Have you been searching for the perfect cookie?
Not a really good cookie.
Not a great cookie.
THE PERFECT COOKIE.
The one that is suited to your tastes exactly. Slightly sweet with fruit. Only chocolate and nuts will do?
Personally, I’m a sucker for large, chewy, gooey, with a bit of crunch rendered by some type of nut. The nut would be pecan, the chocolate dark, and the cookie slightly sweet.
I make no bones about it.
And neither does famed cookbook author, Alice Medrich.
Medrich, author of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies, introduces her new cookbook which showcases a unique collection of cookies, all categorized by texture. Want a chunky cookie? Go to the Chunky section. Maybe Crispy is more your taste? Flip on over to Crispy.
Looking for something a little more off the beaten path? What about wheat free cookies, or dairy free-cookies, or good googley moogley, less fat cookies. This book has it all.
This 350+ page book is filled from beginning to end with pictures of the most succulent and enticing pictures, as if the cookies themselves were walking down a designers runway. Almost, too good to eat. Additionally, Medrich offers new inventive techniques, tips, and ideas on creating classic recipes with surprising new flavors. Do yourself a favor, and start off the book in the Quick Start section, if you’re just too anxious (like me 🙂 to read the User’s Guide that outlines in depth baking tips.
The book is substantial, informative, and beautiful. I would recommend it to any cookie lover who wants to take it to a whole. nother. level.
Right now, check out these cookies I made from the Chewy section. Pebble Beach Fruit Squares. Sensational.
While you’re checking that out, I think I might make something from the “Smart Search Section” entitled Quick and Ridiculously Easy. I think my heart just fell out of my chest.
Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares
Excerpted from CHEWY GOOEY CRISPY CRUNCHY Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich.
Copyright © 2010 by Alice Medrich and reprinted with permission of Artisan a Division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (8.5 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest or ground cinnamon or anise
1 cup moist dried fruit (one kind or a combination): dark or golden raisins; dried sour cherries; dried cranberries; coarsely chopped dates, dried apricots, or prunes; finely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) turbinado or other course sugar
Cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper or greased
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
With a large spoon in a medium mixing bowl or with a mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar until smooth and well blended but not fluffy. And the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and form each into a rectangle. Wrap the patties in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes to soften slightly. On a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll one piece of dough into a rectangle 8 1/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches. With a short side facing you, scatter half of the dried fruit on the bottom half of the dough. (If it sticks, chill the dough for a few minutes until the paper peels easily.) Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Flip the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and peel off the remaining paper. Sprinkle with half of the coarse sugar and pat lightly to make sure the sugar adheres. Use a heavy knife to trim the edges. Cut into 4 strips and then cut each strip into 4 pieces to make 16 squares. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the lined greased pans. Repeat with the remaining dough, fruit and sugar.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for a week.