There’s more to cookies than initially meets the eye. A cookie is actually a delicious blank canvas for hungry kids, cookie swap participants and aspiring confectionary artists alike. This revised edition of The Art of the Cookie is jam packed with delicious cookies recipes, which were selected for their visual appeal as much as their flavor, and top tips for cookie decoration.
A beautifully crafted cookie is a work of art and beloved by all. Still-warm cookies fresh from the oven are irresistibly enticing but decorating the treats doubles the fun. Whether it's a cookie exchange, holiday gathering, or Mother's Day tea, these cookies promise exceptional flavor and a stunning visual that will be a memorable addition to any occasion.
The Art of the Cookie presents over 40 delectable recipes and inspiring decorating ideas. Rather than focusing on the techniques of baking cookies, this book focuses on transforming a simple cookie into a masterpiece.
Roll, cut, repeat – then get to work. This first chapter offers classic yet versatile roll-and-cut dough recipes, such as brown sugar cookies and gingerbread. The cookies may be ready to go but the decorations are not. Find clever, yet simple ideas for decorating any type of roll-and-cut: vibrant vanilla-sugar flowers; alphabet shapes flooded with icing and sprinkled with colorful sugars; and petits fours stacked to resemble a miniature wedding cake.
Extravagant made easy. The second chapter includes classics with a modern twist, such as sparkly macaroons; wreath-shaped sugar cookies baked with lemon and thyme. Decoration and filling ideas include icing ornaments and striped cookies that taste and look like peppermint sticks.
With gorgeous, colorful photographs throughout this book has all the encouragement and know-how you'll need to create artful cookies that look as if they were purchased from a pastry shop – and taste like it too.
Vanilla Spritz Sandwiches
21⁄4 cups (111⁄2 oz/360 g) all-purpose flour 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 3⁄4 cup (6 oz/185 g) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) confectioner’s sugar 1 large egg, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Chocolate Glaze (page 116), chilled
tools needed 1 pastry bag with a 3⁄4-inch (2-cm) star tip one pastry bag with a 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) round tip
*Makes about 15 cookies,
1 Have ready 3 baking sheets.
2 In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2—3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until the egg is completely incorporated. Beating on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and continue to beat until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a 3⁄4-inch (2-cm) open star tip (page 15).
3 Pipe rosettes of dough onto the sheets, using firm pressure to extrude the dough in a circular motion. Make cookies about 11⁄4 inches (3 cm) in diameter, spacing them 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
4 Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
5 Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch but have not yet taken on any golden color, 15—17 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer to wire racks and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
6 Spoon the glaze into a pastry bag with a 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) round tip. Turn half of the cookies bottom side up. Pipe a layer of glaze over each cookie bottom. Gently press the remaining cookies, bottom side down, onto the filling. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
7 Store the cookies in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Shelly Kaldunski (Santa Rosa, CA) is a Northern California-based food stylist, culinary teacher, and expert in all things sweet. As a pastry chef, Shelly worked in restaurants in San Francisco before becoming a food editor at Martha Stewart Living. She was the food stylist for and contributor to Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and is the author of Sweet Scoops and Ice Pops.