Best Cookie Recipe Book Ever

Dorie’s Cookies cookbook review with “Chunkers” recipe for you to try.

By Adrianne Morrison and Linda Kissam

Dorie Greenspan

Let’s put on our aprons and spend some time creaming butter, shaping dough, and constructing edible masterpieces. If you’re not well-acquainted with your rolling pin, chances are you’ll still eat your fair share of cookies in the coming months, so why not eat the best? Whether you’re gifting cookies to relatives, bringing a contribution to the office party, or looking for inspiration in your own kitchen, Dorie’s Cookies (by Dorie Greenspan ) cookbook tells all, shows all and inspires all.

There’s no treat or desert easier to serve, gift, or snack-on than cookies, right? So, you can make your usual Sugar, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal Cookies or, be more adventurous like my mom, who made lemon bars and pizzelles. Don’t get me wrong, all Mom’s cookies are worthy of devouring every last bite, but could we be hungry for something different this year?

It’s fun to serve cookies with cocktails, or bring a hostess gift of savory cookies with the recipe and a story. Each of Dorie’s recipes comes with a personal anecdote that entertains and enriches your baking experience. Why not adopt this idea and share your own short tale or poem at the next cocktail party, cookie exchange or bake sale?

We would usually recommend a collection of international and gourmet recipes like “Mulled Wine Jammers” to an experienced baker. However, with the special how-to and how-come sections, we think this is a great buy or gift for anyone who loves and wants to make delicious cookies regardless of prior baking experience. We especially appreciated the “Storing” instructions included with each recipe. Read the techniques, start with the easy ones, and by this time next year you, too, will be making gourmet cookies. We give this book 5 of 5 stars.

Adrianne

Dorie Greenspan opens the door to a whole new world of sweet and savory possibilities. In her new cookbook, Dorie shares her personal and professional cookie secrets: recipes, techniques and gear only a true cookie perfectionist would know to employ. For instance, how many of us pop in whatever we are baking as soon as the oven reaches temperature? I know I am guilty. But, do you know why you should not do this?

Set your oven to temperature, wait for the beep or the light or whatever signal your oven gives you that it’s ready and check the oven thermometer (the one you should keep in the oven at all times; see page 22), then let the oven continue to heat for another 10 to 15 minutes. This extra preheating period guarantees that the oven is hot and that you’re not going to cause the temperature to drop drastically when you open the door to slide in your baking sheet. Having the right heat the instant your baking sheet goes in is really important with cookies, since most cookies spend only a short time in the oven.

            Greenspan, Dorie (2016-10-25). Dorie’s Cookies (Kindle Locations 114-119).

Seriously. I think this tip will make a difference for everything I put in my oven. I’m finding I don’t have to “leave it in another 5+ minutes” — this always confused me: Is my oven off? Did I not get the timer right? Why can’t a recipe state the correct cooking time? Well, now I know a pro’s tip and I am a much happier home cook. Thanks, Dorie, you rock!

With Dorie’s wisdom in your Kindle library, or her cookbook at your fingertips, you will have an encyclopedia of cookies—no more searching the internet or cookbook dessert sections because everything Cookies is included in Dorie’s Cookies. The Kindle version of this book does not support Page Flip (an e-book feature I really like) but, overall, it scales nicely for all my devices, a picture follows each recipe, and the link below the pic takes you back to the beginning of the recipe. Much as I love hard-bound books, more and more I am appreciating e-books that I can access right in the grocery store to check the ingredients I will need to try a new recipe.

Linda

What experience is more universal than cookies and milk? Finding a great cookie brings back many sweet childhood memories for me.

So what makes a good cookie? A good cookie, in my opinion, is unmatched in flavor and texture in its category. How it arrives on the palate with flawless combinations of crunch and gooiness is the key yum factor for me.  If you’re looking to try your hand at making some exceptional homemade cookies, then experiment with a few of Dorie’s treats. Some of the recipes are complex, others not so much. All of them are doable IF you read the Techniques section starting on page 9 and prep like a pro.

