the need to prosletyze (sp?) quite so much on that issue and will leave nuts out of batches where allergies or other personal preferences are involved.

                                I'm not actually as dogmatic and inflexible as I appear in this post, and unlike some posters, I completely accept that you'll make the brownie you make with your ingredients and that's cool. But I want you to have a sense of what my goal is when I make my brownies so you'll be able to judge whether it's even something you want to try. Ok, now the challenge is to remember to post the recipe!

                                1. re: Smokey

                                  JoanN--Ok, here it is. I freely admit, this may have been taken from another source--CI? JoC? Maybe it is really something I melded from all of the above. Can no longer remember and my notes don't reveal these facts to me!

                                  These are meant to be cooked in a 7x11 pyrex at 350. I butter and flour the pyrex for easier release--don't bother with parchment paper or whatever. Position your a rack in oven on middle rung.

                                  5oz. unsalted butter
                                  5oz. unsweetened chocolate
                                  1.8c sugar (I actually cook by weight, and don't remember the weight of a cup of sugar--sorry. I probably use a mix of roughly 50% brown sugar and 50% white sugar)
                                  1/3 tsp. salt
                                  2.5 tsp. vanilla extract
                                  2.5 large eggs at room temp. (I probably use three, whisk them up, and just eyeball removing .5 egg!)
                                  5.5 oz flour (I think I decided to try bread flour and I like it)
                                  2.5Tb natural cocoa
                                  Melt butter and chocolate together, let cool slightly. Stir in sugar, salt, vanilla (you can just use a wooden spoon, you're not really trying to aerate this). Mix in eggs, one at a time (ok, that doesn't really work with my list of ingredients, but you know what i mean) until incorporated. Add flour/cocoa and beat until incorporated. Scape batter into pan and bake until top is uniformly colored and a toothpick inserted comes out with a few most crumbs, 35-45 min. (definitely check them--you really don't want to overbake).

                                  I let them cool in pan, but I'm not super anal about that. I think these are really, truly, infinitely better the next day. I think out of the oven they're fine (they've got a great smell), but the texture is wrong.

                                  i didn't give instructions for adding nuts, because that's a personal choice and if you want to add nuts, you probably know it and can figure out how many to add and when in the stirring process.

                                  let me know if you ever try it and what you think.

                                  1. re: Smokey

                                    Thanks, Smokey. I usually bake by weight as well, so no problem. And I'll definitely add nuts. I'm on a cookie tear at the moment. May have to empty my little freezer before I can start adding more, but I'll let you know when I do get around to it. And I will. Thanks again.

                                2. re: JoanN

                                  I found our "go to" brownie recipe at this place.
                                  The only difference is that we toast the chopped nuts and we think it makes a difference in the final taste. We got the recipe from a very old Bon Appetite and it is not on the site. The corner of the Xerox we are using where the date would be is chewed off and I don't feel like digging through all those years looking for it.

                                  1. re: yayadave

                                    Thanks, YYD. The addition of corn syrup is interesting; never tried that before. And I, too, usually toast nuts before adding them to brownies; adds to the depth of flavor. I'm adding this to my "Brownies to Try" file.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Mine is coming too... forgot to paraphrase it last night, but for reference, it's the chocolate chunk brownie recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook!

                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                        Everybody needs a "go to" brownie and chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are truly American food inventions.

                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                          I don't have that book and a quick online search didn't turn it up so I would appreciate a paraphrase whenever you get around to it. Thanks, Katie.

                                          1. re: Katie Nell

                                            Brownie recipe here!

                                            Okay, first of all, I lied to you! I so thought it was in the Baking Handbook, but, in fact, it was in her magazine in the July 2005 issue. I do not like fudgy brownies AT ALL, so I think this is more what a brownie is "supposed" to be like, but probably more towards the cakey side of things.

                                            Chocolate Chunk Brownies

                                            2 cups all-purpose flour
                                            1 1/4 t. baking powder
                                            1 1/4 t. salt
                                            2 5/8 sticks (10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
                                            7 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
                                            2 3/4 cups sugar
                                            4 large eggs
                                            2 t. pure vanilla extract
                                            2 cups (10 oz.) white chocolate or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

                                            Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet (the one I use is I think 12x18 or something like that- DO NOT attempt to use a 12x9 cake pan- stupid me did this with disastrous results!) Line the pan with parchment paper and then spray again. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together and then set aside. Combine chopped butter and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler until almost melted and remove from heat to cool slightly. Put chocolate mixture, when cooled, in a mixer bowl (Martha says to use a mixer with the whisk attachment and this is always what I've done, but I'm sure you could improvise if you don't have a stand mixer.) and add sugar; beat chocolate and sugar until smooth, approx. 3 min. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the flour gradually until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are set but still soft.

                                          2. re: JoanN

                                            I've heard of adding corn syrup as a way of increasing chewiness (a desirable quality in a brownie, to me). I'm just not crazy about corn syrup (there's already a lot added to processed foods). So, I prefer to use it as a sweetener in only a couple of places (e.g pecan pie) and to reduce the likelihood of crystallization in caramel making. Just my two cents.

                                            1. re: Smokey

                                              Ain't much. Maybe it could be replaced with honey and adjust the sugar.

                                              1. re: Smokey

                                                How about golden syrup? I don't really know if it's similar or totally different from corn syrup... but Nigella reccoed it and I dutifully bought it!

                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                  That makes a lot of sense. Better than my idea.

                                      2. re: Smokey

                                        Yup, I have been using the Fry's Cocoa brownie recipe for 20 yeears (I'm 32), with various add-ins, so to me it's a comfort thing I suppose. I tried the Ghirardelli recipe once and was totally disappointed. I'm sure there are Greenspan recipes which are more delicious than my simple cocoa recipe but I just don't care! How anti-chowhound of me.

                                  2. re: Katie Nell

                                    Katie Nell,

                                    Great job! I see you are meticulous in baking and serving. Exquisite!

                                    Which cookbook are the Martha Stewart Cream Cookies from? They look like something I'd like to make.

                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                      Thank you! I don't know if they've been in a cookbook or not, I've printed off the recipe from Martha's website so many times and lost it so many times, that I now keep copies everywhere I have recipes in my house, just in case!! Here's the link to the recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

                                    2. re: Katie Nell

                                      Hi Katie,
                                      Not sure if you'll get this at this late date, but...I finally made the toffee brownie bites. Every freakin' one of them stuck to the pan. Have you had that happen? I don't know what I did wrong - sprayed and floured three of the pans, used cocoa powder on one just to see if that would work instead of flour. They all stuck!!! I had doubled the recipe too. What a waste. I'm so sad. They were for a party tomorrow so I'm going to make some regular brownies tonight, and perhaps put the crumbs from the bites into some ice cream or something.
                                      Any thoughts or suggestions?

                                      1. re: ScarletB

                                        Oh no, that's so sad! I sprayed and floured, and I think my mom removed them when they were still quite warm. (In fact, I think I remember them being too hot on her fingers even, so almost right after they came out of the oven.) I'm getting ready to make them next weekend, so I will see what happens then. If I remember correctly, we had a little trouble with sticking but just a few bits here and there... some we pieced back together a little bit, but they weren't all that bad. I tend to panic over things like that (I'm a bit overdramatic when things don't go my way in the kitchen :-), but once we poured the glaze over them, you couldn't really tell that there were bits missing here and there. I'm so sorry they didn't turn out for you... I hate when that happens! Don't know if it makes a difference, but we did use a lighter pan, not a dark non-stick pan.

                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                          Thanks for the sympathy - I needed it! I was quite dramatic by myself in the kitchen this morning, cursing at the pans and the brownies. My poor cats are probably still under the bed :)
                                          Maybe removing them while warmer rather than waiting 10 minutes will help. I'm scared to try them again because I can't stand wasting all those ingredients. How full do you fill the mini-cupcake tins? Maybe I overfilled them?
                                          Do you think spraying without flouring would help? I don't really understand the point of the flour. Usually I feel it's so that muffins aren't greasy to the touch, but with this recipe, there's a glaze so you wouldn't notice if they were greasy. Or maybe the spray with the flour in it?
                                          I don't know. Let me know how your next batch turns out.
                                          Thanks Katie!

                                          1. re: ScarletB

                                            Ah, geez, you are so going to think I'm insane! I have every other Friday off and today I was off; I usually bake and cook most of the day for fun, and so after your troubles, I decided I was going to bake the brownie bites and see if I could figure out the problem... well, I didn't! I just made a mess! Part of the problem could be that I don't have an actual mini muffin pan; I used the fancy pan pictured below which has lots of crevices. (Before when I made them I used my mom's mini muffin pan.) Anyway, I sprayed the first row with baking spray, coated the second row with Crisco, and the third row with butter. Then, I dusted flour on one half of the pan. The first batch I underbaked and they did not come out in one piece at all... I ended up throwing this batch away. The second batch... some of them came out perfectly, some of them, the tops just came off, and some just didn't come out at all... there was no correlation in the type of grease I used and the ones that popped out, but they were all floured ones. At this point, I gave up and put the batter in some ramekins, and I'll probably just eat these with ice cream or something! The only think I can think of is that my mom has extremely deft fingers! I did find that if I used my fingers to gently pry them out that this worked better than trying to get a knife in there, but this could be because my pan had too much detail to it. I am going to attempt them again next weekend when I have a mini muffin pan. Sorry I couldn't figure out the problem- thought I was being so smart in my experiment!

                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                              That is a fancy pan! Thanks for trying again. Please report back when next you try them.
                                              Some of mine didn't come out at all, except in chunks and some the tops popped off as well.
                                              We did end up putting the crumbs into homemade vanilla ice cream, which was a big hit. I ended up making the triple chocolate brownies from Gourmet instead.
                                              Also made a luscious lemon curd cheesecake from Epicurious that was unbelievable!!!
                                              I can't decide if I'll try the brownie bites again or not. How about putting the glaze on a different brownie recipe cut into teensy squares? I think the idea you mentioned before about not really waiting for them to cool too much might work. Anyway, please post back. Thanks!!

                                3. I just pulled the Molasses-Spice cookies out of the oven and they are smelling wonderful. I made the dough a few days ago and just got to them this afternoon. The recipe made 24 big cookies.

                                  The dough was sticky to work with, you needed to portion it out and roll into balls then roll them in granulated sugar and flatten with a glass. With trial and error I found that pressing them on parchment with sugr on it helped to keep the bottoms from sticking and I flattened them with my fingers and liberally sprinkled sugar over the top before pressing with the glass that and a bit of Pam helped to keep the dough from sticking to the glass. I think I will have a better hang of where i want to go with the next batch.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Candy

                                    We finished dinner and each had a cookie for dessert. They are very good and I will make more next week in my cookie marathon. These are really big cookies and I think I will make 48 instead of 24 cutting down the size.

                                  2. I made the chocolate biscotti a couple days ago. I used chopped pecans that I already had on hand and mini-chocolate chips (I'll admit, I didn't feel like chopping nuts and chocolate). Overall, I would say they were at hit at work as I kept getting "visitors" to take one. Personally, I would have baked them longer the 2nd time as they were not as crisp as I would have liked. The flavor was good, but I have finally come to the conclusion that overall, I don't like chocolate cookies all that much. Everybody else seemed to love them, but I will stick to a more traditional, non-chocolate biscotti next time-my tastes are not chocolate.

                                    1. I just tasted one of the Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread cookies. They are delectable - melt in the mouth texture, wonderful flavor of brown sugar and pecans. It will be hard not to wolf these down by handfuls.

                                      I didn't roll the dough out and cut into squares, I formed a log out of chilled dough and sliced into 1/4" thick cookies about 1.5" in diameter which is comparable with the recipe instructions. Baking time was dead right.

                                      The only puzzling thing was the photo in the book - this is on the page facing the recipe and shows pale shortbread. The recipe also says that the shortbread should not color much during baking. My cookie dough was darker than the photo even before baking, about what I would expect for a mix of butter, brown sugar, ground pecans, flour and cornstarch. It was about the color of light brown sugar. After baking they were a slightly darker shade. It's no big deal, just a puzzle that the photo shows such a pale cookie.

                                      The recipe reminded me of Maida Heatter's recipe for brown sugar shortbread but with the addition of ground pecans. I love the Maida Heatter version but this is even better.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: cheryl_h

                                        Cheryl,for what it's worth, on another site, most of the comments about this recipe are that the cookies aren't even as dark or as uniform as the ones in the photo. Everyone on the other thread agrees with your assessment, that despite how they look, it is a delicious cookie.

                                        Could the difference in the color of your dough be the type of brown sugar you used? Dark brown vs. light brown?

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          DD, I'm glad to hear I'm not seeing things. I used light brown sugar and the unbaked cookie dough looks pretty much like it. The photo can't be of this cookie, I suspect it's of one of the other shortbreads made with white sugar.

                                        2. re: cheryl_h

                                          Wow, I'm psyched to try these! They were already on my list, but you may have bumped them to the top!

                                          1. re: Smokey

                                            I finally made the brown sugar/pecan shortbread cookies. I'll agree with comments on this board and others--mine are much darker than her photo (even sprinkled with sugar!). However, I used dark brown sugar (it's what I have in the house and prefer) and I toasted my pecans before chopping them up. They got a bit burnt in the toasting, which added to the darkness of the dough. It also (IMHO) added to the flavor of the final cookie product. Last night they were a bit too chewy (nice texture in general, but not what you want from a shortbread). They've lost the chewiness, but definitely don't have the delicate sandiness of a shortbread. This is, however, my first time trying any kind of shortbread recipe, and there could certainly be user technique error at play, as well as ingredient issues. Although i did my best to get the pecans finely ground, I wanted to avoid pecan butter, so, at a point, had to cut my losses. I think some of the pecans may have been a smidge too coarse. Additionally, I added a bit more than she called for. It was hard to estimate how much whole pecans were required for 1/2c ground, and I didn't really want to waste anything. So, I tossed in everything I ground.

                                            Bottom line, the flavor of the cookies is amazing. The brown sugar and pecan flavor is great and I really like these. However, I'm not sure I would promote them as shortbread cookies (at least not to a knowledgable crowd) because they don't have the right texture to me.

                                            Oh, and I also had spreading problems, even though the sheets were cool and the dough had been refrigerated for 24 hours.

                                          2. re: cheryl_h

                                            I made these yesterday and I am a bit disappointed in them. The color was fine and I cut back on the baking time. They spread more than I had anticipated and the instructions were to roll them to 1/4" thickness which is just too thin. I find I really prefer shortbread made with rice flour instead of cornstarch, the melting quality in you mouth is much better with rice flour.

                                          3. This afternoon I made the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops. Almost everything I've made from this cookbook has come out looking exactly like the photo of the item in the book. My Whopper Drops don't look much like the photo but, wow, are these seriously good chocolate cookies even if the malt flavor is rather subtle.

                                            Like most of the rest of the recipes in this cookbook these were really easy and didn't take long to make. There are, however, couple of minor editing issues. There is, as far as I could see, no temperature given for baking the cookies so I took a guess and used 375*. The other issue regards the amount of Whoppers to use. The recipe lists 2 Cups, or 6 oz of malt balls, coarsely chopped. 6 oz. of malt balls is not 2 cups, either whole or coarsely chopped. Since this is baking I went with the weight measurement, which I think was about a cup and a half. I probably could have used the entire 2 cups of chopped malt balls.

                                            Other than that, this is a wonderful recipe. I'd make it again.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              "There is, as far as I could see, no temperature given for baking the cookies so I took a guess and used 375*."

                                              On that other board we keep referring to, Greenspan notes there was a typo on this recipe and says the oven temp should be 350 F. No comment, though, on 6 oz of malt balls not equalling two cups.

                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                Joan, thanks for the info, I apparently missed her comment. I originally set the oven for 350*, I should have left well enough along. That might explain why mine didn't quite look like the picture. Oh, well. At least I'll know for next time. These are really good cookies.

                                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                                In the egullet thread Dorie said the temp should be 350 degrees. I went ahead and wrote it in my book.

                                                Sorry for the repeat advice :).

                                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                                  I wrote it in my book too :-) because these cookies are so good I *will* make them again.

                                                2. re: DiningDiva

                                                  I made these this weekend and I was *shocked* that I liked them so well! I generally dislike malted milk balls, but I loved these cookies! We got a huge bag of malted milk balls for Christmas that neither of us really are into, so I decided to use them up in these cookies. Now I might have to buy more! ;-) I ordered the malt powder from King Arthur's, so now I need to find a good malt recipe... either that, or make more cookies! They are still really moist after two days, so I think they would be good mailers, considering they are still pretty sturdy too. In fact, I mailed some off today to my husband's aunt, since she gave us the malt balls!

                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                    Hi, I'm not much of a baker but I tried to bake the Whooper cookies. I'm not sure what I did, but they ended up looking nothing like the picture. They tasted fine, but were very spread out and flat. I did follow the instructions, going so far as to time the minutes the eggs were beaten. I used the 350 degree and used chocolate chips instead of the chocolate chunks. Any suggestions? I would like to make them again, but they would probably look more appealing if they looked somewhat like the picture in the cookbook! Thanks.

                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                      Oddly enough, I didn't really like these cookies. I'm a huge fan of Whoppers and malted milk, but the cookies were too soft and cakey for me. They taste great, though, especially with some cold milk (at night) or hot coffee (in the morning). I guessed at the 350 temp and just measured out 2 c. Whoppers (whole) and then crushed them.


                                                    2. Everyone needs to run and make the Worldpeace cookies. They are amazing. They really live up to their hype.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                                        I wasn't really a huge fan of these when I made them probably about a year ago. Maybe I built them up too much in my head? I actually took the recipe out of my binder just because I didn't like them!

                                                        1. re: Becca Porter

                                                          Worldpeace cookies. I just made these tonight. Wow. I really like how the texture is very light, yet they very satisfyingly chocolate-y.

                                                          1. Oh my gosh, they were right up my alley. My husband doesn't usually like all chocolate things but he loved these too.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Becca Porter

                                                              I thought I would really like them, because A.) well, it's chocolate! and B.) I love salty and sweet combos, but I just didn't dig the texture on them! I was beyond shocked that I didn't love them!

                                                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                Anybody know if this World Peace Cookie recipe is online somewhere? I'll check in a minute or so.
                                                                It's murder reading about how fantastic something or other is and then not having the danged recipe. Ah to be less of a cheapskate.

                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                  Yep, right here: http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe... (She used to call them Korova, and then changed the name to World Peace.)

                                                              2. Sables:

                                                                Really buttery and wonderful. I didn't bother with coating the edges with sugar (too lazy). Well received by friends.

                                                                World Peace Cookies:

                                                                Loved by all the chocoholics in my life. Even the husband (who doesn't like chocolate) liked it! But very rich and I couldn't eat more than one at a time.

                                                                Cream Cheese Pufflets:

                                                                Really easy to make although my cookies were much uglier because I didn't handle the dough very well. A bit like pie crust which also I'm not good at. I put a varying assortment of preserveds inside. They were really delicious!

                                                                This book is going to make me very fat. (or at least make my friends and family fat)

                                                                1. Bittersweet Brownies

                                                                  I made half a recipe in an 8x8 pan. They took a few minutes longer to bake (about 26 min) in my oven, maybe because of the different pan size. She says they're done when a knife comes out clean, which is when I took mine out. I was skeptical about this because usually this means the brownies are overdone and not fudgy anymore, but I need not have worried; my brownies were perfectly fudgy, even at the edges. The directions are really easy, similar to the Baker's one-bowl recipe. The brownies had a nice, deep chocolate flavor; I used Scharffenberger bittersweet chocolate and did not add espresso powder because I didn't have any, but I bet espresso powder would make them even better. The thin height, soft texture, and rich flavor would make them really great for brownie sundaes. I agree with laonion that this book is going to make me very fat!

                                                                  1. The way I keep from eating whole cakes and full recipes of cookies, etc. is to bake them in the evening and take them to work the next day. My co-workers love me and whatever I bring is all gone by the end of the day. Works for me.

                                                                    Last night I made the Applesauce Spice Bars. They were extremely good. They loved them at the office. I was not completely over the top about them because I made an apple spice cake on Sunday night.

                                                                    The glaze gave me trouble. Well, actually, I gave it to myself because I didn't read the directions carefully enough. It called for heavy cream, butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. I stopped reading when it said to "SIMMER" the mixture after bringing it to a boil and kept right on boiling until the mixture came apart. I had to start over with this and simmer simmer simmer simmer.

                                                                    The recipe calls for unsweetened applesauce as well as chopped apple. I made applesauce by processing apples and then cooking until a bit mushy - it actually had a little chunky texture. The recipe also calls for raisins and chopped pecans (I had walnuts so that's what went in).

                                                                    I followed the instructions about buttering the pan and then laying parchment paper on the bottom and buttering that. They came out perfectly. You have to flip them out of the pan and then flip them over so they're right-side up. They sat a little longer than I think they should have (glaze is supposed to go on while they're very hot). By the time I had finished ruining the glaze and remaking it, they'd cooled.

                                                                    They're great and pretty easy to make. I'll make them again, especially now that I've got the glaze directions down ---DUH!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                      >>>The way I keep from eating whole cakes and full recipes of cookies, etc. is to bake them in the evening and take them to work the next day. My co-workers love me and whatever I bring is all gone by the end of the day. Works for me.

                                                                      oakjoan, this is my strategy as well. I'm considered an amazing baker at work and they're the recipients of almost all of my trials (and some tribulations!) with baking. It works really well for me, and is the only thing that keeps me from putting on ridiculous amounts of weight, particularly when we're the cookbook of the month is a baking book!

                                                                      1. re: Smokey

                                                                        Yeah, it's a bit difficult to bring boeuf bourguignon or chiles rellenos to work! Cakes, cookies, etc. are much easier to pick up and take back to your office. Btw, it's AMAZING to me how fast this stuff disappears. Sometimes, it takes less than half an hour for an entire large cake to be consumed. A funny thing is that when there's not much left, people don't like to take the whole piece so they cut off tinier and tiner pieces until there are just crumbs left. Cracks me up.

                                                                    2. Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

                                                                      I liked these. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside with a subtle peanut flavor. It’s a good cookie. I think it would be even better without the chocolate chips. Doesn’t need it. If I did them again I might add chopped salted peanuts instead, since even though I used Super Chunk Skippy as recommended, I would have liked even more of a nut crunch.

                                                                      Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

                                                                      I used to love malted milk balls as a kid and so considering DiningDiva’s very positive review of these I thought I’d give them a try. First, let me say that 2 cups of malted milk balls was, for me, 10 ounces, not 6; and with DD experience to help me along, I used the full 2 cups. But I just wasn’t anywhere near as enchanted with these as she. I think it’s an excellent possibility it was my choice of chocolate, although I thought I was going moderately high end with chopped Ecuadorian Guaranda for the chips, Kopper’s dark chocolate milk balls for the whoppers, and Lake Champlain brand for the unsweetened cocoa. I just found the chocoate overwhelmed the [way] too subtle malted milk favor. These were too sicky-sweet for me. Not on my list to try again.

                                                                      Chipsters, right; Whoppers, left (as if you couldn’t tell ;-)

                                                                      I think CarbLover was spot-on when she said there’s just too much going on with these recipes. (I’m referring just to the cookies here; didn’t feel that way at all about the brioche or the sticky buns; shoulda quit while I was ahead.) Both cookies, IMHO, would have been so much better if they had had just one emphasized flavor element plus perhaps an additional non-competing texture element. I should probably add, for the record, that I’m not a huge cookie eater so I may not be the best judge. But somehow (actually, RLB’s rugelach as well as a few others from her Christmas Cookie book and CI’s choc chips) I got a reputation as a great cookie baker and am now commanded at least three times a year to supply cookies for people eagerly waiting to see what comes next. I’m afraid they may be disappointed with this batch.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                        Thanks for the review on the chipsters. I've been tempted b those. My big frustration now is that my mixer is in the shop (there was an incident with some babka dough--sigh), so I'm really stymied in which recipes i can make. Since I know you've been following the thread, you've probably seen the positive reviews Katie and I gave to the peanut butter crosses. You might want to consider trying them. They're not as overwrought as some of the other recipes, deliver an honest pb taste with a good nut crunch (particularly if you choose to use the chunky skippy).

                                                                        1. re: Smokey

                                                                          I did indeed note your good reviews of the crosses. And since I've still got some of that chunky pb left . . . .

                                                                          I'm so envious of those of you who have an eager audience to help consume your overabundance. I'm very recently retired and that adds up to two strikes: more time to shop and cook, fewer to share the results. My jeans are beginning to scream at me, my freezer can barely hold another ice cube, and here I am thinking "What next?"

                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                            I hear you Joan, I have to be very careful about my timing in cooking from this book this month. There's only two of us, and we've both already 'expanded' from the others. We both work at home, so no office-mates to feed. I did the first recipe before a holiday party so I could get the treats out of the house (post below). I'll do a bundt or loaf cake before visiting my parents next week, and I'm probably going to do muffins so I can freeze them for a weekend with my girlfriends in January. Good thing they all love to eat. Oomph.

                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                          Joan, I used cheapie malt balls out of the bulk bin and a bar of a new, upscale Hershey's product that cost less than $1.50! Sometimes with everyday recipes gilding the lily is counter productive. I loved the Whopper cookies the first day, I was less enamored of them the 2nd day. The flavor had definitely faded. They do, however, hold pretty well and after the 4th day (yeah I still had a few left) they tasted like a plain old chocolate cookie with chocolate chunks.

                                                                          I do like this cookie and will probably make them again. I'll just make sure they get eaten the first day ;-D

                                                                          For chocolate stuff I'm moving on the "Essence of Chocolate" the new Scharffenberger cookbook I got last night. The recipes look good and the photography borders on choco-porn

                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                            Your "gilding the lily" comment is bang-on. I usually restrain myself; not sure why I didn't this time but I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future. I have no doubt that your $3 cookies beat hell out of my $10 ones.

                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                              I used cheapo chocolate too, but even after two days, I found the flavor to still be quite 'malty'- I wonder if the King Arthur brand made a difference?

                                                                          2. Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars (p.114).

