>Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook Review, and a Giveaway

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A week or so ago, I was contacted by someone from Tate’s Bake Shop.  They offered to send me a free gift-box of cookies and a copy of the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook to review.  
At first, I was skeptical.  I had never heard of Tate’s Bake Shop (I live in Georgia, and have never traveled to the Hamptons), and I have been receiving a lot of spam both in my email inbox and in my comments lately. 
However, after a bit of internet research, I discovered that they are quite well known, and have been written up in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and InStyle to name a few.  I also learned that Ina Garten (she of Barefoot Contessa fame) wrote the foreword for the cookbook.
After assuaging my paranoid delusions, I emailed the nice woman back and said that I’d be honored to review the cookies and the cookbook.  And to sponsor a GIVEAWAY right here on life, in recipes.  That’s right, folks – today is a red-letter day.  I’m officially going to be hosting my first giveaway of the same package that I was given to review – a sampler of Tate’s famous cookies and a copy of the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook for your very own.  Read on to the bottom of the post for details.
When the package arrived, I pulled out the gift-box of cookies and laid it on the kitchen counter.  I carefully opened the outer box and removed the three smaller boxes that were inside.  I turned my back for a second and when I turned back around, there was my husband hungrily tearing into the package of oatmeal raisin cookies.  “Wait!” I cried – “I want to take a picture of that before you go ripping it apart.”  
“Hmgrold mgromfgrd,” he mumbled through a mouthful of oatmeal raisin cookie crumbs.  
Needless to say, I didn’t get a photo of the boxes fully intact.  I did, however, get a thumbs-up on the cookies from the hubs.
Luckily, the lovely folks at Tate’s saw fit to send a photo along so that you can see just what this cookie sampler gift box contains.  There are a dozen each of chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut and oatmeal raisin.  According to the Tate’s website, that’s a $22.50 value.

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 crumb cake turned out moist, light and  full of cranberry flavor.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet – the  fresh cranberries temper that quite well.  The crumb topping is crunchy and buttery and lovely.  We ate this for breakfast the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It was a hit with the whole family.
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.

Cranberry Crumb Cake
from Kathleen King’s Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 35-45 minutes
yields: 1 9-inch square cake
Ingredients
For the topping:
1/2 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons salted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (this is where I subbed rolled oats)
For the batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 cup walnut oil (You can use vegetable oil if that’s all you have)
1 teaspoon grated zest, from one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarsely chopped (frozen is fine)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 9-inch square pan with pan spray or butter.
  2. 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the sour cream, eggs, oil, orange zest and vanilla ’til combined
  5. 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.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture and stir just to combine.  Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Kathleen King’s Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook
prep time: 15 minutes
bake time: 12 minutes per cookie sheet
yields: anywhere from 2 – 4 1/2 dozen

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two cookie sheets or line them with Silpat
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt
  3. 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.
  4. Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop.
  5. Bake them for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown.  Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!

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Categories: baking, Breakfast, cookbook review, dessert

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10 Comments on “>Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook Review, and a Giveaway”

  1. 30 November 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    >Love making cookies at anytime of the year but especially around Christmas and the holidays.msgb245 at gmail dot com

  2. 30 November 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    >That cranberry crumble looks delicious! Do you think frozen berries would work just as well? Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  3. 30 November 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    >I like cookies! And I "liked" Tate's Bakeshop on FB. Looks yummy!

  4. 30 November 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    >@Silent Company: I absolutely think frozen would work – Kathleen even indicates that in the ingredient list. Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway!

  5. 1 December 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    >That looks like the most wonderful crumble! What a perfect Christmas morning meal! Plus, I love the picture of your husband! He looks so excited!

  6. 1 December 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    >These look so good! Crispy cookies really are best. :)

  7. 1 December 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    >Also, I became a fan of Tate's on Facebook! I would love to win these!

  8. 1 December 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    >I just discovered your site via The Bitten Word. Your Caramelized Pistachio, Cashew and Almond Tart looks amazing! I can't wait to explore your site. Yum!

  9. 3 December 2010 at 1:33 am #

    >I love chocolate chip cookies big enough to be a meal! Let's just say I came for that delectable cranberry crumb cake (and glad I did) and stayed around for the cookies!

  10. 3 December 2010 at 2:03 am #

    >Okay – I liked Tate's on Facebook and I REALLY would like to "become a fan" of those chocolate chip cookies. I also love chewy cookies – but would love to try your Mum's suggestion of dipping on coffee (or hot chocolate). And the picture of D over the Kitchen Aid mixture is perfect!

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