Typically, I’m a chewy cookie kind of gal; so, at first I was convinced I wasn’t going to like these cookies as they are exceptionally crispy. However, their flavor more than makes up for the lack of chew; and, dipped in coffee, they are a lovely mid-morning snack (thanks to my dear mother for that discovery).
As I began my perusal of the cookbook, I was immediately struck by the fact that Kathleen King, owner of Tate’s Bake Shop, uses salted butter in her recipes (she even addresses this in her preface). This was an obvious signal that she and I are kindred spirits. Really. I never buy unsalted butter, and have been using salted for years in all of my baked goods. This earned the book an initial check in the positive column of my imaginary check-list.
I chose to test two different recipes. I knew I wanted to try the chocolate-chip cookie. First, it’s what Kathleen is most known for; second, my husband has been trying for years to bake the perfect chocolate-chip cookie. I thought it would be fun for him to bake the recipe and give me his review.
The second recipe I settled on was the Cranberry Crumb Cake. I still have quite a few fresh cranberries to use up (8 jars of preserved cranberry relish later, and I still have 2 pounds of raw cranberries in the fridge!), and this seemed like a fitting vehicle for a few of them.
D followed the cookie recipe to the letter, and I followed the crumb cake recipe almost as closely. I did have to make one substitution in the crumb topping for the cake – instead of the nuts I used rolled oats. My husband is allergic to tree nuts, and I wanted him to be able to eat this cake without blowing up like a balloon. I’m a thoughtful wife like that.
|The cookie D couldn’t wait until after I’d taken a picture to try. Why do I even bother?|
The cookies were, oddly enough, chewy. I think that’s because D made them twice as big as they should have been. The recipe says it yields 4 1/2 dozen cookies, but we only wound up with 2 1/2 dozen.
When I asked him if he liked them better than the ones he normally bakes (a recipe from the Joy of Cooking), he said that he “thought so” (which is quite the compliment, since this is about as much commitment as I can ever eke out of him on anything). He did say he would bake these again.
|Side-by-side comparison of chocolate-chip cookie from Tate’s (on left) and our home-baked version (on right).|
Flavor-wise, they taste just like the ones from Tate’s. And, the last six of the batch (which I portioned out smaller than the ones my husband had done) were thin and crispy like the ones we received in the box.
I’m looking forward to trying some of the other recipes in the book – there’s a sesame cookie that looks interesting, and a couple of scone recipes that I’m excited to test.
If you’re looking for a cookbook to give as a gift this season, one with tried and true baked-good recipes, then the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook seems like a good one. And the great news is you can save 15% when you order from tatesbakeshop.com by using the discount code “cookie” when you check out between now and December 31.
So, to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post anytime between now and 6:00 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, December 5. You can double your chances of winning by “liking” Tate’s on Facebook. Just let me know in your comment that you “liked” them, and I’ll enter you twice. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 6.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square pan with pan spray or butter.
- In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. Mix it with your fingertips or a pastry blender ’til the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts (or oats) and toss them together. Set the mixture aside in the refrigerator.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the sour cream, eggs, oil, orange zest and vanilla ’til combined
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar using the chopping blade until the cranberries are chopped into small pieces.
- Add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in the cranberries.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets or line them with Silpat
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt
- In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the water and vanilla. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined. Add the eggs and mix them lightly. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the dough.
- Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop.
- Bake them for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.