Did you know you can beat butter, sugar and eggs together at one time?  Page 11 tells you how.

Can you add flour all at once?  Check out the answer on Page 11.

Why should you rotate your baking sheets in the oven?  Page 13 gives you the 411.

How the Cookie Crumbles

It’s time to get down to details. So here’s a recipe for one of the best cookies in the book.  Try it. Love it.  Buy the book. Just sayin’.

Chunkers

Compliments of Dorie Greenspan, from her book Dorie’s Cookies.

Makes about 18 cookies

Unlike most of the cookies on the Beurre & Sel list, these are scoop-and- bake free-forms. They are chubby and chockablock with chopped-up good things that poke out of the cookies at every which angle. Famously disorderly, they are phenomenally delicious. Among the Beurre & Sel customers, they had a serious following.

There are chopped salted cashews in the mix; winey, sweet-tart dried cherries; chopped milk chocolate; and both chopped and melted bitter- sweet chocolate. You need a lot of chocolate — more than a pound! — and every penny that you put into buying great chocolate for these will come back to you in oohs, aahs and culinary contentment. There’s no question that Chunkers are one of the world’s great cookies.

A word on technique: To get the very best texture — and with these, that means that the cookie gets softer as you approach the center — give the eggs and sugar the full measure of time in the mixer, add the melted ingredients while they’re still warm and fold in the rest of the ingredients as efficiently as you can. Scoop the cookies while the dough is still warm, and don’t second-guess yourself — they’ll look seriously underbaked when you take them out of the oven, but they’ll firm to perfection on a rack.

1 cup (5 ounces; 141 grams) plump, moist dried cherries, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons (26 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

½  teaspoon fine sea salt

¼  teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons (1½ ounces; 43 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

13 ounces (368 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

8 ounces (226 grams) salted cashews, coarsely chopped

6 ounces (170 grams) best-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 large eggs, at room temperature

¾  cup (150 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 325 degrees F. (If your oven has hot spots, center the rack and bake one sheet at a time because it’s best not to have to open the oven and take the time to rotate the sheets during the short bake.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Cover the bottom of a flat-bottomed jar or glass with plastic wrap.

Put the chopped cherries in a bowl, cover with very hot tap water and let soak while you put together the rest of the ingredients. When you’re ready for them, drain and pat dry between paper towels.

Whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder together.

Put the butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Scatter over 7 ounces (198 grams) of the bittersweet chocolate and place the bowl over a saucepan of water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and slowly melt the butter and chocolate. Stir occasionally and be careful not to overheat the mixture — you don’t want the chocolate and butter to get so hot that they separate.

Toss the remaining 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, the cashews, milk chocolate and cherries together in another bowl.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes (don’t skimp on the time), until the eggs are pale and the whisk leaves tracks. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on medium-low, scrape in the warm melted butter and chocolate and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a sturdy flexible spatula and, as gently as you can with this heavy batter, fold in the flour mixture, making certain that you get to anything that’s at the bottom of the bowl. When almost all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the chopped chocolate, nuts and cherries, folding and stirring until they’re mixed in. (Everything will be chocolate-covered except the cashews; their oil makes them somewhat resistant to coating.)

Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of the warm dough or use a tablespoon to get heaping spoonfuls, placing the mounds of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Use the bottom of the jar to lightly press down on each mound — you’re aiming to get a puck with a diameter of 2½ inches.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the tops, which will crack, are mostly dry — the centers might look wet and unbaked. The cookies will still be very soft (don’t try to budge them). Go by time, and have faith. Transfer the baking sheets to a rack and let the cookies cool and set for about 30 minutes, until you can lift them from the parchment paper. If you haven’t done so, bake the second sheet.

Storing

The flattened pucks of dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Do not defrost before baking; leave at room temperature while you preheat the oven. The cookies are at their most splendid the day they’re made. In fact, nothing beats a Chunker that’s just a couple of hours out of the oven. However, they’ll keep, covered, at room temperature for about 2 days. And they can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.

Resources

Dorie’s Cookies
$21.24 Hardback (Prime)
$19.99 Kindle