Anyone that spent years embarking on cookie making as a teenager is ok in my book and I want to hear what they have to say and know. Welcome to another week of Friday Food Reads. This week we have the pleasure of reading 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer.
About the Author
Sarah Kieffer has had a love for cookies since her teenage years. Daily after school, she would come home, head to the kitchen, and start working her way through her family's three cookbooks. Daily she tried recipes, experimented, and made dubious notes on the outcome and processes. Life finally got in the way, aka... needed a job to pay for college, and she eventually stopped baking.
During college Sarah found herself working in a coffee house as a barista. Over time the owners taught her to make cookies and bars, coffee cakes, scones, and muffins. This definitely developed her baking skills, but more importantly her confidence. And that passion in her heart for baking was once again awoken.
Recipe For Success
The book does a great job of giving you an overview of ingredients, techniques, and equipment that are important for successful baking. One of my favorites is general baking advice:
- Read the recipe - First and foremost, it is vital to read the entire recipe before beginning.
- Mise en place - Have everything ready and measured out before starting the baking.
- Use your senses - Your eyes, nose, hands and palate are all important tools in the kitchen.
How The Book is Broken Down
100 Cookies starts out with general baking advice and works its way through the importance of measuring by weight. General cookie baking tips and a complete section regarding ingredients and equipment. The chapters are broken out by cookie type. For instance the classics, brownies & blondies, fruit extravaganza, and her well known pan banging technique.
100 Cookies Rocky Road Cookies
I made two recipes from this book. I caught a great sale on almonds at the market, so my main goal of the cookie was that it had to have almonds. This Rocky Road Cookie was the first recipe I made.
I was curious about her pan banging technique and it fit the bill for having almonds. What I loved about these cookies was the crisp outer edge and the center remained soft and full of chocolate. When I read the recipe, my first thought was good grief...high maintenance cookies. Basically what happens is that every few minutes you need to open the oven door, lift the side of the pan and let it drop back on the rack. That drop is what forms the ridge on the outer edges of the cookies. I'll say I wasn't excited about the extra work, but once the cookie cooled and I tried it, I loved the texture and the mix of crisp and soft all-in-one cookie.
After some more research, it seems I'm not the only one that is a fan of this. Just check out a few hashtags on social media to see the craze of #panbanging or #bangonapan.
Orange Almond Shortbread Cookies
Now there is much debate about how to mix the dough for shortbread. The first method is to cream the butter and sugar, then incorporate the remaining ingredients. The second method is to mix the butter into the flour towards the end of the mixing. This recipe is created by utilizing the second method, but she says either way could work.
This cookie was simple, but bursting with orange flavor. It was a crisp and golden cookie. I will say with this one, use your senses and check for doneness a bit before the recipe states. There is nothing good about overcooked shortbread.
The recipe uses orange liqueur as an orange flavor enhancer. It was a nice add-in and really helped with the orange flavor shining through.
Should You Buy 100 Cookies?
So with all that, should you buy the book? I'd say yes, it was a great read. Lots of tips to ensure success. I love the way she guides you through each recipe step by step. The recipes are reliable and crave-worthy. Her love for a cookie is clearly felt throughout the entire book. And I have to say, I'm really looking forward to trying her chocolate chip cookies that sparked the pan banging craze.
I came upon this book from a cookbook club that I thought I would give a try. The club is called Hardcover Cook. It's a quarterly cookbook subscription, but what I love is that in addition to the book they also select ingredients to include in the packages. You can see from the image above what I got included in the shipment. Great things like cinnamon, dried fruits, cacao nibs, cacao powder. And there was a great writeup included to help you decide which recipes to use these ingredients in. (I wish I kept the box this came in for you to see as well, it's really well designed and a great package that would make an awesome gift for someone)
Not only do they do a baking theme, they also have an omnivore box, a vegetarian box, and an essentials box. I know I should give the vegetarian box a try, but the omnivore box is calling my name. If you signup with this link, you save five dollars on your subscription box and so do I. That's a win-win in my book.
Other Friday Food Reads
We do Friday Food Reads two times a month. If you liked this one, here are a few others you may also like on our website.
- The Good Book of Southern Baking
- Now For Something Sweet
- Homemade Decadence
- Dessert Person - A Cookbook Review
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