                                                                            I was all set to make the Peanutiest Blondies, but I didn't have the right pan. I still wanted to make a bar cookie, so after quickly flipping through the book, I realized I had all the ingredients for the Chocolate Oatmeal Bars. An oatmeal and peanut layer is pressed into a buttered pan, and covered by a layer of melted chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, peanuts, and raisins. It's all finished off by sprinkling a little more of the oatmeal mixture on top. I thought these were very good, and the slightly chewy oatmeal layer balanced the fudgy sweetness of the chocolate layer. Brought them to a fellow CH's holiday party, and making them in advance was easy - they stored well in the 'fridge. I liked the combination of textures in the cookie. I did cut them into smaller bars than is suggested, however, as I thought they were pretty rich. The chocolate layer reminded me of those Chunky candy bars with the raisins and peanuts.




                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                              Rubee, these look gorgeous!

                                                                              The oatmeal base reminded me of an epicurious recipe for Classic Date Bars which is fabulous in both richness and taste. It's the same idea of oatmeal/nut base pressed into the pan, covered by the date mixture and topped with another layer of the oatmeal mix. I couldn't believe how easy and delicious these were. They brought back memories of the childhood date bars I used to love.

                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                Oh, I love dates - I'll have to try that Epi recipe. Thanks!

                                                                              2. re: Rubee

                                                                                My 5-yr old daughter and I made these this weekend and brought them to a small dinner party last night. They were relatively easy to make and lots of fun.

                                                                                Like Rubee, I found them to be quite dense and rich so I cut them in long thin bars - basically first cut them like brownies and then cut each once more vertically.

                                                                                They're great with a tall glass of milk. I'll definitely make them again but my husband has asked me to omit the raisins. He thinks dried fruit in desserts are a travesty.

                                                                              3. Made the Sables. Used the multi- colored sanding sugar from Williams Sonoma and they turned out really pretty. The first time I used the egg yolk glaze like the book says and it turned my colors to mud. The second time I just rolled the log into the sugar after letting it sit at room temp for five or ten minutes. Several people commented on them because they actually taste like butter. Very rich.
                                                                                Also made the World Peace cookies. Very intense chocolate but very delicate and I ound they crumbled a bit when transported.

                                                                                1. Ginger Jazzed Brownies (pg. 101)

                                                                                  The jury is out as to whether or not I *love* these brownies. I like them very much - they were extremely well received at a brunch and my husband really likes them. I love the flavor of the ginger and the chocolate combo. In fact, I added an extra tablespoon of fresh ginger to the recipe (recipe called for 2T). I can't decide whether or not I like the texture. It's not chewy, which is how I like my brownies, instead, it's more cakey. The addition of the corn syrup may be throwing the texture off for me.

                                                                                  FYI, I used a combo of Sharffenberger unsweetened with Ghiradelli's bittersweet. The only reason why I used this combo was the amount of bittersweet I needed for this recipe and for the World Peace cookies (which are chilling).

                                                                                  I don't mean this review to be so ambivalent and I'm not even sure I would make these again. Instead, I may play with my fave brownie recipe (CI) and add fresh and ground ginger to it.

                                                                                  1. World peace cookies.
                                                                                    Intensely chcolately (no eggs!). Like a brownie. Very satisfying.
                                                                                    If you buy good quality chocolate and cocoa powder (as I did) they're incredibly expensive!

                                                                                    1. I baked the molasses spice cookies again yesterday. I had made the dough Sat. AM and along with some for other cookies too. This time I used a 2 tsp. measuring spoon to carve off balls of dough and the cookies were a much better size for my cookie trays on Thurs. AM. The original size is good for that after school cookie and glass of milk and the flavor is terrific.

                                                                                      1. Last night I made the Linzer Sables using toasted ground walnuts and filled them with fig jam. As of this morning the texture was tender and excellent but the flavor was still very subtle. I think these will improve after a day or two and I will post the results.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: jillp

                                                                                          Seems like some of her recipes def. result in subtle flavors such that aging makes them taste better. She says that muffins are best eaten on the same day they're baked, but I must say that I liked the pumpkin muffins best after about a day and a half.

                                                                                          1. re: Carb Lover

                                                                                            I agree. I made the Corniest Corn Muffins today. I ate the first one warm with butter (mmm....), but I think I like the texture (slightly crispy outside, tender inside) tonight - about 10 hours later. And highly recommend butter and warmed honey. :) I'll report on how they are tomorrow.

                                                                                            Will post pics!

                                                                                        2. Made the sables over the weekend, and thought they were pretty good. Not as sandy as I would like, but I may have worked the dough a little too much (though it felt like I barely worked it at all). They were very pretty with the sugared edges. I didn't have any problem with the egg yolk and sugar as mentioned by a previous poster.

                                                                                          1. Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

                                                                                            I chilled the dough overnight, but the dough was still fairly soft when I took it out. The cookies spread a lot and ended up pretty ugly. Next time I will make smaller cookies so they don't touch. My cookies had a lot of wet-looking spots too, although they were fully baked; I think the sugar just melted into the dough. They were pretty good, but my favorite recipe by far is Emily Luchetti's Ginger Cookies in Stars Desserts. I probably won't make these again.

                                                                                            Chocolate Spice Quickies

                                                                                            As promised, these were quick to mix up and make. The dough was pretty sticky, so I rolled it on wax paper and just rolled the wax paper around the logs to chill. I used cloves for the spice and they tasted like a cross between brownies and Lebkuchen. She suggests serving them with jam and melted chocolate, which I can imagine would taste really great. I would definitely make these again and keep some dough in the freezer ready to slice and bake.

                                                                                            Lenox Almond Biscotti

                                                                                            The dough was extremely sticky and soft so it was hard to form it into logs. My logs were about 3" wide, not 1.5" as directed, which I thought would be OK, but upon baking they spread to cover the entire cookie sheet. Still, I was able to slice them and bake the second time. However, mine ended up needing more like 25 min (not 15) the second time. My husband approved of the texture, saying, "They're not jaw breakers!" We both loved the flavor and couldn't stop eating them.

                                                                                            Thumbprints for Us Big Guys

                                                                                            I thought these would take a while to make, but they were actually really quick. The dough was easy to work with. Mine needed a longer baking time, maybe because I made them bigger (got 45 cookies, not 60). At first I thought the flavor was lacking, and I love hazelnuts and raspberries. But the second day, the flavor was stronger, and the third day they were even better.

                                                                                            1. World Peace Cookies (pg. 138)

                                                                                              I really liked these cookies. They aren't the prettiest cookies, but as someone posted above, they are incredibly satisfying. Next time, after I sliced them, I would sprinkle a bit more fleur de sel on each cookie. I think an additional salty oomph would enhance the chocolate. I also would add some cayenne to the flour mixture.

                                                                                              The world peace cookies are the dark ones on the back of the plate. The flat ones and the powdered sugared ones are from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and are posted separately. The ugly lumpy ones are pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.


