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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

best-ever cookies: review and giveaway!


Well, Gooseberry Patch has done it again!  They've created a fabulous cookbook of delicious recipes submitted by readers around the world...then they've allowed me to give you a sneak peak at all of the deliciousness!  I've taken my job as cookbook reviewer very seriously and am about 10 pounds heavier as a result.

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.

Funniest Name
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. :-)

Most Kid-Friendly
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!

Oddest Ingredient
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!

Most Souped-Up
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!


ANZAC Biscuits
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!

116 comments:

  1. Def. the potato chip cookies! Would love to see the recipe for that.

    Thanks for the chance to win.
    Andrea
    aaleland@yahoo.com

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  2. Crispy peanut butter balls. Love GBP

    Erin
    eparker@arkwest.com

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  3. I would love the Most Likely to Disappear in One Sitting cookies.
    Look good and not too bad for you with some chocolatey goodness.
    msgb245 at gmail dot com
    (Maureen)

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  4. Definitely the Crispy Peanut Butter Balls. As a busy mom with little ones underfoot, anything that is no-bake has to be a winner!

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  5. Thanks for all your kind words about our cookbook, K...we appreciate all your hard work trying out these recipes and sharing them here. :)

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  6. ANZAC Biscuits - would love the recipe for that! m.danielson5@yahoo.com

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  7. Potato Chip Cookies for sure! Very interesting concept!

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  8. the potato chip cookies ! thanks for the chance to win !
    priscillas2000@aol.com

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  9. My husband loves coconut so ANZAC Biscuits would be the winner in my house.

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  10. Oh YUM~!!! The brownies...Pleeeease!!! =)

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  11. The potato chip cookies!! My mom always talks about how my grandma used to make these when she was little. :)

    apganes@msn.com

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  12. I would love more about the Lemon Hissie Fits. I tried a lemon cookie recipe one time that wasn't too good and these look great!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win another great Gooseberry Patch Cookbook.
    rmsrjohn4@yahoo.com

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  13. I would definitely want to see the Potato Chip
    cookie recipe. I always like surprise ingredients.
    Laura

    k9friend23 at hotmail dot com

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  14. The Lemon Hissy Fit cookies!! They look delicious!!!
    russcurve@q.com

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  15. Love love LOVE anything LEMON!! Would love to see the recipe for the Lemon Hissy Fits...and chocolate too? HEAVEN!!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    sallie828@yahoo.com

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  16. Crispy Peanut butter balls as my husband loves peanut butter! joneswebb2002@yahoo.com

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  17. These all look so good, but I'm kind of partial to lemon.

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  18. Quarterback crunch brownies for the sports fan and chocolate fan in me! JillNFilm@aol.com

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  19. The lemon hissy fit recipe for sure!!!! I am always poking fun at my fiance cause he throws his little hissy fits every now and then and loves anything sweet tooth oriented that has to do with lemons.... So this recipe would be so perfect for me to make for him!!!!

    Thanks so much!!!
    Kelly
    Kbartell1220@hotmail.com

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  20. I would love the recipe for Lemon Hissie Fits.

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  21. The chocolate meringue bites look most intriquing. I have many friends who need gluten-free. This would be great. Thanks for the chance to win!
    kristines30@hotmail.com

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  22. Quarterback Crunch Brownies - those look amazing!!

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  23. The forgotten cookies look awesome!

