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How Much Do You Love Cookies?

November 08, 2000|JENNIFER LOWE

Will Rogers might have been talking about a man, but I prefer the quote this way: "I never met a cookie I didn't like."

Nick Malgieri, author of "Cookies Unlimited" (HarperCollins, $35), says he was "genetically programmed with a passion for cookies." I'm glad. Thanks to his passion, cookie-lovers have a slew of new recipes that go beyond the basics of chocolate chips or crispy rice cereal.

Malgieri, director of baking at Peter Kump's Cooking School in New York, is used to guiding home cooks through the ins and outs; one of his previous books is called "How to Bake."

In the cookie book, he writes in a friendly, non-lecturing tone, with the first chapter on bar cookies, "perhaps the easiest of all cookies to prepare." It's not hard to linger among the the brownies, Chewy Almond Bars, Chocolate-Iced Peanut Squares and Honey Pecan Squares, but a cookie-lover will want to keep turning pages.

Recipes are grouped by chapter, including drop, rolled, piped, molded and filled cookies, with each new kind a bit more challenging. Meringue must be made for the Chocolate Meringue Wreaths, dough shaped for Vanilla Pretzels. The book culminates in an eye-catching idea for the holidays (in the chapter "Decorating Projects")--a Holiday Cookie Tree--cookies "glued" with Royal Icing to a foam mold.

What makes the book interesting is the range of recipes. Some are Malgieri's own; others come from sources as diverse as a friend in Pennsylvania Dutch country who makes Hungarian favorites (such as Lekvar Squares, bars filled with prune butter).

Yet only a true cookie-lover might fork over $35 for the book, which features nice photos of cookies and graphics. And only an ardent fan may be able to easily follow the recipe steps, which though offset with orange numbers, run together in one long paragraph of somewhat small type. Tough to read (bend close), if your hands are in dough.

But how much do you love cookies? Rogers have no trouble with his answer.

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