                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                I'm really glad you posted this picture because I made the World Peace cookies as well and they looked nothing like a picture I found of them on-line so I thought I must have done something terribly wrong. I took them to work yesterday for a party and they didn't even get touched. Weird. Oh well, more for us! I am loving this book!

                                                                                              2. Translucent Maple Syrup Tuiles

                                                                                                These are just about perfect. The maple syrup is not too pronounced, just enough to give them a flavor more rounded than cane sugar alone would provide.

                                                                                                In my oven, these baked in 9 minutes, not 7. The recipe calls for putting them on an unlined pan; I tried this with the first batch and they would not easily release so subsequent batches were done on Silpats on pans. After baking I was able to slide the Silpat to the edge of the pan and loosen the cookie, then roll it around the handy copper pipes my thoughtful husband made for just this sort of thing.

                                                                                                In the future, I would love to try these with ground walnuts, particularly black walnuts. I think that would be a marvelous combination with the maple syrup. I am also thinking of trying them with molasses, but that may be too sticky to work well.

                                                                                                And because they are so shatteringly crisp, I am now puzzling over how I will transport them to a dinner party this evening. I fear that when I open the box I will have Translucent Maple Syrup Potsherds instead of tuiles.

                                                                                                1. Midnight Crackles. I really like these. (The recipe is also in the November BA.) They come out pretty much like the picture, just make sure that when you press the dough down you shape it - the cookies will bake up in the shape that they go into the oven. My modification was to add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract an top with a quarter sqaure of a peppermint Ghiradellhi square.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: tavmark

                                                                                                    I am looking at these -- grabbed the book from the library yesterday and I am devouring each recipe in my mind as I page through the book. Great idea on the peppermint!

                                                                                                  2. I made the Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies. Disaster.

                                                                                                    The dough, I thought, was fine. I chilled the dough for hours in the fridge. I cut out the cookies, and after putting them in the oven for a couple of minutes, they didn't hold their shape. In fact, they ran into one another.

                                                                                                    I guess I didn't put in enough flour? Obviously I made a mistake as others have not had this issue.

                                                                                                    On the upside, the flavor was good. The end product, however, was not pretty.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: marthadumptruck

                                                                                                      I wouldn't be sure it wasn't enough flour. They may not have been chilled long enough (although I know you say hours, so that seems unlikely). The other thing is that I had problems with spreading (although not to the degree you describe) and I think others have as well. One comment I've heard consistently (both here and on the other board) is that the photo that appears to accompany them almost surely could not be the pecan brown sugar shortbread cookie, because the color is too light and because others have had a hard time with them spreading.

                                                                                                    2. Peanuttiest Blondies (p. 119).

                                                                                                      What's not to like? I love Blondies, and I love peanut butter. I didn't have a 9-inch square pan, so I used a pyrex 8-inch lined with buttered tinfoil. They looked done at 50 minutes, but I should have cooked these for probably 10 minutes more since the pan was smaller. Even though the toothpick came out clean, they were still a bit like raw cookie dough in the middle, though my husband thought that was great, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Moist and chewy with crunchy peanut butter as an ingredient and full of chopped peanuts and chocolate chips (I used regular; she suggests mini-chips), these were a great variation on the classic Blondie. A recipe I'd make again when I have a craving, or need something to bring to a party.

                                                                                                      Out of the oven:


                                                                                                      Cut into bars:


                                                                                                      1. Sablés
                                                                                                        I made the savory version of these today with Parmesan substituting for the sugars. As those who have made the sweet version said, they're very rich and buttery with a marvelous melt-in-the-mouth texture. But although I used about a full cup of Parmesan instead of the 3/4 cup called for, they weren't quite cheesy enough for me. I'll probably try these again because I was so thrilled with the texture, but I'd either add even more Parmesan or perhaps go with a Pecorino to try to boost the cheesiness.

                                                                                                        1. Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

                                                                                                          I made these Friday night with my niece and nephew. I used some dark chocolate I had on hand. They came together quite easily.

                                                                                                          Everyone loved these cookies when they came out of the oven. We almost got through the first cookie sheet before the next batch came out of the oven. On day two, I found them to be too crisp (this might have been influenced by my letting my nephew help decide when to pull them out of the oven). I like my cookies crisp but with just a bit of chew in the middle. These seeemed to be all crisp. I still managed to enjoy them by dipping them into a nice cup of tea. Many other people still seemed to enjoy them even with the extra crisp factor.

                                                                                                          In contrast to an earlier poster, I really liked the dark chocolate in these cookies.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                            I also made the Chunky PB & Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters. Instead of chocolate chips, I used Heath chips. Recipe was easy enough. Cookies were really soft coming out the oven but crisped up nicely. Taste was fine, nothing earth shattering. I also might have had too many sweets on the day I baked these.

                                                                                                            I also made the Chipster Topped Brownies. LOVE! Used pecans instead of walnuts (personal preference). Instead of chocolate chips in the cookie dough, I put in butterscotch chips. I also put in a whole bag instead one cup! Whoops. Dough was a little chip-heavy!

                                                                                                            They were very well received. Mailman even asked for a copy of the recipe.

                                                                                                          2. World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (pg. unknown because the book went back to the library)

                                                                                                            These were pretty darn good and forgiving. I don't give gifts to the myriad of nieces and nephews, instead, I try and spend time with them. The 5 year old niece and I made batches of cookies together. It's interesting, she loves watching the food network but doesn't like to eat things other than standard kid food. She also really likes Rachel Ray and enjoys perusing through her kid cookbook (aargh).

                                                                                                            So, to counteract this, we made cookies. The kid did most everything. I stood next to her and showed her how to measure the flour, sugar, etc. We did have some dry goods mishaps. The baking soda, for example, got a little away from her. And, it was sitting on top of the flour so it was a little difficult to tell how much was in there. I eyeballed it and added a little pinch more. The kid was also over enthusiastic in the wisking of the dry ingredients.

                                                                                                            The only thing I wouldn't let her do was to use the hand mixer. That's where the kid held firmly, the glass mixing bowl.

                                                                                                            I also did not chop my own chocolate for this. I used the bagged chocolate chips. The kid loved pouring the chips into the batter and mixing it up with the spoon. I also showed her how to scoop the cookie dough out with two tablespoons and she did a pretty good job. The cookies were just plopped, kid style on to the sheet and then we baked. I watched the cookies carefully in the oven (also had a slight issue with the oven because I didn't realize that once the oven timer went off, the oven also turned off) because the oven ran hot.

