Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review: 'Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies'

✰✰✰✰ The holidays roll around just once a year. There's so little time to try out complicated and time-consuming recipes. That's where the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies cookbook comes in handy. Featuring easy-to-read recipes with full-page, full-color photos, this cookbook is perfect for your baking needs. The book begins with "Cookie Success Secrets" and "Bar and Brownie Success Secrets," which include choosing the proper equipment, storage tips, and choosing ingredients. Each recipe includes nutrition information, preparation time, start to finish time, and the number of cookies or bars each recipe makes. The numbered step-by-step instructions are clear and concise. There is also information on "Cookies as Gifts," a "Metric Conversion Guide," and an Index. Yummy recipes to check out include "Mini Whoopie Pies," "Linzer Cookies," "Chocolate Chip Reindeer Cookies," "Strawberry Cheesecake Bars," "Striped Peppermint Cookies," and Bourbon-Spiked Brownie Truffle Balls." Even if you don't bake throughout the year, there's something for everyone in this cookbook.

Taste Test Notes: There were so many tempting recipes, but I decided to try to make the "Red Velvet Rich-and-Creamy Cookies." The ingredients were super easy to locate at my local grocery store. That's always a plus. Once I had everything gathered, I found that this recipe was very easy to make. While my cookies weren't quite as red as those in the photo, they were very tasty. These cookies aren't big, so you can easily enjoy two or three with your afternoon tea and not feel too guilty.

Here are all the ingredients needed to make this simple recipe!

Here are the finished cookies (without nuts).
Nana's Baking Tip: If you don't like chopped nuts, just omit them and decorate with red sugar crystals instead. Also, these would be a festive treat for Valentine's Day as well.

The Bottom Line: This cookbook will appeal to bakers of all levels. There are recipes for drop cookies, shaped cookies, filled cookies, bars, brownies, and cookie cut-outs. These cookies come in all flavors too like chocolate, raspberry, and peppermint. You can also find a variety of gluten-free recipes. The cookbook is easy to use and the layout is attractive. Baking projects that are fun for kids are indicated, and the inclusion of "Tinsel Time Tips" for festive touches make the book interesting. All in all this cookbook is highly recommended; however, it would have been even better if the editors had included a skill level for each recipe.

Details: Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies by Betty Crocker. Paperback published by Betty Crocker in 2013. 208 p. ISBN: 978-0-544-16664-6

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