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  24. The potato chip cookies are just waiting to be made......please post the recipe. Thanks
    Ruth
    rschamber@frontiernet.net

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  25. The Peanut Butter balls please!
    kittenb@suddenlink.net

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  26. The Most Likely to Disappear!!! Meringue and chocolate?!?! Yes, Please!!!!! It reminds my of something one of my mom's friends made once when I was little.
    Thanks!!!!!
    uupaganchick@gmail.com

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  27. quarterback crunch brownies- wow they sound delicious! I love gooseberry and would love to win this book!
    Sue

    buzzbrian@aol.com

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  28. I would love for you to share the Holiday Cookie recipe. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook. :)
    lcdubbelman@telus.net

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. Potato chip cookie, please. love the pictures- great post. And i would love to win the book ; )

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  31. I love the Anzac recipe, can't wait to try it. We spent nearly 2 years down under and return every year. Now we will be able to have a bit of Oz anytime! Thanks. cindyhannon@yahoo.com As for the other cookie I would like, the Lemon Hissy Fits! Love lemon, love the name :)

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  32. I'm SO surprised more people are not requesting the Lemon Hissy Fit cookies! a GOOD Lemon cookie is hard to find... and these sound REALLY GOOD...Would love to know whats in them!

    frasermom23@gmail.com

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  33. brownies!!! or any of them. look so yum! thanks for sharing :)
    -meg
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com

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  34. Definitely the "Crispy Peanut Butter Balls"! My son would just love them!!!
    -Angie
    @angiehenley18@gmail.com

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  35. Oh, the Crispy Peanut Butter Balls sound good. I Love peanut butter! Thank you for hosting this review and great giveaway.

    Have a God Filled Day
    Shirley

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  36. Quarterback Crunch Brownies! My little boy is brownie & football fanatic! Thank you for the chance to win. I do not won a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook yet!

    Jill
    jb52rock@gmail.com

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  37. No question, the lemon hissy fits! Can't wait to try the Anzac biscuits. Love coconut.

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  38. I want them all!!! lol, but I would really like the Quarterback Crunch Brownies!!

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  39. Crispy peanut butter balls, please!

    amybradsher@gmail.com

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  40. They all look wonderful but I would prefer the Quarterback Crunch Brownies. I need to make them for tailgating! Absolutely love the cookbooks!

    sharona0054@sbcglobal.net

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  41. I would love to see the recipie for Lemon Hissy Fits...Love the name!!!

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  42. I would love to have the recipe for the crispy peanut butter balls. My Grandma use to make peanut butter balls for Christmas and I use to always tell her to make extra instead of getting me a present because they were the best. My grandma passed away April 2009 and we never did find her recipe.

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  43. You've got my mouth watering. Have to have this book. Among our friends I'm known as the "dessert queen" so these will be accepted by all, I'm sure.

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  44. Well....I want them all. So, I guess I will just have to purchase the book when it comes out, but the brownie one is interesting.

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  45. Now to answer your question. I want all the recipes but the LemonHissy Fit definately have my vote

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  46. Would love the recipe for the Potato Chip cookies! Thanks for the chance for the cookbook!

    jstulip1@yahoo.com

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  47. Gotta have the recipe for the Quarterback Crunch Brownies...those look yummy.

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  48. Lemon Hissy Fits for sure. Love anything lemon. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook
    paulin66@echoicemi.com
    .

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  49. The Lemon Hissy recipe sounds intriguing!

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  50. I would love the Potato Chip Cookie recipe. My husband and son love putting chips on their sandwiches. It would be so much fun making them cookies with potato chips. Of course I wouldn't tell them at first.

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  51. The Lemon Hissy Fits - really, all of them!

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  52. Forgotten Cookies or Quarterback Crunch Brownies Please!

    crapo(at)shaw(dot)ca

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  53. Lemon Hissy is my choice. Sounds light and springy. But anyone of them sounds wonderful.

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  54. The Quarterback Crunch Brownies, but the Lemon Hissy Fits sound good, too. I'm confused!!!

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  55. Lemon Hissy Fits hands down! .......please :)

    Lynda

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  56. oh yummy. Cookie recipes are my weakness.

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  57. I would love the Most Likely to Disappear in One Sitting cookies. Have always wanted to try them.

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  58. Lemon Hissy fits please! I love lemon cookies!

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  59. Cookies are my life. I AM A COOKIE MONSTER and need a cookie cookbook to survive.

    jmae528@hotmail.com

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  60. I gotta say-Quarterback Crunch Brownies.
    We are a brownie eating bunch here!
    ★Linda★

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  61. Everyone in my family would love the Lemon Hissie Fit Cookies!! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Angie
    aj-aslan7 at comcast dot net

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  62. My vote is for the lemon hissy fits. I love lemon in anything. thanks carla. robertncarla@gmil.com

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  63. I'm sorry that should be robertncarla@gmail.com

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  64. I would love the recipe for crispy peanut butter balls! I am very excited to see this book! I love to bake. I bake for friends and family and ship them to them too! Hope I win!

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  65. I don't know it's a toss up...I think the Lemon Hissy Fits sound scrumptious and the Quarterback Crunch Brownie sounds awesome as well! Thanks so much for sharing! caseyandcrystal@yahoo.com

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  66. My grandmother used to make Potato Chip cookies and they were delicious! I have such warm memories of her baking yummy cookies. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  67. Lemon Hissy Fits....I love lemon cookies and the name of this cookie makes me smile.

    cookiebakr@yahoo.com

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  68. wow, there are 65 people ahead of me!!
    Good job, Kristin!
    I like this one
    "Most Likely to Disappear in One Sitting
    Forgotten Cookies from the chapter "Holiday Cookies"
    here are the reasons:
    1) it is white, never saw white cookie before..
    2) sound a little healthier than the others, did not see the word butter, sugar, cream so far
    3) it looks easier to make...

    ---yulian

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  69. They all look yummy but I would have to go with the brownies!!!!

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  70. I so want to see thoses lemon hissy fits! lemon is my favorite! And I love the name, thanks!

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  71. Lemon Hissy Fits look awesome! Thank you for the opportunity to win Best-Ever Cookies! :)

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  72. They all look soooo good. I'm torn between the Chrispy Peanut Balls and the Potato Chip Cookies. Guess I am interested in seeing how the potato chips are used in a cookie.

    jlpegram@vcu.edu

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  73. I want to see the recipe for the Forgotten Cookies. I love a good meringue cookie. :)

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  74. I've been loving Forgotten Cookies, and Potato Chip cookies for years; I'd be happy to see this cookbook's version of the Potato Chip cookies though. Sometimes they do vary. Great cookbook, and great giveaway, thanks!

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  75. The Forgotten Cookies! The way you describe them made me want to try them right now!

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  76. I vote for the quarterback crunch brownies. Those sound like a lot of fun.

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  77. The quarterback crunch brownies! They sound wonderful!

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  78. The lemon hissy fits. I love lemons.

    Thanx for putting up such a great giveaway.

    daldak01@yahoo.ca

    ReplyDelete
  79. You posted the one I wanted to see the most, but I would love to see the recipe for Potato Chip Cookies - sounds interesting. Lately I have been baking cookies for my hubby and step daughter to take to work instead of them buying cookies, so this cookbook would be so fun to have.

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  80. These all look good, but I think those crispy peanut butter balls would take care of my current cravings. And like your husband, I wouldn't mind having a lifetime supply. Nothing's better than peanut butter.

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  81. Quarterback Crunch Brownies. I am looking for a great brownie recipe and still haven't found one! YUMMMMMMMMY!

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  82. I'd love the recipe for potato chip cookies. A dear friend used to make a potato chip cookie at Christmas & I loved them. This recipe looks a bit different, so I'm intrigued!

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  83. Lemon Hissy Fits! YUM!
    fdcj82@yahoo.com

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  84. The most likely to disappear cookies.. because they remind me of divinity! I know they aren't but it still reminds me of it lol.

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  85. Lemon Hissy Fits! I love a really good lemon cookie so that would be a great thing!

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  86. the quarterback crunch brownies sound amazing!!!

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  87. Lemon Hissy Fits! The name alone makes me want to try besides the fact that I LOVE lemon!

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  88. The Crispy Peanut Butter balls! Anything to get the kids involved is great and a heck of a lot easier than keeping them away! Lol

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  89. Well the Lemon one looks refreshing and Springy!!

