I’m a sucker for cookies. Maybe it’s because it was the first thing I really learned how to bake, maybe it’s because I ate Otis Spunkmeyer cookies nearly every day in middle school, or maybe it’s because I worked at a cookie shop. Whatever it is, I love cookies and I’ve become a tough critic of my favorite baked goods. Not just any old cookie will please me. No, not even Otis Spunkmeyer can do the job anymore.
I won’t lie, as I flipped through the pages, I was overwhelmed by the extensive recipes that spanned two, three, and even four pages. I’m used to simple drop cookie recipes, not rolled or cut or layered with long lists of ingredients and special tools. Though it’s not totally my style, I can appreciate attention to detail and the amazing results that often come from thorough, time-consuming recipes.
In my first perusal of the book, I found the Dream Bar recipe that instantly made me salivate. We’re talking a shortbread bar topped with melty chocolate and brown sugar meringue. That’s three layers of wonderfulness. I dug in right away.
The recipe was surprisingly simple, for having three different parts. Of course, I didn’t have all of the fun recommended pastry tools in my tiny little kitchen, but I made do with what I had. With a little bit of patience and time to assemble everything, it came together without a hitch! Maybe I can manage the four-page recipes after all?
My husband and I could hardly resist digging into the bars right away with a fork and were so impressed with the finished product, so much so that the fork never left the pan and we ate it all, bite by bite. Oops. I absolutely loved the layering and it’s inspired some new ideas for using these techniques on other favorite treats like my favorite black bean brownies. These Dream bars were truly dreamy and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty and make them again! Though maybe next time we’ll share…
As a baking fiend, I felt that Cookie Love was the perfect step into gourmet cookie baking, but I couldn’t help but think that anyone who hasn’t spent a lot of time baking might not feel as comfortable with this book. Words like “homogenous” are scattered throughout and tools like dough dockers and specific numbered pastry tips are necessary to complete some tasks. And even I couldn’t tell you where to find “demerara sugar” or “gianduja.” Beginning bakers may need to start with something like Martha Stewart’s cookies or a more general baking book before digging in to Cookie Love.
But once you feel ready, you definitely won’t be disappointed in results like Chocolate Toffee Biscotti, Malted Milk Spritz, and Chocolate Pretzel Shortbread with Milk Chocolate Caramel. Segal definitely knows what she’s doing and has creativity in mounds that will help you impress everyone with your baking skills. Soon you’ll be a master of perfectly irresistible cookies.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.