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The All-American Cookie Bookby Pam Baggett
For this trailblazing collection of Americas favorite cookies, Nancy Baggett crisscrossed the nation, visiting small-town bakeries, chic urban cookie boutiques, rural inns, bed-and-breakfasts, farmers markets, and the homes of locally renowned cooks. She combed through community cookbooks and searched out long-lost heirloom recipes, sure-handedly reworking every recipe in her own kitchen.
THE ALL-AMERICAN COOKIE BOOK celebrates regional gems from every corner of the country: Pennsylvania Dutch Soft Sugar Cookies, New York Black and Whites, New Mexican Biscochitos, Key Lime Frosties from Florida, and Mocha Espresso Wafers from Seattle. A sophisticated hazelnut chocolate sandwich cookie that was the closely guarded secret of an Oregon hostess is here, and so is a delightfully crisp (and easy to roll out) old-fashioned gingerbread cookie recreated from a handwritten 1880 notebook.
Homespun classics abound: Chocolate Whoopie Pies, Caramel Apple Crumb Bars, Chocolate Chunk Brownies, and Caramel-Frosted Brown Sugar Drops. The collection also features devastatingly delicious contemporary creations like Chewy Chocolate Chunk Monster Cookies and Cranberry-Cherry Icebox Ribbons. For children and adults alike, one of the most exciting chapters will be the lavishly illustrated Cookie Decorating and Crafts,” which includes everything from simple projects like Christmas cookies and Chocolate Gingerbread Bears to an elaborate gingerbread house. As Nancy Baggett tells the story of Americas heritage, she slips in fascinating bits of history, showing the evolution of our homegrown baking traditions.
Chapter 1 Read This: How to Make Great Cookies Every Single Chapter 2 Sugar Cookies and Shortbreads Chapter 3 Chocolate and White Chocolate Chip Cookies Chapter 4 Chocolate and Mocha Cookies Chapter 5 Brownies, Blondies, and Other Bar Cookies Chapter 6 Fruit, Pumpkin, and Carrot Cookies Chapter 7 Nut and Peanut Cookies Chapter 8 Oat, Coconut, and Sesame Seed Cookies Chapter 9 Ginger, Spice, and Molasses Cookies Chapter 10 Cookie Decorating and Crafts Bibliography Index
"From one scrumptious cookie to the next, Nancy Baggett weaves together regional favorites both old and new in this unique collection with a distinctively American flavor." - Flo Braker
"The All-American Cookie Book is an all-too-rare treat among cookbooks: a book that is as delicious to bake from as it is fascinating to read. Nancy Baggett's clearly written, easy-to-follow recipes are bound to delight cookie monsters young and old, while her many and far-ranging short takes on cookie lore and history are just what curious bakers crave. The All-American Cookie Book is the perfect book for every cookie-loving American." — Dorie Greenspan
"Let others eat cake. Grab a glass of cold milk and gobble up the finest in American cookies with Nancy Baggett as your guide. Whether you favor jumbles, jewels, Joe Froggers, blondies, brownies, black and whites, or the quintessential chocolate chip, you'll find them here. With Nancy's generous helpings of history and special tips to yield consistently great results, your dessert plate will be well loaded." - Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
"Nancy Baggett's comprehensive book on American cookies is a winner! This is a book for people who love to bake and want to know the history and stories behind the cookies we eat." — Joan Nathan
"The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett (Houghton Mifflin, $35) is a flag-waver of a cookbook, built on the contention that American bakers have not just copied European customs but have created a distinct sweet repertoire of their own. The collection is accompanied by enough basic advice and instructions to tempt even a kitchen klutz to dip into the flour sack and the sugar jar." The San Francisco Chronicle
ToffeeChocolate Chip Drop Cookies
Makes about 30 (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch cookies) cookies.
Up until the 1990s, if you wanted to add toffee pieces to cookies, you had to buy toffee candy and chop it up yourself. Now, a manufacturer sells bags of small bits.
Though it might seem like gilding the lily, I think the toffee bits are particularly good folded into chocolate chip cookies. They add a hint of butterscotch flavor, plus a slight crunch and chew. In this recipe, they also make the dough more spreadable, which contributes to the appealing tender-crispness of these cookies.
Even hard-core fans of traditional chocolate chip cookies have found this variation difficult to resist.
2 cups all-purpose white flour Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened 21/2 tablespoons corn oil or other flavorless vegetable 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 large egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 11/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels 1/2 cup Heath bar or other milk chocolate toffee bit
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low, then medium, speed, beat together the butter, oil, and brown sugars until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. Beat or stir in the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Stir in the chocolate morsels and toffee bits until evenly incorporated. Drop the dough onto the baking sheets using 1/8-cup measure or coffee scoop, spacing about 2 1/2 inches apart; keep the portions as round as possible. With oiled fingertips, pat down the cookies slightly.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tinged with brown, slightly darker at the edges, and almost firm when pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 weeks.
Copyright © 2001 Nancy Baggett. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.
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