                                                                                                            And, all of the mishaps and loose measurements didn't matter. The cookies were delicious. These cookies were crisp on the bottom and chewy through the middle. They were also larger than the cookies in the book but that's not a bad thing. I don't think the kid really realized that she pretty much made the whole thing, but it's a very kid friendly recipe to do so.

                                                                                                            No pictures because I forgot the camera. But, the three year old, after every bite, purred, "ooom, yummy."

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                              My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 68)

                                                                                                              Just to be clear. I’m not claiming these are the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever made. That’s the name of the cookie.

                                                                                                              I said in a post above that I’d probably never get around to trying these, but I needed to make a batch of cookies; I wanted to make them with what I had on hand, and Dorie’s book was already off the shelf (since I was making her brioche). I had almost enough bulk Callebaut bittersweet (filled in with 3 ounces of Hershey’s mini chips) so cut that up (which is actually what she recommends—cutting your own chips from a good-quality block or bar). I probably could have chopped the chocolate a bit less than I did so the finished cookies would have had more “chunks” in them. The instructions call for “finely chopped” walnuts, so that’s what I did, although I usually like my CCCs with noticeable nuts in them.

                                                                                                              These are thin and crisp with a very pleasing caramel-like flavor; just a bit chewy in the center; altogether delightful; and very, very different from the Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewies, which are the ones I usually make. I doubt these will replace the CIs, but they’re an excellent alternative, one I would definitely (much to my surprise) make again.

                                                                                                            2. World Peace cookies:

                                                                                                              Normally I feel that chocolate loses its impact when combined with flour, but because these have both powdered chocolate and chunks of chocolate, the flavor still comes through beautifully.

                                                                                                              I was intrigued to see that the recipe called for fleur du sel, something I normally use only as a finishing touch in a recipe. I used it and found that it did enhance the flavor.

                                                                                                              I added a teaspoon of espresso powder; I think it boosts the flavor of the chocolate and takes away some of the cloying sweetness in most chocolate cookie recipes; it's a good addition.

                                                                                                              1. Honey Nut Brownies

                                                                                                                These were great. Like most brownies, they tasted better as the days went on. This is also one of the recipes that you cannot omit the nuts. The nuts add a satsifying texture to the brownie and offset the sweetness of the honey. The chocolate flavor was extremely subtle. The honey and nut flavors were predominant.

                                                                                                                The interesting thing is when I de-panned it, there were air bubbles on the bottom of the brownies. But, they still tasted great.

                                                                                                                Pictures of air pockets.



                                                                                                                Picture of brownie sheet:


                                                                                                                1. As I might have mentioned before, P & I recently moved to a new neighborhood. And in order to make a good impression on our first Halloween, I bought a ton of candy for all the kids in the Nieghborhood. But I guess the kids weren’t that impressed because we got left with a ton of it...

                                                                                                                  I initially had hopes of baking with all of it, I even hid all the Health Bars (I love toffee and toffee desserts!). But I could not find any real knock out recipes. So we began to give most of the candy away...

                                                                                                                  So when we were assigned Dorrie’s book last month and I began my search for Recipes, I came across the one for the Chewy Chunky Brownies and it featured Heath Bars... It was a sign; I dusted off the toffee and went straight to work...

                                                                                                                  First things first... Rip apart the recipe. Originally Dorrie called for Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips. I dunno, that didn’t seem very “Blondie” to me and the Health Pieces already had chocolate on them, so I went with White Chocolate Chips. She also called for a cup of coconut. I was making these for a cookie plate for my co-workers where I already had one bar with coconut and P. doesn’t like Coconut, so I omitted it.

                                                                                                                  The batter is really easy to put together with a stand mixer (I’m starting to really love that thing) and at the end, with all the bits added, it was quite thick paste to put into the pan...


                                                                                                                  The baking time was for 40 minutes and Dorrie got it right on the market, when the timer went off, the Blondies were indeed done....


                                                                                                                  But from the top, it looked like my blondies might be a little ‘too’ done and cakey. Luckily when I cut them up and placed them on my Cookie Plate, I could see that the inside was indeed moist, so it was truly a chunky and Chewy Blondie...


                                                                                                                  Now as for the flavor... YUM!!! These were some of the best blondies I’ve had because of the additions. As you can see by the picture here...


                                                                                                                  Each element stood on it’s own, but worked so well together as well. The Toffee seemed to MELT and add a wonderful buttery note with a soft chocolate whisper. The white Chocolate Chips was a nice creamy touch, and the roasted walnut added great texture and a earthniess to it all. The texture was just perfect, not too stickey sweet or goey. They went WONDERFUL with milk...

                                                                                                                  Thanks again everyone for selecting such a wonderful cookbook!! and with this post done... only one more to go! :)


                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                    Chewy Chunky Blondies, p. 158

                                                                                                                    These are excellent! We recently saw the new Nancy Drew movie on cable, which has a scene where Nancy finagles some information by leveraging a delicious looking blondie, anyway, my stepdaughter was intrigued because she'd never heard of blondies, and this seemed a travesty given that she is a sugar loving blond 7 year old, so I brought out trusty ole Dorie:)

                                                                                                                    I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except I substituted almond slivers for the walnuts and made a half batch in a 8x8 pyrex dish (rather than 9x13). Dommy gives a good summary above, and here's a link to the exact recipe:

                                                                                                                    I think I may like them more than brownies!! More of a complex flavor, with the butterscotch, chocolate bits, chewy coconut and a slight salty undertone all coming together wonderfully. They were super simple to make, and I'll definitely make them again- yet another Dorie Greenspan winner:)

                                                                                                                  2. Last night I made the chocolate biscotti. YUM!

                                                                                                                    I subbed toasted walnuts for the nut in the recipe (almonds, maybe?). I love the deep, rich cocoa flavor. Nice & crunchy.

                                                                                                                    1. I've made a LOT from this cookbook since I received it a couple of years ago.

                                                                                                                      Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies -- these were great, very chocolatey but chewy too: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      Peanut Butter Crisscrosses -- I love these. They are the perfect pb cookie, IMO: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread -- These were good, with rich flavor. Not a favorite, though (but poss. b/c I made several other kinds of cookies at the time, so they got lost): http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie -- One of my favorite cookies now (as well as the espresso variation): http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      Hungarian Shortbread -- Really really good, but grating the dough was kind of a pain (partially b/c of the lame grater I was using, I think): http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      Almond Biscotti -- crunchy without breaking your teeth, and flavorful: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      PB Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies -- Very good, but I'd skip the cinnamon: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      Espresso Choc Chip Cookies: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      World Peace Cookies and Lemon Sables -- two of my favorites, both frequently requested: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                        Thanks for the links, and the recommendations. Everything looks so good, I don't know where to start, so that helps!

                                                                                                                      2. Snickery Squares (page 120)
                                                                                                                        Caramel Crunch Bars (page 112)

                                                                                                                        Made these a couple of months ago, but just now getting around to reporting on them.

