It’s a time of belt tightening and financial gloom, and it’s said that we are all hankering after old-fashioned lifestyles. We want to be wafted back to more moderate times where riots only happened “over there” and we all knew for sure that we would have a job next week. A time for The Cookiepedia!
There has been more interest than ever in cooking in general and baking in particular. Cookies tick all the boxes for comforting decadence. Small indulgences (although you can have a few per sitting) that look delightful, and that can be formally decorated to accompany a traditional bone-china tea set, or rustic and moreish for casual snacking with a mug of something hot. Endless options.
The Cookiepedia offers a raft of classic recipes in a very practical format. Spiral bound with organic and earthy-coloured pages, appealing photography, and recipes that are easy to follow, with ingredients that won’t demand that you cough up the last of your nest-egg. Store-cupboard staples will form the basis of many of the cookies here, or they would if you have a stash of chocolate and a jar of peanut butter on the top shelf.
You can still feel noble even if you have got a passion for baked goods. Lots of cookies here that are filled with fruit, and Fig Bars are my pick of the Fruity chapter. These are said to be similar to those famous fig biscuits found in supermarkets. There is a variation offered as well: Maple Date Bars, which might even be more delicious than the original.
I am so often at a loss for something sweet to eat at the end of a rich Indian meal. The Cardamom Cookies here offer the solution for a nibble with a cup of tea to finish an Asian feast, or even for a crunchy alternative to some of the traditional biscuits for your afternoon break. The Cookiepedia suggests a decoration of slivered almonds but for a smart dinner party you could consider a speck or two of silver vark – edible silver foil. Truly exotic and decadent.
So that’s the face of posh cookie eating, but most of us want to indulge, and the most iconic of cookies must surely be the celebrated Chocolate Chip Cookie. Not exactly a traditional English biscuit, like a digestive or a Shrewsbury, but it’s nevertheless one that comes to mind when one thinks of 1960s American TV programmes. It’s always the one that a little kid is offered along with a tall glass of milk in every US film promoting family values. They are simply the most comforting of sweet treats and can be made with dark chocolate for an adult twist.
The Cookiepedia has delectable cookies for every occasion and for every member of the family. Get the kids involved in cooking. Mixing is fun and baking is fast, as will be the vanishing of those aforementioned baked goods.
The Cookiepedia – Mixing, baking and reinventing the classics
Author: Stacy Adimando
Published by: Quirk
Price: $18.95 US
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018