Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice MedrichCookies are easy, enticing, and fun. Yet as the award-winning baker Alice Medrich notes, too often, home cooks cling to the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips, when so much more is possible. “What if cookies reflected our modern culinary sensibility—our spirit of adventure and passion for flavors and even our dietary concerns?” Medrich writes in her introduction to this landmark cookie cookbook, organized by texture, from crunchy to airy to chunky. An inveterate tester and master manipulator of ingredients, she draws on the world’s pantry of ingredients for such delicious riffs on the classics as airy meringues studded with cashews and chocolate chunks, palmiers (elephant’s ears) made with cardamom and caramel, and rugelach with halvah. Butter and sugar content is slashed and the flavor turned up on everything from ginger snaps to chocolate clouds. From new spins on classic recipes including chocolate-chip cookies and brownies, to delectable 2-point treats for Weight Watchers, to cookies to make with kids, this master conjurer of sweets will bring bliss to every dessert table.

From the library.

My library cookbook binge continued with this giant book.  With a title like that who could possibly resist?

Although the book is enormous and absolutely packed with recipes of all types from brownies to biscotti and everything in between I found only a single recipe that I will be making (the Goldies on page 48).  Most of the recipes are either slice and bake or roll, cut, and bake cookies (not the bar cookies or brownies, of course).  I'm strictly a drop cookie girl, hence the single selection.

Frankly, if you can't find at least one recipe in this compilation that you'd like to try then you're just not looking hard enough.  There is literally something for everyone, including quite a few recipes that are wheat free.

This one gets four stars.  Granted, there are not photos of every single recipe, but the important (such as shaped tuiles) ones are visually represented.  Overall, fewer than 25% of the recipes are shown, but it's not a huge deal.  The book is well formatted for easy browsing and each recipe begins on a left hand page which results in two facing pages being used for each recipe which is infinitely easier for actually baking from the book.  Cookie, bar, and brownie lovers will enjoy this book and it would make a lovely gift as well.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


Ryan G said...

I'm not much of a baker so I never do much with these books. I do love to eat the results though.

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