December 2013: Cookies for the Holidays | Mechanics' Institute

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December 2013: Cookies for the Holidays




December is a busy month in our family with three birthdays and the holidays. During the cool weather, I love to bake and enjoy the aroma of fresh cookies in the house. If you are like me, you have time-tested recipes that may have become traditional favorites in your family. This year, I’m going to try out some of the recipes in the books below. I hope you will too.

Chewy gooey crispy crunchy melt-in-your-mouth cookies by Alice Medrich (Balcony 2B, 641.865 M492)
This is the only cookbook I’ve seen that comes with a User’s Guide followed by an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section. The tips here are, even for this experienced baker, quite useful – how to toast coconut, sesame seeds and nuts to the cacao content of chocolate used in the recipes. The recipes are then ordered in chapters by texture: crispy, crunchy, chunky, chewy, gooey, flakey and melt-in-your-mouth. Included are whole grain recipes along with wheat free ones.

The cookie jar by Josephine Perry (Balcony 2B, 641.865 P46)
A 1940s collection of cookies from around the world, from simple to complicated. Cookie ingredients have not changed much over the years. Following the table of contents is an interesting section entitled “Choosing the right cookie” that works well for everything from parties to Christmas to gift boxes. Another section called “What kind of cookies shall I bake” lists ingredients in the recipe such as buttermilk to cookie types, such as honey cakes.

The Jewish holiday baker by Joan Nathan  (Balcony 2B, 641.815 N27)
Although Joan Nathan is listed as the author, bakers from all over the world contributed to this book. Each holiday section has an introduction explaining about the holiday and the related traditional foods. The recipes come from many parts of the world, representing the breadth of Jewish history and geography.

Swedish cakes and cookies by Melody Favish (Balcony 2B, 641.8653 S974)
Over 100 cookies recipes and much more. A beautifully illustrated book of treats I’ve often seen in bakeries. Even though this has “Swedish” in the title, you’ll find sections on Danish pastries, Italian biscotti and tips for successful baking.

Posted on Nov. 27, 2013 by Deborah Hunt