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Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy

Has anyone baked from Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy? If so, were you pleased with the results?

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  1. I made the "My Ginger Cookies" (aka Screaming Ginger Cookies), page 154, last week and received a standing ovation from my partner who declared these the best cookies I've ever made. Love that the recipe calls for ground ginger, fresh grated ginger, and crystalized ginger chips. Everyone who has had one has begged for the recipe. Nick Magieri's Ginger Snaps used to be my go-to ginger cookie recipe but not anymore. Alice's My Ginger Cookies now reigns supreme.

    7 Replies
    1. re: MsMora

      I made these and wasn't very taken with them - they didn't crinkle for me and I have NO idea why.

      1. re: MsMora

        My DH also declared these the best cookies I've ever made!

        1. re: roxlet

          I have no clue why they didn't work for me. Operator error, must be.

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Once we get rid of these! New baking powder, maybe, although it's worked in other things.

        2. re: MsMora

          I've had these ginger cookies on my "to make" list ever since I first read your report and finally got around to it today. Now that I've tasted them, I'm kicking myself for having waited so long. I'm also wondering where I'm going to find the willpower to stop "tasting" them so there will still be some left when my company shows up tomorrow.

          1. re: HillJ

            Thanks for the recipe--you and MsMora have put these on my "must-bake" list. :) And I love the pic at the top of the blog!

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Thank you for noticing, I picked that particular bloggers recipe post because of the hound :)

            2. re: HillJ

              The only cookies I've ever made (once) was a ginger-molasses one. This sounds even better. Finally a cookie that's not cloyingly sweet. Thanks for sharing that. I actually find the kitty/puppy blog pictures off-putting. I can go to that type of blog if that's what I want to see. But a good recipe nonetheless.

              1. re: c oliver

                proving once again that we can't be all things to all ch's! even with the pleasure of cookie baking btwn us, our "politics" run the ga-mut (pun intended). I've never owned a dog, have family mem's highly allergic to pet hair; especially cats...but I love hounds nonetheless :)

                I just prepared this dough again this morning and upped the fresh grated ginger to double, 4 tablespoons because I like the flavor and texture it provides. The molasses is such a small component here; some flavor but mostly a binder. I won't bake them until Sat so the dough is resting nicely in the frig.

                1. re: HillJ

                  I can just taste this with a little bowl of Greek yogurt.

                  We call ourselves the "Jobs as in the biblical Job of the Animal Caretaker World" :) But the only place they show up here is my avatar.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Spot on; crumbled over the yogurt is amazing!

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Ooh, crumbled! I'd imagined dipping but crumbled sounds WAY better.

            3. I'm two for three. My Ginger Cookies were a big hit with ginger lovers. Though they didn't hold their shape as nicely as I would have liked, the Salted Peanut Toffee cookies were absurdly adored, and are now the top requested peanut butter cookie. The Vanilla Sugar Cookies, made for cut outs, weren't as good as the usual recipe I use. They were fine, but not fantastic.

              1. I'm not sure if these are in the book or not, but Alice's Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter from the cover of last month's Bon Appetit fall into the "best brownie" category for me. They're intensely chocolate, super easy to make and aww, shoot, the walnuts just get in the way of the chocolatey goodness, so I left them out.


                You can see just how moisty and chewy they are here, though I know the magazine picture is of higher quality...

                1 Reply
                1. re: kattyeyes

                  I make a recipe of my mother's that's "brownie pie" kinda between a brownie and fudge in consistency. But I'd never leave out the pecans. Otherwise it's a one-trick pony. You might want to try it.

                2. I've baked the ginger cookies from the book (mine is the blog with the recipe link in this thread) and loved them. I've also made the wheat-free oatmeal cookies, with dried cherries instead of raisins, and they were outstanding. The butter flavor really shone and the cookies had a wonderful chewy texture.

                  In addition I've made the Chestnut Walnut Meringues (good and very different from the chestnut flavor) and the Coconut Macaroons (my coconut-loving friend adored these, they were nice and chewy and the big coconut flakes are unusual and good)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: nancyo

                    Wow, welcome to CH, nancyo! How fun to think HillJ's post brought you here. :) Love your virtual cookie swap, your banner pic and to know you met Alice Medrich personally. Very, very cool indeed and I really look forward to making these cookies even more now that I know the backstory.

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      I've visited CH on occasion, and it was fun to have an excuse to actually join! Thanks to you and to HillJ for the words of welcome.

                      1. re: nancyo

                        It's your blog, Corner Loaf, and the lavash baking that hooked me :)
                        Thanks for some wonderful tips.

                    2. re: nancyo

                      yes, welcome nancyo and thank you for sharing the recipe via your terrific blog.

