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Field Guide to Cookies

Field Guide to CookiesThis adorable little book arrived in my lap at the perfect time, just as I was looking for some treats to bake for my friends over the holidays. The ‘field guide’ is divided into chapters which describe drop cookies, bar cookies, molded cookies and rolled cookies. Each cookie has a general description, some history, serving suggestion, recipe, yield and storage. Some of the cookies have suggestions for variations.

At first glance a couple of things were a little bit annoying to me. The pictures were all in the middle of the book, and had no cross reference to the actual recipes, so I had to flip to the index. Also, the book was very small so it was difficult to prop open to follow the recipes. I was disappointed that there was no help with finding recipes for specific dietary requirements, gluten free, vegan, nut allergies etc, although one of the recipes I made could have easily been adapted to be vegan, the greek honey macaroons(honey could be substituted for another syrup).

As I started to use the book, I became accustomed to its size and started to find it very endearing, and it was really nice to curl up with and flick through to find the perfect recipe. I found it handy for wandering round the kitchen with it in one hand, measuring ingredients and stirring with the other. Of course this is just one of a selection of field guides, so there was never a question of its being a different size.

I can see that this is going to be a wonderful reference guide, and it is also really nice when you have a feeling you want some cookies and you’re not sure what. It is cool for introducing new and interesting recipes from all over the world that you can surprise people with. The instructions were really easy to follow, with little pictures for each instruction and detailed storage information, which is always really handy. The careful research, and the uniform format was very appealing too, I always knew I could expect certain things from each recipe.

I made some snickerdoodles first. I’ve never made, or eaten them, and they seemed perfect for the miserable cold rainy day. Vanilla sugar cookies, rolled in cinnamon sugar sounded lovely and comforting. I found them to be really delicious, and the instructions were perfect. I followed them, and didn’t believe that they were really cooked, and found that they set quite hard upon cooling.

The second cookies I tried were the greek honey macaroons. These had a three step process, making a fairly bland cakey cookie, simmering in syrup, then sprinkling with sesame seeds and chopped walnuts. This was a new process to me, and again the book explained it perfectly. It was particularly nice to be able to reference the picture in this case, as my cookies looked decidedly ‘rustic’!

I then went with another American favorite, the magic cookie bars, layering graham crackers, butter, condensed milk, coconut, chopped nuts and chocolate to give a delicious and naughty little bite. These always go down really well with people and they are ever so easy to make! Again, the instructions were concise and easy to understand.

This review was brought to The Daring Kitchen by Jenny of Foray into Food. Jenny is an avid blogger and a long-time Daring Baker.

Elle's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 13 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/07/2009

Have been hearing great things about this book. I like your review style and those seven layer bars look amazing...just might have to get this Feild Guide.

Shellyfish's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 48 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/09/2009

Thanks for the great review! We're all cookie monsters in my house!

MadcapCupcake's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 15 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/10/2009

Cookie monster alert: I love ANYTHING cookie! Those cookie bars look a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Kelly's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2009

I agree that it's a great reference guide. I made the chocolate crackle cookies as part of my Christmas baking and they didn't disappoint. All your cookies look fantastic, especially the magic bars!

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Joined: 05/25/2011