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Great Cookbooks for Families: Me Want Cookie

Reviewed by Katy Killilea

The recipes for every cookie you’ll ever really need to bake are printed right on the bag of chocolate chips and the oatmeal canister. But when you want to venture beyond those, you can’t go wrong with an encyclopedic, classic cookie tome or one of these newly released winners:

The Only Bake Sale Cookbook You’ll Ever Need
BakesalecookbookharpercollinsMost noteworthy for its inclusion of twenty-three varieties of Rice Krispie treats (Snap, Crackle and Pop really know how to shake their money makers at a bake sale), this book also offers the pros’ advice on setting up a bake sale, advertising, pricing, and packaging. None of this seems terribly pressing until it happens to you: your children start school, and you are recruited to take part in a bake sale. The instructions are clear and the variety of recipes is wide, including everything you’d expect and tantalizing new concoctions like white chocolate caramel bars. (If I ever made them for a bake sale, I’m pretty sure we’d wind up keeping them all for ourselves.)

The Only Bake Sale Cookbook You’ll Ever Need By Laurie Goldrich Wolf and Pam Abrams. $14.95. Harper Collins

Mom’s Big Book of Baking
mombaking_full.jpgDo you like homemade cookies but dislike messing around with numerous utensils and bowls? If you are an above-all-things practical baker, this one is for you. It’s a pastry-chef-turned-mom’s-own notebook of her easiest, most busy-person-oriented recipes. Every recipe is streamlined AND the book is hardcover–and spiral bound–so it is very easy to use, even if you do not have octopus arms. It includes all of the cookies you’ll need in your parenting life, as well as lemon ginger muffins, apple brown betty, and chocolate milk pancakes. This book is so comprehensive that it even includes recipes for making hot dog buns and pizza.

Mom’s Big Book of Baking By Lauren Chattman. $21.95. Harvard Common Press

In terms of old (and old-ish) favorites, each of these is an encyclopedia of cookies: King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, Maida Heatter’s Cookies, The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. These each have cookie recipes to last several lifetimes, and lots of other homey treats to make as well. What’s your tried-and-true favorite? Please post your picks, or even offer me a cookie (or recipe).

Coconut Krispies
From The Only Bake Sale Cookbook You’ll Ever Need

Makes 12 bars

½ stick of butter
10-ounce package of marshmallows
6 cups rice cereal
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup chopped toasted almonds

1. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients.
4. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cool completely until set, about 20 minutes. Cut into bars.

Tip from the authors: Toast the coconut on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350 degree oven until golden, about 5 minutes.

A note from Katy: In step 4, it is easiest to press the mixture into the pan with lightly buttered wax paper or even the wrapper from the butter.

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