There are flour-less, egg-less, two ingredients, five ingredients, ten ingredients (just a few), one bowl, one spoon, drop cookies, shaped cookies, no-bake, frosted cookies, brownies and bars, filled cookies and much more. So, like I say in my title: This author has covered all the cookie bases. And she's covered all the basics, too; with plenty of helpful information, ideas and tips.
But when she gave us nine refrigerator slice and bake recipes she won my stamp of approval. And when one of those slice and bake recipes was all about lime, and another was all about butterscotch, and another all about spice, well, she immediately turned me into a cookie bakin' fool for an entire weekend! My Christmas cookie assortment has just been revitalized! And tubes of dough are lined up in my freezer, just waiting to provide a comforting aroma when a little ambiance is needed and a platter-full of tasty cookies--easily within an hour.
Someone is going to have to keep me away from the chapter of savory crackers and cookies. Offer me a choice between savory and sweet cookies and I'll choose savory every time. When I had to choose between Sweet & Salty Peanut Crisps, Herbed Chevre Nuggets, Chive & Onion Crackers, a cranberry and blue cheese cookie, Blue & Cheddar Cheese Wafers, Cajun Pepper Sticks, (and more)--I had a tough time deciding. We went with the Cajun Sticks and we were not disappointed.
I especially appreciate one little technique that the author uses at the top corner of each of the recipes: It is a small sign or tab that describes each recipe as "Easy", "Extra-Easy", "Fairly Easy". I found that little designation to be helpful and an eye-catcher; something to help me zone in on a particular recipe that suits my time frame and my frame-of-mind.
The author's writing style is personable and she works hard to teach and convey helpful information. It's really a great book! There are biscotti recipes, too. And it's just a coincidence that we've been meaning to broaden our baking experience and repertoire to include biscotti. (Maybe it was the new coffee machine...)
I like that for each recipe, information is provided regarding greasing the cookie sheet or using parchment paper; where either will work or only parchment will work. (I like that because I don't like to use parchment paper as a matter of course, when non-stick spray or greasing will do the trick.)
Within each recipe there are many variations; usually in the guise of a variety of toppings, fillings or shapes. Often the suggestions allow the baker to present a seemingly different cookie, (for instance, top a cheesecake bar with cookie crumbs or brush the surface with melted jelly; top a cookie with coarse crystal salt or no salt at all; ). There is also a "Master Butter Dough" that can make six different cookies from one big batch of dough.
I'm not much impressed with the chapter on semi-homemade cookies, but I'm sure there are plenty of time-strapped people that will come to rely on this chapter. And, actually, I think I may just try the cheesecake bars made with refrigerator case sugar cookie dough.
And I probably won't much use the chapters on decorating and "finishing touches", but that's just me. At the very least, they were interesting chapters to read as they were filled with some very nifty ideas.
There's a lot to like about this book: Easy-to-understand instructions; accurate ingredient lists; nice pictures that actually accurately match the recipes; plenty of recipes from which to choose; a lot of variety in flavors and textures; type-size is adequate, but you'll want to put your glasses on to read the "Tips" as they are printed in a light gray color.
The only thing I really didn't like at all was the color of the text in the Index. What were they thinking!?! Obviously, it appears they weren't thinking about readers with less-than-perfect eye sight--and that is a slight...to sight.