My husband Bill is the original cookie monster. He could eat cookies every day and never tire of them. It doesn’t even matter what kind of cookie, he loves them all. If I need an idea for a cookie to bake for him, this book is where I turn first. If you love cookies, then most likely you know all about this book. Maida Heatter is a genius. She has such devotion to her craft which makes each recipe superlative. What makes Maida’s recipes so special is that she provides such precise information that you can’t go wrong if you follow her instructions to a T. If Maida says use Jumbo eggs, for heaven’s sake, don’t use medium! That’s how precise she is. This is not the time to experiment and use your own twist on things, or make substitutions. Follow Maida’s directions and you will not fail.
I don’t know if this is an urban legend, but I once was told that after Maida wrote one of her cookbooks, she used an industrial oven for preparing the recipes. When it was pointed out to her that most home cooks do not have industrial ovens, she did all the recipes over again in a regular everyday type oven. I would love to know if that’s a true story, but it sounds like something she would do since she is so precise and particular with her recipes. This doesn’t mean her recipes are difficult or hard to follow – quite the opposite. Maida also explains about equipment, ingredients, storing, and procedures. I love that she tells you to write in the book, make scribbles in the margins about the cookie you made so you remember next time. I don’t think I own too many cookbooks I haven’t made notes in, and they are such fun to read ten years later.
The cookies in the book are the ones you usually see in cookie books – drop, bar, icebox, rolled, and hand-formed, but they are far from ordinary. There are chocolate cookies with hidden chunks of chocolate and with a baked on coconut meringue; Palm Beach Pineapple Squares, Viennese Marzipan Bars, French Filbert Macaroons, and Italian Sesame Sticks, along with the comfort ones like pinwheels, chocolate-chocolate chip, and peanut butter. Whatever to decide to bake, you will feel like Maida is there guiding you along.
No, this is not my Bill, although he has that crazed look on his face when he eats cookies..