"older kids" too. But do it the right way. Don't resort to
prepackaged cookie dough when it's not much more trouble to combine
the best quality ingredients and bake them from scratch.
For help with recipes and tips on technique, the Newport Beach
Public Library has an outstanding collection of cookbooks replete
with baking suggestions.
"Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets," by Carole Walter,
is a good place to start. This James Beard Award-winning cookbook
author includes all the classics and standard favorites of American
cookie fans -- oatmeal raisin, hermits, lemon bars, brownies and
gingerbread people, just to name a few. There's a special section
devoted to the all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie. Did you know
that it's the brown sugar that makes for a chewy texture?
"The Good Cookie: Over 250 Recipes from Simple to Sublime," by
Tish Boyle, is about as comprehensive as you can get when it comes to
cookies. This professionally-trained pastry chef is also food editor
for Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines, so it's no wonder
you can rely on her recipes. Boyle has the ever-popular peanut butter
and chocolate chip offerings, but also goes beyond those with more
advanced temptations, such as buttery lattice-pastry topped Linzer
bars -- everyone's favorite Austrian confection -- and bittersweet
chocolate biscotti from Italy.
Nancy Baggett traveled across the country in search of America's
favorite cookies to include in "The All-American Cookie Book." She
visited small-town bakeries and combed through community cookbooks
and finally distilled all this knowledge into one volume. You'll find
detailed recipes, as well as lots of cookie lore and history, while
you learn to make Pennsylvania Dutch soft sugar cookies, New York
black & whites, biscochitos from New Mexico or key lime frosties from
Of course, you'll want to share the fun of fixing all these
tempting treats, so pick up a cookie book for kids while you're at
the library. "Bake the Best Ever Cookies!" by Sarah Williamson is a
thorough practical approach for beginning chefs, grades 3 through 6.
Youngsters can get the satisfaction of creating their own granola
bars or even special creations with a cookie dough that can be
twisted and shaped. Williamson encourages creativity and gives
suggestions for party ideas holiday fun.
With the holidays in mind, start now to plan the refreshments.
Consult "Sugarbaker's Cookie Cutter Cookbook" by Diana Collingwood
Butts to find a recipe and a look for every season. Witches for
Halloween, pilgrims for Thanksgiving, Santas for Christmas can all be
configured as delectable cookies. Her book is full of sweet ideas for
you and your family and loved ones.
* CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public
Library. This week's column is by June Pilsitz. All titles may be
reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at
library.org. For more information on the Central Library or any of
the branch locations, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library
at (949) 717-3800, option 2.