It was all worth it!
Best-Ever Cookies is truly a winner of a cookbook. It's got recipes for all occasions and even representing different cultures. There are plain cookies, bar cookies, brownies, balls, and kisses. There are healthy cookies, old-fashioned cookies, classic cookies, and even recipes for HUGE batches (for when you have to do your duty at a bake sale). There really is something for everyone in this book...in fact, there were so many great choices that I had a hard time narrowing down what I was going to try.
But...you know me...I managed to find six different recipes that were so unique that I couldn't help but whip them up. And, as usual, I've assigned each an "award" to described what my husband and I thought about them.
Lemon Hissy Fits from the chapter "All-American Cookies"
I picked this cookie because the name made me laugh, and I admit that the name is still my favorite thing about them! They are a nice, chewy lemon cookie studded with white chocolate chips and dusted with powdered sugar. The general consensus around my house is that they could use even more lemon, so I might try adding some lemon zest next time. Either way, they would cure my hissy fits any day! Next time I start to whine about anything, I'm sticking one of these in my mouth.
Chewiest (and most likely to be mistaken for something healthy)
ANZAC Biscuits from the chapter "Old-Fashioned Cookies"
We just loved these...couldn't get enough! We enjoyed them partly because they are an Australian treat, and eating them brought back memories of our recent trip to New Zealand. But we really loved them because they are downright delicious. I wasn't expecting such a wonderfully chewy, dense cookie, nor was I expecting such an incredible flavor. But, these cookies have it. They also freeze well, last a LONG time (even after a few weeks, the leftovers are still chewy!), and have the power to trick you into thinking that you are eating a granola bar instead of a cookie.
Most Likely to Disappear in One Sitting
Forgotten Cookies from the chapter "Holiday Cookies"
These beauties simply dissolve in your mouth leaving a pile of chocolate on your tongue, which is why it's so easy to just eat them all at once! I love the concept behind these meringue cookies. Whip up the egg whites with a few other ingredients (takes about five minutes), fold in the chocolate chips (takes about a nanosecond), plop little puddles of the "batter" on baking sheets (takes about 3.78976 minutes), and then place them in a turned-off but preheated oven. You leave them in there overnight, and in the morning you have cookies! Another nice thing for many of you...these can be made gluten-free. :-)
Crispy Peanut Butter Balls in the chapter "Fast and Fun Cookies"
We jokingly call these "meatballs" around here. :-) They may resemble spaghetti-toppers, but their taste is out of this world. These were a huge crowd pleaser with our friends, and my husband has recently requested that I make him a lifetime supply. The best part about this recipe, though, is that it's no-bake and only 4 ingredients! Set your kids in front of a bowl and let them have at it like Play-Doh!
Potato Chip Cookies in the chapter "Cookie Jar Classics"
I am in love with these cookies...I admit it! At first I was a little unsure. Potato chips? in a cookie? After trying several...and I mean several...I am completely won over. The potato chips don't really change the flavor but they do add an awesome crunch to what would be otherwise a normal cookie. These cookies also baked up beautifully. Every single time I pulled a pan out of the oven, every single cookie was perfectly round and gorgeous. I love that in a cookie and will definitely be making these again...next time, I'm adding some white chocolate!
Quarterback Crunch Brownies
This is no ordinary brownie. It's a cake brownie topped with a layer of marshmallow cream, topped with a layer of rice crispies, and then topped with a layer of peanut buttery chocolate. I love having the crunch of the rice crispies along with the chewiness of the marshmallow. I'm also a fan of the thick chocolatey layer on top, especially after they've been chilled. I will admit that this wasn't our favorite brownie recipe - we are more fudge brownie fans - but I love the way they've been souped-up to become something exciting.
I asked my taste-testing hubby to pick his favorite to share with you. He pondered quite a while on this one, but in the end chose a clear resounding winner...ANZAC Biscuits!
First, you combine some oats, flour, sugar, and coconut in a bowl - see what I mean about tricking yourself into thinking it's a granola bar?!
In a small cup, combine some baking soda with boiling water and watch it fizzle.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, stir some butter and either honey, corn syrup, or maple syrup together until the butter melts.
Add the baking soda mixture to the butter mixture and watch it foam! Pour it all into the the oat mixture and mix well.
It will look crumbly...this is a good thing.
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and place at least 2-inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Parchment paper is important here to keep them from sticking (remember...parchment paper is not waxed paper).
Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until they get nice and golden around the edges. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh!
in Gooseberry Patch's Best-Ever Cookies
1 cup long-cooking oats, uncooked
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup butter
2 T. maple syrup, honey, or corn syrup
1/2 t. baking soda
1 T. boiling water
Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl; set aside. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir butter and syrup or honey together until butter melts. In a small cup, mix together baking soda and boiling water; add to butter mixture. Add butter mixture to oat mixture; mix well. Roll into 1-1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Cookies will keep for several weeks in an airtight container. Makes about 2-1/2 dozen.
So...how can YOU win a free copy of Best-Ever Cookies? Just leave me a comment answering the following question - which of the other recipes featured above would you like me to share? I'll tally up the answers and share that recipe when I announce the winner! (Please also make sure I have access to a valid e-mail so that I can contact you if you win.) Giveaway ends next Tuesday at midnight (Pacific time). Winner announced Wednesday, March 9.
PS - Gooseberry Patch gave me a free book to review as well as another to give away, but the views and opinions (and pictures!) presented in this post are entirely my own! Disclosure...check!