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  90. Wow! Those are all so unique. I really am excited about reading the book. I can't wait to try the Lemon Hissy Fits. They look so good.

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  91. would like to try quarterback crunch brownies!!!!!!!!!!! would love to win the cook book!

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  92. What a wonderful post and glad your shared the recipe for the Anzac biscuit...definitely going to have to try. Even though I love anything with PB, I am going to say that I would most like to have the Potato Chip recipe. Cookie looks yummy!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win a chance at the cookbook. Isn't Gooseberry books the best!!!

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  93. mmmmI think I would like to hear the potato chip recipe, I love chocolate covered potato chips so....I am thinkin' those would be good too. Thanks for the great chance to win your giveaway!!

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  94. I think the potato chip cookies sound interesting!! I would love to win the book!! Thanks!!

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  95. These all sound so good. I'd love for you to share the forgotten cookies. Thank you for the review and give away!

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  96. They all sound super yummy.....but I'm going to vote for the Potato Chip cookies.

    Thanks for the fun!

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  97. I am torn! Love peanut butter so my first thought was the Crispy Peanut Butter Balls. But then the Potato Chip Cookies sound unique! And the Hissy Fit Lemon Cookies would be a nice change....oh, heck, I just need to win the cookbook so I can have all the recipes! :) Jenny Webb

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  98. Oh, shoot! Forgot to give my email address above,,,I was so excited about possibly winning the cookbook! jwebb52@centurytel.net

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  99. The Potato Chip Cookies!
    ponchogoblin@yahoo.com

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  100. Home made cookies are my downfall. The Potato Chip Cookies sound great. Please put me in for the cook book.
    Sarah

    seputt@yahoo.com

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  101. The Potato Chip cookies. When I was 10 years old(45 years ago) my aunt made us these cookies. I loved them and I haven't been able to find the recipe. acox55@gmail.com

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  102. My vote is for the Lemon Hissy Fits. I love a good lemon recipe as the weather gets warmer.

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  103. The Crispy Peanut Butter Balls. My family loves Pb with a passion.

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  104. I NEED a Quarterback Crunch Brownie STAT!! :)

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  105. The Anzac cookies,oatmeal and honey combo like both for my grandson, Try to make his stuff healthy

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  106. For the name alone, the Lemon Hissy-Fits get my vote. Also interesting-sounding are: All the others!!!LOL

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  107. I would like the see the recipe for the Peanut Butter balls and the potato chip cookies. Both of them sound good.

    iwbennett@yahoo.com

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  108. Lemon Hissy Fits, Please.... :)
    gwynneryan@yahoo.com

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  109. alfasan50@sbcglobal.netMarch 7, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    anything a diabetic can have, but personal choice would be lemon!

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  110. Definitely the potato chip cookie. Who doesn't
    like sweet, salty and crunch all in one bite?

    Brenda
    bgle325@yahoo.com

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  111. The Crispy Peanut Butter Balls look really good :)

    Beth
    mamasboys@copper.net

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  112. I would love to see the kids' Crunch peanut butter recipe! My daughter is 3 and she LOVES to cook with me! She is always asking if she can help in the kitchen and she is a GREAT stirrer!

    Tia
    tbeltz0@georgetowncollege.edu

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  113. mmmmmmmm I want the recipe for the lemon hissy fits. My husband love lemon and he says I have hissy fits so It would make a great combo. I would just shove one of these in his mouth and say, you will like this fit.

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  114. ooo sorry I forgot my email.
    donnieandmarie07@gmail.com

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  115. I would like the recipe for Lemon Hissy Fits. We love lemon cookies, but they never seem to have enough lemon flavor or they are too dry. I love Gooseberry Patch recipes, so I would like to try this one as well. Thanks!
    Terri
    freebird96@cox.net

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  116. I would like the recipe for crispy peanut butter balls. fdcj82(at)yahoo(dot)com

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