I want to seriously throttle the authors of The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie Book, for they have altered all my best-intended plans of losing weight by the summer. No, I don’t really want to hurt them, even if they have put together a delectable, delightful, desirable and outright diet-dangerous collection of the most scrumptious, lip-smacking chocolate cookie recipes this chocoholic has ever seen the likes of.
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the authors behind the “Ultimate” series of food-related books that include The Ultimate Shrimp Book, The Ultimate Brownie Book and The Ultimate Potato Book. They clearly know their stuff, and this time they take on the wonderful world of chocolate cookies, a match made in heaven - or, as the authors tell us, a match really made in 1828 by a Dutch chemist named Coenraad Johannes Van Houten. The authors start us off with a brief history of the evolution of the chocolate cookie, then delve right in to some great “getting started” tips on cookie baking sure to make anyone an expert.
Once all the tips and instructions are over, we get into the good stuff, with “Chocolate Cookies A to Z,” and that includes such drool-inspiring taste treats as Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Caramel Pockets (oh God, there go the hips), Chocolate Rugelach, Chocolate Sandies (and I thought the pecan versions were decadent!), fried Chocolate cookies, gluten-free Chocolate cookies, low-fat Chocolate cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (that’s it – Atkins, take a hike!), Chocolate Meringue Caps, Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies (just toss the fat onto my thighs, guys) and Tofu Chocolate Chip Cookies. Heck, there is even a recipe for vegan cookies. Now, if only they had one that contained no fat, no carbs, no sugar, and no calories!
The dozens of recipes are so easy to follow, with everything from ingredients to procedures put in simple terms, including storage tips, ways to customize the recipe, and other special instructions for better baking success. The only thing that would have made The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie Book more, well, ultimate, would have been some great color photos of the cookies themselves. You know, the end result, or at least how they should look. But then again, who cares how they look! It’s all about the pleasure of taste, and the recipes in this book are sure to please any chocolate lover, any cookie lover, and, most of all, any chocolate cookie lover.