                      1. re: nancyo

                        The chestnut meringue batter makes excellent japonais cake layers for adding to a chestnut génoise or other layer cake - put together with chestnut buttercream (from RLB's The Cake Bible, creme de marrons with butter beaten into it). I do love Medrich's recipes in general.

                      2. Has anyone made Maya's Lemon Thins (page 72) from this book? She describes these as "tender, crisp, and very lemony cookies" and says that they perfectly complement tea. I am in the mood for something tart and fresh after the weeks of rich foods.

                        On the other hand, another idea would involve making my first-ever batch of caramel sauce for her salted caramel cheesecake bars (page 236). Hmmmm. Maybe I will make both?

                        1. I had the ginger cookies yesterday (made by a friend) and man-oh-man were they good, completely different from when I made them. Dunno why,

                          1. Sticky pecan bites = ultra-pleased!

                            The sticky pecan bites are adorable, delicious little treats! I modified just a little by chopping up my pecans. The dough came together quickly (no yeast in the batter) and then you just roll it out into a rectangle and spread it with the sticky cinnamon filling, then roll up and slice. Each little bun goes into a mini muffin tin, nuts on the bottom (see photos). I will definitely make these again and again. Family members have been requesting another batch since I made these!

                            These would be great to serve to weekend guests or anyone stopping by for tea or coffee. They would package up well for a gift, too, but are best enjoyed the day they are baked.

                            3 Replies
                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                Those look super. roxlet, are you reading along?

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Just saw this. One of my weaknesses!

                            1. I've tried five recipes from this book, all outstanding.

                              Black bottom praline bars, p 178 (two-layer bar, bittersweet brownie topped with a frenzy of pecans and brown sugar, almost a blondie on top but heavier on the nuts).

                              Very Tangy Lemon Bars 2.0 p 182 (Ultra-zingy lemon freshness. Delightful buttery base).

                              Gooey Turtle Bars p 208 (1 of my favorite cookie recipes now. Phenomenal! Shortbread crust topped with a homemade caramel sauce, plus bittersweet chocolate and lots of toasty pecans).

                              Caramel Cheesecake Bars p 236 (Creamy, decadent, and beautifully swirled with caramel topping).

                              Sticky Pecan Bites p 239 (Adorable, easy. Reviewed above).

                              Every one of these has impressed me -- the flavors pop while also offering a surprising subtlety.

                              1. I've been baking some cookies and such for refreshments for a group that meets regularly, and have made a few things from the book, so I thought I'd mention them here. Three were definite successes, and the fourth worked well enough for the circumstances that led me to choose it. (Those are my judgments; the people I'm baking for enthusiastically eat up everything.)

                                Apricot Lemon Bars with Hazelnut Crust:

                                A nice twist on standard lemon bars with apricot preserves added to the topping and some chopped hazelnuts added to the typical shortbread crust. The topping is tangy and sweet, but not too (the preserves I used weren't super-sweet), the lemon and apricot work well together, and it's a pretty pale-peach color. The hazelnuts didn't register much, so I'd either use more or skip them.

                                Spicy Carrot Masala Macaroons:

                                I chose these out of curiosity. They're made with ground almonds, unsweetened coconut, and shredded carrots, and flavored with garam masala and a smidge of lemon zest. Interesting technique has you mix everything together, then set the bowl in simmering water and stir till it's hot. They do end up with a nice, moist and gooey-chewy texture. I thought they were really good, and the combo of warm and savory spices in the garam masala lent a complex and interesting flavor.

                                Coffee Walnut Cookie:

                                These are a buttery sablé-type cookie flavored with finely ground walnuts, finely ground coffee beans, brandy, and vanilla. They come together easily in the food processor, and she gives a choice of slice-and-bake or roll-and-cut-out. I did the former. They have a delicate texture and flavor, really nice.

                                Less-Is-More Overnight Brownies:

                                These are her lower-fat brownies, made with cocoa, a restrained amount of butter, and a combo of whole eggs and egg whites. I made these not out of nutritional concern, but due to some limitations in my schedule and the need to make something with what was on hand. You're meant to refrigerate the batter in the pan overnight before baking (to hydrate the cocoa) and so I was able to make the batter one night, bake them the next, and cut and take them the third. I used all whole eggs. You would never mistake them for a butter- and chocolate-rich version, but they had a good chewy texture.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Fun, thank you! Those apricot lemon bars are calling my name.


                                2. Thanks guys. Now I'm sold. I'll go buy this cookbook.

                                  1. Made the Coconut Sticks with the coconut I had leftover from Thomas Keller's coconut cake. Very tasty. A tad tough, though - would have preferred more delicate cookie.