If you're completely over the cupcake craze but looking for other sweet entertaining ideas for Spring, consider the Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable ($10.87). Authored by Bay Area pastry veteran Anita Chu, the guide packs an impressive amount of information on the world's cookies into a rather teensy tome. Find out if this book would be a good match for you when you
- Comprehensive notes include background information and history of each cookie, serving suggestions, and icons that indicate tools needed.
- Nice balance of traditional favorites — such as gingersnaps, whoopie pies, and snickerdoodles — as well as ethnic favorites (Chinese almond cookies, baklava, lebkuchen, and stroopwafels).
- Reasonably priced, durable paperback edition is practical and portable.
- Book feels small; tight binding makes it hard to keep book open on desired page.
- The book didn't include instructional shots of baking techniques — only photos of finished cookies.
Recipes: The book has over 100 recipes for occasions throughout the year. A few that called my name:
- Italian Easter cookies
- French macaroons
- Greek butter cookies
- Buttercream thumbprints
Imagery: Every cookie is photographed in a full-color photo index, so readers know exactly what to expect.
Overall Rating: This inexpensive cookie index contains something to please everybody, and its readable format makes it a great cookbook for cookie fanatics. If you don't have a cookbook stand, however, be prepared to be frustrated trying to stay on one page.