The contents of Cookies at Home with The Culinary Institute of America follow a traditional model, arranged by form (“Drop Cookies,” “Bar Cookies,” “Rolled, Cut-Out, and Sliced Cookies,” Molded, Stenciled, and Shaped Cookies,” and “Piped and Twice-Baked Cookies“), then veers slightly to savory recipes in an ingredient-based category (“Savory Cookies“). How-to chapters round out the volume along with concluding back matter (“Glossary,” Resources,” and ”Template“). The overall presentation is a competent look into cookie-ing devoted to the home baker.
Cooks looking for familiar flavors and textures will be rewarded. Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 47), Peanut Butter Cookies (page 49), Gingersnaps (page 53), and like treats appear in the book along with cookies that move beyond the classics, such as Agave-Peanut Butter Granola Bars (page 110) and Cinnamon Bun Cookies (page 122). Two recipes, Rocky Road Cookies (page 59) and Fudge Brownies (page 86), were selected for baking because, well, I was in my must-have-chocolate mood. The procedure for the Rocky Road Cookies required air-drying miniature marshmallows overnight before incorporating them in the dough, a technique that relieved the baked cookies of one of my favorite characteristics–a slightly gooey, luscious-sticky pull to the inside of a baked cookie (suggestion: use them as is, right out of the bag). Fudge Brownies, made with cake flour, turned out fudgy, as promised.
Cookies at Home with The Culinary Institute of America offers an approachable foundation for learning the basics.