                                                                                                                        The Snickery Squares, which the author says are like classy Snickers bars (and they are!) are made up of three layers: shortbread cookie on the bottom, dulce de leche combined with chopped caramelized salted peanuts in the middle, topped with bittersweet chocolate scattered with more crunchy caramelized peanuts. Dorie says to use store-bought dulce de leche, but I couldn’t find any easily so made the stuff one makes from a can of sweetened condensed milk. That may have been a mistake, since the dulce de leche never firmed up as I thought it should and it was, to my taste, almost sickeningly sweet. That was my opinion, but not the opinion of those who ate every last crumb and thought they were terrific.

                                                                                                                        Not as terrific, though, as the Caramel Crunch Bars, which I’ve been asked to make twice since. The bottom layer is a crunchy, caramel, brown sugar cookie with some chocolate in it topped with more chocolate and scattered with Heath Toffee Bits on top. The chocolate can be either bittersweet or milk. The first two times I made them I put milk chocolate in the cookie layer and topped the bars with bittersweet; the third time I did the reverse. Tough call which I liked better, and not sure those eating them noticed a difference. Also, the first time I made them I couldn’t find Heath Toffee Bits anywhere in Manhattan and cut up 3 Skors bars instead. Glad I finally found the Toffee Bits since they not only made for a more attractive topping, but added even more of a toffee crunch to the bars. But the Skors bars were more than adequate if you can’t find the Bits.

                                                                                                                        This is an extremely rich cookie. Dorie says to cut them into 2 X 1-inch bars if serving them straight and into 3 or 4-inch squares if making them for ice cream bars. I had intended to make ice cream bars with them, but everybody kept gobbling them up before I had the chance. Maybe one day I’ll hide the cookies long enough to be able to accomplish that because I’m sure they’d be fabulous with vanilla ice cream (she also recommends chocolate—which I think would be a bit of overkill—or cinnamon—which I’ll bet would be spectacular) in them. But even as an ice cream sandwich I think a 3-inch square would be too much of a good thing. I ended up cutting the last batch into about 1½ inch squares and I thought that was plenty large enough, to say nothing of then feeling less guilty about having more than one and also having them last longer. These are now my grandsons favorite cookie and I never thought anything would ever surpass the CI Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chips..

                                                                                                                        Took photos of both cookies originally, but (senior moment) formatted my memory card before remembering to upload them. These photos of the Caramel Crunch Bars, a bit fuzzy, were taken the second time I made them.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                          They look delicious. I've had this recipe on my list of things to make from the book. Thanks for the heads up on the sweetened condensed milk dulce de leche. I found the same thing when I made millionaire's shortbread.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                            Joan - Those both look great--thanks for posting. The snickery squares have been on my list for a while. So good to know about the dulce de leche. After your review --sounds like I will add the caramel crunch bars to the list as well! Thanks again.

                                                                                                                          2. Gingered Carrot Cookies

                                                                                                                            Don't have the book handy for the page #, but I made these this weekend and they were delish. The consistency, as Dorie notes in the header, is kind of like a scone, which was nice, and the taste was great, carrots, raisins, coconut, walnuts, and lots of ginger, what's not to love. Next time I'll use more nuts, they were a tad too sweet for my taste. If you like carrot cake, these will be right up your alley, and they were great with tea.

                                                                                                                            These were almost kid-proof, as a sidenote. When my nieces and nephews heard what was in them, they were not interested, leaving lots for the grown-ups. Then one intrepid chowpup tasted one and declared them safe, and now I have nothing left over to snack on today.

                                                                                                                            1. Grandma's All-occasion Sugar Cookies (p. 146)

                                                                                                                              This is a great recipe that can be played around with. Easy as pie since you roll the dough up into a log and pop into the refrigerator for a day or 3 for when you have time to bake them. I add lemon zest (mixing it by hand into sugar ahead of time) and cardamom (well, 'cause I love cardamom) and this is a fantastic cookie that gets more praise than the effort deserves! I timed 30 minutes from start to wrapped rolls sitting in the refrigerator, and I'm not a speedy baker.

                                                                                                                              Didn't bother with icing -- I just sprinkled on some large-crystal sugar. Did it after cookies came out of oven, and then realized later I should do this before, and then I added some later.

                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                                                I used this recipe as my sugar cookie cut out recipe for Christmas.. I added lots of nutmeg and found that people loved it, althought they could never quite tell exactly *what* is was that made it so good...

                                                                                                                                1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                                                  I am hooked on Dorie's sugar cookies. I keep coming back to them because they are easy, delicious and reliable whenever I need cookies. I have made some of her suggestion variations/"Playing around" -- love the flexibility she encourages.

                                                                                                                                  I have added:
                                                                                                                                  1 c. dried coconut (untoasted,unsweetened). yum; and high praise from eaters
                                                                                                                                  4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate and 3/4 c. chopped toasted pecans
                                                                                                                                  lime zest

                                                                                                                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                                                    The coconut is a great idea.. good to know. I found the dough utterly addictive!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                      I can't wait to try these with a little nutmeg. I use nutmeg on my peanut butter cookies, it gives them such a nice flavor.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilgi

                                                                                                                                        I found that it really made a big difference. No-one could figure out quite why they tasted so good, but quite a few people told me that they were the best sugar cookie they'd ever had.. and trust me, it wasn't the presentation!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                          I use another recipe for sugar cookies but based on the comments I must try, with a little nutmeg of course ;)

                                                                                                                                2. I was in a coffee-y mood today, so I made the World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe today, but did both the chocolate and espresso substitutions, giving me what I like to call Mocha Cocoa Chip cookies. They're full of dark chocolate as well as espresso powder, a powerful (and delicious combination.)

                                                                                                                                  1. Midnight Crackles page 74

                                                                                                                                    Deep dark chocolatey (melted bittersweet chocolate AND unsweetened cocoa), with a hint of cinnamon and an endearing old-fashioned texture, these cookies are delightful. Perfect to accompany coffee or tea! Not overly sweet, really an adult cookie although I noticed a 5.yr.old chomping away happily when I brought them to a party the other night.

                                                                                                                                    And -- guess what I discovered this time? Midnight crackles actually taste better the second day, BEST the third day after baking. I don't recall this happening with other cookies in my repertoire... I remember that being the case with Nigella's dense chocolate loaf cake. My mom agreed and had noted the same flavor deepening. Better the 2nd day, best the 3rd day.

                                                                                                                                    Recipe calls for cloves too, which I don't include, and I reduce the cinnamon to 1/8 tsp, heaping. This is my second time making these (1st one in the spring) and I will make again and again. I may add some orange zest next time.