I received an e-mail from a publisher a couple of weeks ago. They had come across my blog and wanted to know if I would like to review a book they had coming out. Me? I was flattered (my aw-shucks, you really like me moment). Wait, this isn’t some ploy to get me to buy another book is it? So I asked “Do I have to send the book back? I hate mailing stuff. I GET TO KEEP IT?! Sure I’ll do it!” The last thing I needed was another baking book as I am the owner of way too many cookbooks. As space on my shelf grows tight I have had to be selective about which books I get and keep. BUT THIS WAS FREE. So what the heck! When I did receive my copy of Miranda Couse’s Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook I felt like I was getting an extra birthday gift. I flipped through the book for an initial look just to size it up. I noted the extensive section on essentials, ingredients, and how-tos. Great for beginners. The cookies are organized by types such as drops, classics, brownies and bars, slice and bake and holiday treats. There are tips and variations interspersed throughout the book, very informative. Each page is user-friendly with the ingredients and quantities listed on the left and instructions on the right. Every recipe is preceded by a highlighted box with prep time, baking time, how many cookies and shelf life, love that. There are photos every couple of pages but not one for each cookie. Bummers. But the photos included are well-staged and close-up, you know exactly what the cookie should look like.
Now to the serious stuff. I tried two recipes, the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread and Coffee Cheesecake Swirled Brownie. Both were straightforward and easy to make, especially the shortbread. The cookie is buttery, very lemony which really creates a nice contrast with the blueberries. Dried blueberries are used which I think intensifies the flavor. Really delicious cookie. The brownies were a bit more effort with the 2 batters but worth it. They are decadent, gooey and dense. The sweetness is tempered by the hit of espresso powder. Next time I might add chocolate chips to the brownie batter just to amp up chocolate. Double yums.
Despite having a zillion cookie books, I am making room on my shelf for this one. It is easy, straightforward, well organized and more importantly, the recipes work. I know Jamie is going to love it. Holiday baking here we come.
This would be the perfect stocking stuffer for novice bakers and cookie lovers!