Simply Sensational Cookies

Bright Fresh Flavors, Natural Colors & Easy, Streamlined Techniques

by Nancy Baggett

Simply Sensational Cookies

Hardcover, 352 pages, Wiley, List Price: $29.99 | purchase

close

Purchase Featured Books

  • Simply Sensational Cookies
  • Bright Fresh Flavors, Natural Colors & Easy, Streamlined Techniques
  • Nancy Baggett

Book Summary

Featuring more than 200 recipes and full-color photos, this delectable cookbook for cookie-lovers covers the classics and provides modern ideas for the adventurous baker that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Read an excerpt of this book

NPR stories about Simply Sensational Cookies

Best Books Of 2012

Recipe Rebellion: A Year Of Contrarian Cookbooks

It seems like only yesterday home bakers were sobbing into their mixers trying to make the perfect macaron and wishing they had just made a bake-sale brownie instead. Simply Sensational Cookies falls somewhere between the two extremes. It's a big, generous compendium of completely doable recipes that range, according to Baggett, from Fairly Easy to Extra Easy. There's certainly classics like rugelach and jam thumbprints. But there are also deceptively sophisticated-tasting newcomers

Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Recipe: 'Cranberry, Orange And Sage Cookies'

I was a little skeptical about using sage in cookies at first. But I'd been extremely pleased with the lavender and rosemary in several recipes, and the fresh sage from one of my tester's gardens looked so gorgeous, I just had to try it.

The results were not merely good, but awesome! The combination of cranberries, orange, and sage smells and tastes spectacular, and as a bonus, the cookies are quite attractive. The complex, unusual citrus-herb taste definitely complements the cranberries, which contribute their usual color and zip.

2⁄3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (stems removed)

Grated zest (orange part of the peel) from 1 large orange

1 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour, divided

3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg, at room temperature and beaten with a fork

11⁄2 cups dried sweetened cranberries, coarsely chopped if very large

Orange-scented sugar (page333) or 1⁄4 cup chopped pistachios for garnish, optional

Baking Preliminaries:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350°F. Lightly grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray. Combine the sugar, sage, orange zest, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sage is chopped into very fine flecks. Add half the flour, stirring it in with a spoon until partially incorporated. Sprinkle the butter over the mixture. Process just until only fine bits of butter are visible. Drizzle the egg over the dough. Incorporate using about fifteen 1-second pulses, stopping and stirring to lift and fold in the dough on the bottom several times.

As soon as the dough begins to come together, turn it out onto a large sheet of wax paper or baking parchment. Sprinkle over and knead in the remaining flour and the cranberries just until the dough is thoroughly mixed. (If it is very soft, wrap the paper around it and refrigerate for about 10 minutes until firmer and easier to handle.)

Divide the dough into quarters. Divide each quarter into 8 equal balls, spacing about 21⁄2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Pat down with a greased palm until just flattened. If desired, sprinkle the tops with orange-scented sugar (or pistachios, if preferred); pat down to imbed.

Bake (middle rack) one sheet at a time 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned at the edges and the centers are almost firm with pressed. Let the pans cool on wire racks to firm up for 3 minutes. Transfer the cookies to racks using a wide spatula. Let cool.

Yield: Makes thirty-two 23⁄4-inch cookies

Storage: Store these, airtight, for up to 1 week. They can be frozen, airtight, for up to 1 month.

From Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett . Copyright 2012 by Nancy Baggett. Excerpted by permission of Wiley.

Reviews From The NPR Community

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: