Cookbook of the Month, April 2017: Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
About this series: Each month I will choose a cookbook to feature from my growing personal collection in hopes of giving my books a bit more wear and tear. All books are from my personal collection unless otherwise noted.
Among all of my cookbooks, my Dorie Greenspan books are likely the ones I have used the most over the years. She has a very approachable way of writing, to the point that you feel she could be your cool next door neighbor who shares killer recipes at every block party, and always has a batch of excellent homemade cookie dough in her freezer* (*a personal life goal of my own.) Greenspan has authored many cookbooks, and I thought I owned almost all of them. Yet somehow I completely missed out on her single subject Pancakes and Waffles titles (not sure how those slipped through the cracks!) In 2016, she released Dorie's Cookies and it immediately went on my cookbook wish list.
One of the things I love about her books is that she writes in such an encouraging voice. Her books feature a range of recipes with various difficulty levels, so they are a great entry into baking but also genuinely useful for more experienced cooks. She often includes recipe tips, and gives shout-outs to other culinary professionals when they have provided recipe inspiration or input. Her books are a wealth of knowledge and I go back to her recipes again and again. One of my all-time favorites is her Poached Pear and Almond Tart, featured in the book Around My French Table. It's simple enough for a novice baker to produce, but looks fancy enough that it will impress your dinner guests. Of course, like many of her readers, I also enjoy reading about her time spent living (and eating) in Paris. If you're planning a visit there, you'd be wise to look at some of her bakery tips before you go.
After recently getting Dorie's Cookies as a gift, it has already become a solid go-to cookbook within my collection. Recently, I needed an accompaniment for a chocolate creme brûlée dessert and her peanut brownie sablés offered just the right nutty, sweet, and salty crunch to contrast the creaminess of the dish. Fast forward a few weeks later and I have already made these cookies again. I particularly enjoy featuring them as a component of a cookie spread for a gathering, when you want to offer some unexpected choices versus the standard chocolate chip (especially if you want to offer a cookie with that sweet and salty combination.)