Cookie Love by Mindy Segal – A Book Review
Truth be told, there probably isn’t a sweet on earth I love more than a good cookie. In my opinion no cake, pie, ice cream, or cupcake can hold a candle to a great cookie. My dad used to call me the cookie monster back in the day when every kitchen in America had a cookie jar on the counter, and I couldn’t keep my hands off of any of them. When I came across Mindy Segal’s new book, ‘Cookie Love’, checking it out was a no-brainer.
Mindy Segal is the proprietor of Chicago’s ‘HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar’ and is also the recipient of the James Beard Award for the outstanding pastry chef in the country in 2012. When it comes to baking, she is one smart cookie and more than qualified to write a book on the subject.
After a brief introduction, the book starts off with eight chapters dedicated to eight different types of cookie. The enticing recipes and beautiful photos are inspiring to say the least. Browsing through ‘Cookie Love’ I was struck with the thought that these were not your ‘run-of-the-mill’ cookies. The book is full of recipes for the cookies we have always loved, but taken to another level. As happy as I was to see ‘Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies’, I was more excited checking out the ‘Fleur De Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah’ or the ‘Graham Cracker and Passion Fruit Whoopie Cookies’. The cookie monster in me wanted to eat them all, but I just didn’t know where to start!
I found myself drawn to the chapter on ‘Rugelach and Kolachkes’. Mindy’s exceptional flair is never more apparent than in this chapter. In her words, this is her “epic chapter”. In this chapter a few basic tips and a recipe for Classic Cream Cheese Dough quickly gives rise to knock out combinations like ‘Raspberry and Rose’, ‘Honey and Peach’ and ‘Red Wine and Ginger Pear’. I zeroed right in on Fig Newtons (a childhood favorite of mine), which are transformed here to ‘Fig Segals’, a grown-up version of the classic where the figs are soaked overnight in port wine. Not surprisingly, this was the recipe I wanted to try first. I am not the most experienced baker in the house and I probably should have started with something simpler like ‘Chocolate Chip’, or ‘Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies’, but my mind was made up. Fortunately for me there is an experienced baker in the house (Paul), and he was all too happy to take the lead on this project. Rugelach is a little more complicated than most cookies but very rewarding. It was a two-day process, soaking the figs overnight in port and preparing the dough. The actual assembly of the cookies, that initially seemed somewhat intimidating, was made easy by Mindy’s precise and clear instructions. They came out too good to share…we ate them all!
After you make your way past the recipes, there are a chapters dedicated to your pantry (‘Tools of the Trade’ and ‘Tricks of the Trade’) as well as a reference for sources. I started out with these chapters, and you might want to begin here as well. The information and tips in these short chapters are invaluable and plentiful.
I would recommend this book to any cookie monster out there. If you are looking for some quick recipes for your standard cookie fare, this is probably not the book for you. However, if you are looking for inspiration and you want to make something memorable in the form of a cookie, you have come to the right place.
“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”