While I love coming up with new savory dishes, I'm the first to admit that I'm not a baker or a pastry chef. And what I mean by that is making up NEW baking and pastry recipes just isn't my thing. In savory cooking, if something's not working, it's pretty clear - if it's cooking too fast, take it off the heat. If it's under seasoned, add some salt. You can make these little corrections on the fly and usually save your dish. But with baking, you generally don't know that something has gone wrong until your dessert has come out of the oven - and then, it's too late to correct it. And that makes me uncomfortable.
So, I'm absolutely OK with leaving the sweet recipe development to the pros, and following their lead. I've tried nearly 20 recipes from Martha Stewart's Cookies book, and most of them have turned out amazing. This is a solid resource for any type of cookie recipe you might need. Here are a few of my favorites:
Iced Hermits - These tasted like gingerbread, but better. The bar cookie is chewy and spicy (thanks to cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper (I know, black pepper in a cookie!)), and it's topped with a sweet brown sugar icing and crunchy candied ginger. These took a little bit of work to make, but one cool thing about them is that they get BETTER the longer they sit, up to a week (the name "hermit" comes from the fact that the flavor improves if they're tucked away for a few days before serving).
All entries in the "Cook The Book" Series:
- Martha Stewart's Cookies: Iced Hermits, Cream-Filled Chocolate Sandwiches, Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing, Chocolate-Ginger Brownies, Pecan Tassies, Gingersnap-Raspberry Sandwiches
- Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Creme Brulee
- Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: Chocolate-Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Stout Cupcakes, Triple-Citrus Cupcakes, Blueberries and Cream Cupcakes, Streusel Cupcakes, Raspberry Marble Cheesecakes, Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes, Mocha Cupcakes, Strawberry Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes, Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes
- Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts: Coffee Cream Pie, Chocolate Pear Tart, Strawberry Icebox Pie
- Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen: Sweet Corn & Wild Mushroom Soup
- Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi: Asparagus Mimosa, Very Full Tart
- Tyler's Ultimate: Chocolate Banana Bread