a food blogger a human being who doesn’t love cookies. Yeah, I thought so. Does not exist.
When the new cookbook Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary came across my desk, I knew I would love it. This book is filled with recipes you might find at a hipster cookie bakery on vacation in a big city.
Authors Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy created all kinds of cookies for this book. With gorgeous photos and recipe titles like Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, Peanut Butter Peanut Brittle Cookies and The Black Sabbath, everything single recipe is drool-worthy. There’s even a recipe for homemade Milanos. I have my eye on the Best Friends Cookies, which are this amazing swirl of fluffy meringue and chocolate. Also: Blondie Butterscotch S’mores. Need I say more?
At the end of the book, Segal and Leahy included sections for the ingredients they keep in their pantries, the tools of the trade and the basic recipes they refer to all the time. The basics include recipes for hot fudge, butterscotch sauce and caramel sauce, as well as jams, toffee, marshmallows and sprinkles. (Yes, sprinkles!) I could see myself referring to the basics section an awful lot.
My biggest complaint about Cookie Love, though, is that the cookie recipes are, well, complicated. I don’t mind a complex recipe once in a while — that is part of the fun of baking! But so many of these require strange ingredients (like goat butter) or a lot of ingredients and almost all of them have a lot of steps. If you’re a novice baker looking for an easy cookie recipe, this book is not for you.
However, you might like this book if you don’t mind cookie dough that gets refrigerated overnight, recipes that take up more than two pages or cookies that have multiple layers of texture and flavor (and labor). If you’re the kind of person who likes cooking their way through cookbooks, you might like exploring one section at a time. Each chapter is categorized into types of cookies, such as drop cookies, bar cookies, rugelach and shortbread.
I thought I’d take a stab at one of the recipes in the Cookie Love cookbook. I chose the Lemon Goat-Butter Tea Cakes because it was one of the recipes on the simpler side. And boy, are these delicious. A little labor-intensive, but if cookies are a labor of love, I can’t wait to taste some of the other recipes in this book. I bet they’re amazing. (Fleur de Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah, anyone?)
Full disclosure: I did not use goat butter in these. I could not find it, and the goat cheese lady at my local farmers market told me that it takes too much goat milk to produce goat butter, so her farm doesn’t produce it. I decided that was too much trouble, so I would just use regular unsalted butter. The Lemon Goat-Butter Tea Cakes still turned out beautifully and deliciously. With a gentle lemon flavor and a soft, chewy texture, these cookies might be one of my new favorites. // susannah
Full disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this honest review. This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking one of them, at no additional cost to you. All opinions are purely my own. Thank you in advance for supporting Feast + West!
Click below to see the Lemon Goat-Butter Tea Cakes recipe!
Most people either love goat cheese or hate it. I hate it, but I love goat butter. It has a mild, sour flavor that adds unexpected depth to baked goods—and it tastes nothing like goat cheese. The kitchen was already stocked with goat butter for our goat butter brioche when I started thinking about what else we could do with this delicate ingredient. Flavored with lemon zest and orange blossom water, this lovely cookie is perfect with afternoon tea—but it is not at all a girly cookie.
Its complex flavors also make it a favorite of my husband, Dan Tompkins. These cookies bake very quickly, so keep an eye on them. They are best when still soft in the center, and they dry out when baked too long.
- 1?2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted goat butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon (approximately 1 tablespoon)
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1?4 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
- 13?4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 11?2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1?2 teaspoon kosher salt?1?2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons coarse cornmeal
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter briefly on medium speed for 5 seconds. Add the cane sugar and lemon zest and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and very white, approximately 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
- Crack the eggs into a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla and orange blossom water.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salts.
- On medium speed, add the eggs, vanilla, and orange blossom water to the butter mixture, one egg at a time, mixing briefly before adding the second, until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 5 seconds for each egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogeneous.
- Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together but still looks shaggy, approximately 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.
- Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate overnight.
- Heat the oven to 350°F and line a couple of half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pans with parchment paper.
To make the coating:
- Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and cornmeal in a bowl, ensuring there is plenty of room in the bowl to roll the dough in the sugar.
- Portion the dough into 12 mounds using a 3?4-ounce (11?2-tablespoon) ice cream scoop. Coat the mounds completely and generously with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. (You will not use all of the sugar.) The dough should resemble snowballs.
- Evenly space the mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Add a generous pinch or two more confectioners’ sugar to the tops. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- The cookies will crinkle and set on top, but they will not brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- These cookies have a short shelf life. Store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Credit: Reprinted with permission from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.