Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich landed on my front porch, I became re-obsessed with finding a cookie that would appeal to my less-sweet, unusual-flavor loving tastes, but might still please those like my daughter who prefer traditional, gooey, sweet cookies. This book has a little of everything, from sophisticated spicy carrot masala macaroons to enough brownie recipes so that fans of every style can find the best one for their tastes.
I asked for a household vote on the first recipe, and Matt chose Coffee Walnut cookies, which are nutty, thin and crispy, and perfect with a cup of coffee or dish of coffee ice cream. Some of these recipes appeared in Medrich's earlier cookbooks, like the coffee walnut cookies from Pure Desserts, but they've been re-tested and refined with extremely clear and detailed instructions -- where before these cookies were sliced off a log, now there's also an option to roll them and cut with a cookie cutter, which takes a bit more time but makes a more impressive and refined cookie.
For the next batch, I'm wavering between Chocolate chunk cookies with cherries and pecans, vanilla cream cheese sandwiches (which look much more intriguing than they sound) and Chunky Peanut Butter clouds, which are peanut butter-enhanced meringues studded with hazelnuts and chocolate. If you're a baker at all, this book will likely get a lot of use, and Medrich's recipes are so carefully thought-out and explained that you won't find similar recipes on the sometimes-unreliable interwebs. Yes, Alice is a family friend, but this book would be tempting even if I hadn't spent almost my whole life sampling her goodies from her kitchen and Cocolat.