Baking is one of my hobbies, and I always have my pantry stocked with several types of flour, chocolate, sugars, and extracts. Sally's Baking Addiction, Sally's Cookie Addiction, and Dorie's Cookies are all available on Hoopla and are what I consider to be "Go-To" cookbooks in my personal library, with pages covered in sticky notes and well-thumbed pages. Since I've baked many recipes from these books for my co-workers, friends, and family, I thought I'd share some highlights from a couple of my baking superheroes.
Sally McKenney is one of my favorite baking bloggers. This book covers muffins, breakfast baked goods, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, pie, and more. I love the different types of bars she features. Fudge Ripple Monster Bars, Cinnamon Roll Blondies, and Sugared Lemon Bars are all hits. The Fudge Ripple Monster Bars are basically a bar version of a monster cookie, made with oats, peanut butter, and M&Ms, with a layer of fudge in the center. These are so rich, I cut them first into bars, and then diagonally to make triangles.
I've baked Sally's Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies, which are the most popular recipe on her blog, for several occasions. These cookies include two types of chocolate chips--semi-sweet and white--plus sprinkles (jimmies). These are so festive, because you can switch up the sprinkles to match the season. The cake batter flavor comes from adding some yellow or white boxed cake mix along with the all-purpose flour. Watch out, these are addictive! Pictured below on the left is a Christmas version of her Cake Batter cookies.
Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups (made without the pretzel on top) are pictured on the right. One Christmas I made a batch of these homemade peanut butter cups to give to my cousin, who is gluten-free, and she said they were better than the store-bought kind.
I cannot get enough cookie recipes, and this cookbook hits the spot. Throughout the book Sally offers Make Ahead Tips and Sally Says tips, which are extremely helpful, especially if you want to make the dough ahead of time. This cookbook features some unique shortbread recipes, including Chai Tea Spice Shortbread, Coconut Lime, Coffee Toffee, and Chocolate Cashew Shortbread Wedges.
Pictured below are a couple favorites from this cookbook. On the left: Kitchen Sink Cookies. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mini M&Ms, and crushed potato chips make this an off-the-hook and colorful oatmeal cookie recipe. Although the recipe calls for walnuts, I do not add them.
On the right: Chocolate Cashew Shortbread Wedges, a salty and sweet combination that is great to package and give as gifts.
With over 300 recipes, this is a Baking Bible. Dorie includes clear, detailed steps and lots of tips in her recipes, along with beautiful photos. “Playing Around” variations are included with many of the recipes, with instructions on how to change up the recipe with different flavor combinations. I've had my copy for several years and have barely scratched the surface of the cookies, bars, and doughs in this cookbook, plus the many variations on shortbread, including the sablé, the French shortbread cookie. I could spend three months baking my way through all her brownie recipes: Classic Brownies, Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies, Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars, Fudgy Mocha Bars, and on and on!
Pictured below are two of the recipes from this cookbook I've returned to multiple times. On the left: Two-Bite One-Chip Cookies. You take one chocolate chip and wrap a teaspoon of dough around it. I’ve used semi-sweet, dark, and butterscotch chips for the center. So small and addictive, you can’t eat just one; I won't judge you for eating them by the handful. And while they’re called Two-Bite cookies, a co-worker has informed me, “Nahhh, these are One-Bite Cookies.”
On the right: Chocolate-Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies. Chocolate combined with Biscoff cookie butter is a heavenly combination, and the texture from the oatmeal makes this a must try!
As I went through these cookbooks to point out recipes I’ve tested, I started to remember the occasions behind why I baked the cookies. Many of those occasions involved bringing treats in for co-workers, whether it be to celebrate a birthday or accomplishment, or just because I felt like baking. I've missed baking for everyone at the library and hope I will be able to make for my co-workers again soon.