When I got the invitation to review Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook by Miranda Couse I hesitated a bit. I mean I love cookbooks and I love cookies but Easy sometimes means processed foods and while I enjoy a cake mix cookie occasionally and I love a brownie mix brownie I do typically prefer cookies made from scratch.
I shouldn't have worried. By easy Miranda Couse means ingredients that are easy to find in your grocery store and the most exotic kitchen tool required is a hand mixer though I suppose if you really wanted to give yourself an arm workout you could put your wooden spoon to work. She does provide a few tips and instructions if you want to get fancy but for the most part these are fairly traditional cookies with simple decorations. So what makes this cookbook special and stand out from the tons of other cookie cookbooks? That's easy - the results.
The recipes were well laid out with easy to follow instructions. There's a good variety of cookies from drop cookies to cutouts to bars. The variety within each category is enormous and ranges from the regular chocolate chip cookies and brownies to the more unusual Banana Bread Cookies or Red Velvet Cut-Out Cookies or Buckeye Thumbprint Cookies. There is a chapter of Holiday Cookies like Sugary Mint Shamrocks and Ghost Meringues. While these are festive the decorations are simple enough that a child could participate.
Now back to talking about the results. I started off making Snickerdoodles. I like the idea of Snickerdoodles. In theory they're sweet and buttery and full of cinnamony goodness but in reality this isn't always the case. They can be too crisp or not enough cinnamon or lacking in the buttery goodness or too cakey. These Snickerdoodles were none of these things. They were slightly crispy on the edges but perfectly chewy in the center. The flavor was buttery cinnamon-y perfection and I could have easily eaten the whole batch on my own. To make sure the fantastic results weren't a fluke I made Cheesecake Swirled Brownies next and reveled in the decadent fudgy goodness with just a bit of cheesecakey tang. Next up was Chocolate Chip Shortbread which was not to sweet and perfectly speckled with bits of chocolate. So after 3 pretty fantastic results I've got to admit that this cookbook is pretty fantastic in itself. I have a feeling this will be my go-to this year for all my Christmas baking.
But you don't have to take my word for it. You can try the Snickerdoodles for yourself!
SnickerdoodlesEasy Homemade Cookie Cookbook
2 3/4 cups cake flour (I only had 2 cups cake flour so I used 3/4 cups all purpose)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Kerrygold)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I just used a stoneware pan)
In a medium mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the cake flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat the butter, shortening, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy. This will take about 3 minutes if using an electric mixer or 5 to 6 minutes if creaming by hand. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed or by hand until the dough comes together.
In a shallow bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and cinnamon for rolling.
Using a medium (1 1/2 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls, drop each ball into the bowl of cinnamon sugar, and roll to coat evenly. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
Note: The consistency of the dough was a little softer than I was expecting but I found it stayed together fine and was never too sticky to work with.
What are your favorite cookie recipes? If you give this one a try let me know your results! I hope you find them as tasty as I did.
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads