SASSY COOKIES: Sweet, Spicy, and Savory Treats with Swagger by Luane Kohnke

sassyPUB. INFO: Pelican Publishing Company
ISBN: 9781455617692

From Publisher: Goat cheese, rosemary, mango, chocolate, and chai tea-what do these diverse flavors have in common? They are all ingredients in some of the most unique and delicious cookie recipes to be found anywhere. Author and cookie baker extraordinaire Luane Kohnke provides detailed instructions for more than forty of her original cookie recipes to suit even the most refined palate. Each is captured in mouth watering images by talented photographer John Uher. Kohnke breaks her recipes into several distinct sections, all of which include gluten-free offerings. Presented are timeless chocolate cookies including Lemony White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn Cookies and Chocolate Shortbread and Hazelnut Cream Sandwich Cookies, bringing new flavor combinations to expand every baker's repertoire.

The second section experiments with edgy and grown-up versions of brownies, blondies, and bar cookies, including the irresistible Goat Cheese and Caramel Swirl Brownies. Another set of recipes provides savory treats that are perfect accompaniments to soups, salads, and fruit-and-cheese trays or as stand-alone, satisfying appetizers. These include Black Olive Bites, Tarragon-Lemon Cookies, and a tantalizing twist on tradition cheese cocktail cookies. Additional sections delve into nutty and fruity treats and delicate sensations, including Saffron Pistachio Lace Cookies. Provided as reference are detailed instructions on preparation, supplies, and resources to make baking and sharing the cookies as enjoyable as eating them.

Recipe images below came from inside the book.

lime cookieLIME BUTTER COOKIES: These are some of the best-tasting cookies ever. They have that distinctive sugar cookie flavor and brown slightly on the edges, like a sugar cookie. I omitted the lime oil. A small bottle is relativity inexpensive but that isn't something most grocery stores have. I used the zest of one lime and that gave it plenty of flavor. I didn't use the 1 T. dry milk since I didn't have any. They don't have a heavy butter flavor, which is a plus for me.

One of two complaints that I have is that these cookies end up getting 100% soft after a short time and that's not a good thing. I'll only bake what I can eat within a very short time and refrigerate or freeze the remaining dough and bake off what I need. Though we're to flatten the dough balls before baking they still get puffy and aren't flatter like the photo shows. I'd like to experiment with this recipe a bit next time. Grade: A-

cheddar cookieSAVORY CHEDDAR COCKTAIL COOKIES: These use both cheddar and parmesan cheese. I got 22 using a 1 1/2" diameter (#50) cookie scoop. I added a little dried parsley for color. I used black pepper instead of white, and omitted cayenne pepper. I didn't make any of the spreadable cheese toppings for them.

I baked these 10 minutes. They were golden brown on the edges but still a bit soft. They were flakey on the outside and the 'crust' almost melted in my mouth. I'd make these again using a different cheese, as I'm not too fond of sharp cheddar usually. Since these are cheesy, too cheesy, I'd like mine to be firmer, like a cracker, so baked the rest for 12 minutes and they were really firm throughout.

We're told to refrigerate the dough a few hours before baking. I recommend chilling the dough just 30 minutes or the dough will be harder to scoop out and the edges will crack when you flatten them, like mine were after an hour or so. Grade: B

pist cookieANISE-SCENTED PISTACHIO COOKIES: This is basically a more tender shortbread cookie that I turned into a chocolate chip pecan cookie. Anise isn't something I'd like, shelled pistachios cost a fortune, and I would never put lemon zest with almond extract and I saw no reason to not change the flavorings to something I'd like- chocolate chip, vanilla extract, and toasted pecans.

I used a larger cookie scoop than used in the recipe (1 1/2" diameter) and I got 21 cookies. They spread out to 2 1/2" diameter. The cookies have a very nice texture. They're golden brown and crunchy on the bottom and edges and the inside is tender. They use an egg yolk and are pretty much like shortbread complete with strong butter flavor. I cut down on the sugar by 1/4 c. and they're still a little too sweet. I stored the leftovers in an air-tight container and they got a bit harder which is fine with me. Most cookies end up getting totally soft hours after you've baked them. Grade: B

MY THOUGHTS: I think there's a photo of every cookie, which is real nice. There's a few more I may bake from this book. They're all very simple to mix up and recipes are easy to understand so no one is likely to have any trouble.

Some of the flavor combinations are too 'sassy' for me so only part of the book is useful to me.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Recipe images came from inside the book.

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