Book for those who are big on cookies


If you've got a sweet tooth and are tired of the typical prepackaged grocery-store cookies, why not bake your own?

With 50 different recipes, Big Fat Cookies(Chronicle Books, 2005, $17.95), written by Elinor Klivans with photographs by Antonis Achilleos, offers a wide range of oversized cookies to choose from.

If it's chocolate you desire, the cookbook features recipes for Simple Chocolate Chip Stuffed Cookies, Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies or Butterscotch Marble Blondie Drops, whose toughest step involves melting chocolate.

If your desire to bake is for celebratory reasons, Big Fat Cookies features recipes for Celebration Sugar Cookies, Gingerbread Giants and Big-Hearted Butter Shortbread that allow you to make shapes and decorations of your choice.

Of course, there are other recipes, including Toasted Almond and Blueberry Jam Cookie Sandwiches and Cornmeal-Currant Crunch Cookies, which may appeal to those who aren't craving chocolate or aren't feeling very artistic.

The book also features an introductory section that includes tips on buying ingredients, techniques for mixing and forming round cookies as well as tips on storing and packing cookies for the mail.

Butterscotch Marble Blondie Drops

Makes 24 cookies

4 ounces of chopped, semisweet chocolate

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups packed light-brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put chocolate in a heatproof container and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Remove from water and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until smoothly blended. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.

Add the eggs and mix until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

Drop tablespoons (about 3 each) of dough 3 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of the melted chocolate over the top of each cookie. Using a small sharp knife, gently swirl the chocolate to marbleize it.

Bake 1 sheet of cookies at a time for 11 minutes, or until the tops feel soft but set and the edges are lightly browned. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Per serving (1 cookie): 207 calories; 2 grams protein; 10 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 29 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 47 milligrams cholesterol; 62 milligrams sodium

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