Better Homes & Gardens Very Merry Cookies
Offering 140 full-color photos and more than 200 irresistible recipes for every flavor, from simple drop cookies to bars, brownies, and more, Very Merry Cookies is the perfect cookie compendium for baking enthusiasts and novices alike. Filled with creative ideas — like “Make Ahead” and storage directions for every recipe and “Santa’s Little Helper” icons designating recipes that kids can help make — this festive collection delivers tasty tidbits on decorating and homemade gifts.
With this review of Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, Very Merry Cookies, we’re pleased to announce that Donna — from the blog Cookistry (“Cook, Bake, Boil and Bubble…”) — has joined Cooks&Books&Recipes as a Featured Cook. The fun thing about Donna is that she likes to have fun. A serious baker with a weekly bread-baking column over at Serious Eats, she likes to create and experiment. As she notes on her blog: “Sometimes you just have to play with your food.” We agree!
Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Donna
Christmas cookie cookbooks amuse me. Personally, I think that pretty much any cookie is appropriate at Christmas. And any Christmas cookie can be adapted for any holiday or no holiday at all. Sure, you might not use your frolicking reindeer cookie cutters at Easter, but I have absolutely no objection to gingerbread bunnies.
But in a way, I guess it makes sense. People who don’t bake cookies the rest of the year might decide to join a cookie swap, or bring cookies to the office, or make a few cookies for Santa. It’s a lot easier to pick up one Christmas cookie book and know that you’ll find just what you need.
As expected, the Better Homes and Gardens book has a lot of the holiday favorites, and there are also some cute ideas for presentation and gift-giving. For me, sometimes that’s harder than making the cookies in the first place. Other people can tie a jaunty bow and it looks perfect on the first try. Me, it looks like I’m still practicing how to tie my shoes. So I’m more than happy to see presentation suggestions.
And really, it’s nice to look at a photo and know how they arranged it, rather than thinking, gee, I’d like to do that, but I’m not sure! The presentation notes and other tips are presented in sidebars that are easy to ignore if all you want are the recipes.
As far as the cookies themselves, the book is categorized in groups based on themes like sugar, nuts, mint, or citrus, so if you’ve got a flavor in mind you can browse through that section and decide whether you want a drop cookie, sandwich cookie, rolled cookie, or some other version.
The other recipes in this book range from kid-friendly to sophisticated, and from traditional to modern. Most of the recipes are completely from scratch, but there are a few that use box mixes as the base, for those who are in a real hurry to get the cookies done. And there are photos of all the cookies in the book, which is always a plus.
Although I have a few other cookie-only cookbooks on my shelf already, I can see that this one will fit into the collection very well, and I’ll bet that I’ll be using it for more than just Christmas cookies.