Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cookie Craft

Okay, months ago I claimed I had the best sugar cookie recipe ever. And I'm still sticking to my guns. I don't even like sugar cookies, but these are so sweet and flavorful that I make an exception.

The problem is that they spread just a little. Really, it's not bad, but I want those perfectly shaped sugar cookies. So when my mom gave me an early Christmas present, a book called Cookie Craft, I was interested. The authors, Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer, claim to have designs and techniques for all your creative cookie occasions.

These women do not disappoint.

First, the book is beautiful. It begins with cookie inspirations - perfectly decorated sugar cookies for every season and occasion. They even give you ideas for "dressing up" plain cookie cutters like ovals and circles. I would have never thought to make a purse or candy-corn turkey from an oval cutter, or an Easter bonnet or Santa from a round cutter.

I thought the best part of the book was the recipe and techniques for creating the perfect blank cookie-canvas. I was skeptical, really. After all, I have the best recipe ever. But they sold me with their dough that does not have to be refrigerated for 24 hours before rolling and cutting. They sold me with their "cookie slats." They sold me with the "roll, chill, cut" method.

It was all true. These were the easiest sugar cookies I've ever made. However, taste is really important to me. And these cookies have it! While I don't think they are as good as my recipe, they are a very close second. But their beauty - the uniform cooking, the perfect edges, absolutely no spreading - makes them winners.

I have to admit that I completely wrecked their royal icing recipe for flooding the cookies. I think I over beat the egg whites. Whatever happened, I ended up with something that resembled marshmallow fluff. After berating myself, I used the piping icing and just put little polka dots all over the cookies and sprinkled them with sanding sugar. Cute as a button. (I know, I should have taken pictures. What kind of blogger am I?)

I'm not being paid to write this. (But I really, really wish I was!) The authors have never heard of me. I just think this is a great book, especially this time of year. If you're set on making the perfect Christmas cookies, check it out.

Oh, and thanks, Mom! I love it!

Lisa hosts Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays over at Blessed with Grace. Visit her for yummy Christmas recipes! This week she has a giveaway for a fabulous cookbook holder!


Heather said...

Ahhh You and Fiona with your cookies!! I am watching Biggest Loser, you know...

I *heart* sugar cookies. And my husband happens to make the best. So if you'd like to have a bake off....


Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Sugar cookies are always a good thing. Thanks for participating in TMTT.

jennifer said...

sugar cookies. yum.

i'm not a baker, but i DO enjoy eating them. a lot.

Momisodes said...

I am so glad you posted this. We made sugar cookies last week, and I had the same spreading issue. What was supposed to look like a star looked more like a flower. I love the idea of "roll, chill, cut." I am SO trying that! I'll also check out the book and your recipe :)

Valerie Peterson said...

Glad you like the book, Sarah! When your icing fluffs up like that, just add water, a little at a time until you reach the right consistency--it's very flexible! All best, Valerie (Peterson)

Fiona said...

Great review! I don't make sugar cookies for this exact reason. I got tired of fighting them.

Also, my decorating skills rival those of a slightly inebriated armadillo.

So I make the complicated cookies because I *can't* manage the pretty decorative ones. Wah. Maybe I'll go get this book and solve my little problem.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, I WANT this book! I need some easy step by step instructions that are foolproof...thanks so much for recommending it.