The World's Greatest Christmas Cookies
A collection of cookie recipes, decorating ideas, and inspirational thoughts from the contributors.
Publisher/ Format: Barbour Publishing Company, e galley 160 pages
Year of publication: 2011
Subject: Christmas Cookies
Genre: Recipe compilation
Source: Net Galley
Net Galley has offered several cookbooks for review recently, and since Christmas Cookies are a special weakness for me, I was delighted to be able to take a look at this one. I had best state up front that I collect cookie cookbooks, and over my forty plus years of marriage and moving around the world, I've been through an extensive assortment of recipes. But by now, I've settled on about two dozen all time favorites that I know I can count on to be fun to make, easy to store, and (most of all) well received by all who stop by to share holiday cheer, or to whom I send them as gifts every year.
So even though I'm pretty settled on my list, I'm also always looking for something new, delicious, and relatively easy to make. (I gave up trying to be Martha Stewart a long time ago). I would not buy this one for myself since I have most of the recipes that appeal to me already in my files. But I definitely would consider this one as a gift for someone who is just embarking on setting up housekeeping, a young parent who wants some easy to make recipes to make with children, or someone who is not a cookbook collector but who loves cookies.
The format is excellent - each recipe is easy to read, colorfully typeset, the pictures are crisp, clear and yummy, and none of them threaten to overwhelm the baker with complications. I especially like the "Sweet tips" sprinkled throughout the book. Several of them were new to me (such as placing a slice of apple in a container of cookies that are beginning to get a bit dry---I've done that for brown sugar but never thought about it for cookies!)
The recipe for Potato Chip Cookies looks like a busy Mom's dream - crushed chips, a can of sweetened condensed milk, coconut and peanut butter. Mixed up and dropped on a greased cookie sheet, these can be done in about 15 minutes start to finish!
Bar cookies are another favorite of mine, and living up here in cranberry bog heaven, those Cranberry Paradise bars look really yummy. We also grow a lot of rhubarb up here, and the Rhubarb Squares looks like a good recipe to use up that last bag of frozen rhubarb to make more room in the freezer!
There are a few drawbacks to this one. Cookbooks, by their nature, are meant to be browsed. There is no Table of Contents - although that may be simply a function of the egalley - I hope one appears in the finished product. There's a great index, but I shouldn't have to go to the back of the book to browse. AND....................about 25% (I didn't do an exact count) of the recipes don't have pictures. Sorry Barbour publishing, but cookies need to have pictures. It's the picture that grabs a cook. I don't have the vaguest idea of what the "Italian Christmas Cookies" are supposed to look like. The ingredients and instructions don't sound like ANYTHING any of my Italian relatives every made for Christmas, and I certainly don't think I've ever seen a recipe like them in any of my numerous Italian cookbooks. So that one for me would be destined to remain a mystery forever - I'd never even consider it. And that may be a shame.
Over all, this is one to consider if you like cookies, or are looking for a good not too expensive addition to your cookbook collection, or for a nice gift.
Thanks to Barbour Publishing and Net Galley for making it available.
For other Weekend Cooking, take a look at our Host: Beth Fish Reads. There's always a great range of yummy reviews, recipes, and all things foodie to whet your appetite.