When I first set out to write a cookie book, I struggled to figure out what I could add to the conversation that hadn’t already been said. With so many chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, and gingersnap recipes already out in the world, what was the point in creating more? If I wanted to bake snickerdoodles, I could easily track down an already perfected recipe. If a chocolate chip cookie was what I was after, a plethora of recipes were mine for the choosing. I realized that what I wanted to do was not to mimic what had already been done but, instead, to focus on creating a new set of recipes—a collection of cookies that pay homage to familiar favorites, but with a modern spin. I wanted to create a new set of classics.
This is how I approached writing Cookies. Within these pages you will find 100 unapologetically modern-yet-familiar recipes that promise to redefine your favorite go-to cookies, as well as introduce you to new ones to crave. Like spiced snickerdoodles made with the flesh of roasted sweet potatoes (page 180), or chocolate chunk cookies perfumed with fresh peppermint (page 37). From Cashew Caramel Cookies (page 132) to decadent Salt-and-Vinegar Potato Chip Cookies (page 169), these recipes move beyond the holy cookie trinity of chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal and
add excitement to your baking repertoire. Everything from sugar cookies, blondies, thumbprint cookies, and no-bake bars are included, all complete with instructions that will guide you toward cookie-baking success. If like me you bake cookies for the excitement of trying something new, this is the perfect book for you.
The recipes are classified into eight chapters, each named after the dominant flavor of the cookies included: Chocolaty, Boozy, Fruity, Nutty, Tart, Spiced, Smoky, and Savory. This is exactly how I decide what I want to bake, allowing whatever flavor I’m craving to guide my decision. Within these chapters you will find familiar favorites updated with bold flavors. Take, for example, the Smoked Butter & Chocolate Chunk Cookies (page 206) in the Smoky chapter. At its core the recipe is a timeless classic, but adding a modern flourish (in this case, the alluring scent of applewood smoke) creates something that is equal parts comforting and fresh. For cookies that will awaken the senses, look no further than the Spiced chapter. Spiced Peanut Butter–Coconut Squares (page 203) demonstrate that you can make something bold and playful without even turning on your oven. Closing out the book is the Savory chapter, a collection of salty-leaning cookies perfect for serving at a cocktail party. As modern and inventive as the recipes are, they all evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort as only a freshly made cookie can.
But if you’re worried that the recipes sound complicated, don’t be. Every recipe is developed to be easy to execute. I believe that baking cookies should be fun, stress-free, and rewarding. Everyone deserves to make cookies that are exciting and unique, and that’s precisely what this book will help you do—in fact, I hope that as you bake a batch of Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies (page 92) you feel like a friend is right there by your side, talking you through the recipe and passing on all the tips and tricks. So, say good-bye to cookies that leave you wanting—and hello to your new collection of classics.
Copyright © 2021 by Jesse Szewczyk. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.