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Author: Philippa Vanstone
Cookies are enjoyed all over the world - from classic American chocolate chip cookies, French tuiles, Italian biscotti and Scottish shortbread to Chinese fortune cookies, Greek Christmas cookies and German Lebkuchen.
Making them is easy, but requires precise measurement of ingredients, the right techniques and equipment, and the correct cooking temperature to achieve perfect results.
This book, with its invaluable introduction to all the basic cookie-making techniques, followed by 500 clear and easy-to-follow recipes, is the only guide to cookie making you will ever need.
After a formal catering training, Philippa Vanstone spent 10 years working in London restaurants and hotels. She then began working as a development chef, researching bakery products for the UK retail market. Philippa has also lectured on Patisserie and Confectionery, and now works as a freelance cookery writer and food stylist, specialising in all things sweet.
Savoury Nut cookies
You'll simply love these unusual savoury nut cookies - the perfect accompaniment to your after-dinner coffee.
225 g (8 oz) unsalted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C (350'F / Gas mark 4). Line two baking sheets with parchment. Mix the butter and cheese together. Stir in the flour and salt and add the pecans and crisped rice cereal. Roll the mixture into small balls and place on the baking sheets. Flatten with the back of a fork dipped in water. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to wire racks and cool. Store in an airtight container for three to four days.
These crispy almond cookies are shaped like continental tiles - hence their name, which means 'tile' in French.
100 g (3 1/2 oz) plain flour
Pre-heat the oven to 200'C (400°F / Gas mark 6). Grease two baking sheets with butter. Sift the flour and icing sugar together and stir in the almonds. Add the egg and egg whites to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the orange zest and melted butter. Spoon walnut-sized amounts of the dough onto the sheets and flatten with the back of a fork dipped in cold water. In order to allow them enough time to assume a shape, bake one sheet at a time.
Bake for four to five minutes until pale with a darker golden brown edge. Remove from the oven and shape over a rolling pin. When completely cool, store in an airtight container for three to four days or in the freezer for three to four weeks. Makes 3 dozen
Crunchy and spicy, these sugar-crusted cookies are a sophisticated cookie treat.
50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C (350°F / Gas mark 4). Mix the cooled melted butter, treacle, unrefined dark brown sugar and egg in a large bowl. Sift the remaining dry ingredients together and stir into the butter mixture. Using about 1 'h tablespoons of dough at a time, form the dough into balls. Place the balls 5 cm (2 in) apart on a non-stick baking sheet or use parchment on a standard baking sheet.
Lightly press the cookies into 3-cm rounds. Refrigerate the cookies for one hour before baking. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies will puff up, then settle when cooked. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to five days. Makes 1,5 dozen