The book itself is broken up into useful chapters - especially if you're cooking for a crowd (or a Bake Sale) - there's a chapter focusing on Chocolate, Kid Friendly, Gluten Free, Halfway Healthy, Vegan and several others. The offered treats range from chocolate layer cakes and brownies to the slightly more exotic Chinese Lucky Almond Cookies, Danish Blondes as well as Gluten Free and Vegan options. There are also tips for hosting a successful bake sale and packing up your treats.
The recipe I decided to try is a little bit on the more basic side but doesn't lose any of it's chocolate decadence.
Milk Chocolate Thumbprints8 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small, even size pieces
1 tablespoon unsifted cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
big pinch of salt
36 to 48 large milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 2 large baking sheets with butter or cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.
In a small heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat, warm the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, until almost completely melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa. Set aside to cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg and vanilla until creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until well combined. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt directly into the chocolate mixture and beat just until no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
Using a teaspoon, drop balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to space them at least 1 1/2" apart. Using your thumb (it helps to wet it first) or the back of a spoon, make a small indentation in the center of each ball of dough and fill each with one large chocolate chip.
Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes (It took mine about 10 minutes). Cool on the baking sheets on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove the cookies to the rack and cool completely
Changes Made: I started with jumbo chocolate chips but didn't think they made enough of an impact and switched to Hershey Kisses. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly.
My Results: The cookies came together pretty easily but the texture of the dough was very odd. It was stickier and more liquid than most dough but still held together. Baked the cookie almost resembles a meringue with the smooth crispy outside texture and the light softer middle. The flavor was similar to a brownie and really would have been good even without the chocolate chip.
Bottom Line: I'm not sure this is a book I'll be rushing to buy right now. While I liked these cookies and there are other recipes I'd like to try there just aren't all that many recipes in this book and a number of them are either Vegan or Gluten free which doesn't particularly interest me. However, I do plan on getting this from the library again and trying a few more recipes. If you bake a lot for entertaining or have dietary issues I think this would definitely be one not to pass up. Otherwise, it's definitely great to try but not necessarily a buy.
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads