A Good Bake – Cookbook Giveaway

Enter our US giveaway to win a copy of A Good Bake: The Art and Science of Making Perfect Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads at Home by Melissa Weller and Carolynn Carreño.

If I would be forced to pick my top four baking books of 2020,  A Good Bake: The Art and Science of Making Perfect Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads at Home by Melissa Weller and Carolynn Carreño would be one of those choices. This title is a spectacular offering in a sea of baking greatness. This stunningly photographed guide covers everything from savory bread to cookies and bars with each aspect covered with preciseness and skill. Only someone who loves baking and teaching others to bake could create such a book.

Melissa is a master baker who received a James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Baker in 2016. A French Culinary Institute graduate, she trained at Babbo and Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. She was chef-partner at High Street on Hudson; head baker at Per Se, Bouchon Bakery, and Roberta’s; an owner and founder of Sadelle’s; and the head baker at Walnut Street Café in Philadelphia. Her resume says it all.

From “Master Class” recipes which contain step-by-step photo and directional tutorials such as laminated pastry or pâte brisée to recipes utilizing those master class recipes, this is the book you can up your pastry skills with or start simple with one of her cookie or bar recipes.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
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Makes 16 to 18 (2-inch) cookies

These are everything I want in a chocolate sugar cookie: they’re really chocolaty, not too sweet, ever-so-slightly salty, and a bit chewy. And, they have that beautiful crackle on top that, for me, is the sign of a perfect rise-and-fall cookie.

A rise-and-fall cookie refers to one that rises in the oven and then falls when you take it out. The rise-and-fall process is a result of the baking soda reacting with the cocoa powder and brown sugar before the cookie is set. When the cookies are removed from the oven, they fall, giving them that crackle top. How quickly the cookie rises before it sets up is the key to achieving that finish. For these cookies, to ensure they rise quickly, I don’t refrigerate the dough before baking, which causes the cookies to rise more quickly than if the dough were cold. I use Valrhona cocoa powder to make these, which in my opinion is the best there is, but if you can’t find Valrhona, the cookies will be delicious with whatever cocoa powder you use. And I make them with dark brown sugar in place of the more typical granulated sugar, which gives a depth of flavor to an otherwise straightforward cookie.

-Arrange the oven racks so one is in the center position. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
-Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the dough

-Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients. Set aside.

-Put the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer, add the egg and vanilla, and beat until the egg is thoroughly incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once during that time. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until no flour is visible, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once during the process.

Form and bake the cookies

-Pour the granulated sugar into a small bowl. Scoop a 2-tablespoon (50-gram) portion of dough and roll it between the palms of your hands into a ball. Roll the ball in the bowl with the sugar to coat it all over. Place the ball on one of the prepared baking sheets. Continue scooping and rolling the dough, leaving about 2 inches between each ball.

-When you have filled one baking sheet, place it on the center rack of the oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and have cracked as they’ve fallen back down, rotating the baking sheet from front to back midway through the baking time. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool to room temperature for about 2 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

-While the cookies are baking, roll 6 more balls and place them on the second baking sheet. While the first batch is cooling, put the second batch of cookies in the oven and bake them as you did the first batch. Repeat with the third batch of cookies.

-Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Excerpted from A GOOD BAKE: The Art and Science of Making Perfect Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads at Home by Melissa Weller with Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Weller. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Photo credit: Chocolate Sugar Cookies from “A Good Bake” by Melissa Weller. Courtesy of Johnny Miller

This giveaway is open to EYB members in the US. Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index of this title would you make first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on April 30th, 2021.

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  • mcrimmins  on  December 21, 2020

    I’ve always wanted to make Soft Pretzels.

  • sarahawker  on  December 21, 2020

    Ham and cheese twice-baked croissants

  • lean1  on  December 21, 2020

    onion board

  • matag  on  December 21, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • kmn4  on  December 21, 2020

    Cinnamon babka with brown butter cinnamon glaze

  • hbakke  on  December 21, 2020

    Khachapuri with cheese, baked egg, and nigella seeds

  • riley  on  December 21, 2020

    Rum and raisin stollen

  • jr0717  on  December 21, 2020

    The Tahini White Chocolate Chunk Cookies- all of my favorite things in one!

  • smartie101  on  December 21, 2020

    Chewy Gingersnaps…

  • CapeCodCook  on  December 21, 2020

    I want to check out her Master Recipe for making a perfect pie!

  • Shelmar  on  December 21, 2020

    Challah Rolls

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  December 22, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • LaurenE  on  December 22, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • sanfrannative  on  December 22, 2020

    I sprung for this book and have made the soft pretzels so far.
    OH.MY.GOD. Just scrumptious. I can’t wait to follow her directions for lamination too–I’m sure the results will be just as awesome.

  • Siegal  on  December 22, 2020

    Tahini white chocolate chip cookies

  • annmartina  on  December 22, 2020

    Khachapuri with cheese, baked egg, and nigella seeds

  • ChicagoJen  on  December 22, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • sipa  on  December 22, 2020

    All of them starting with the first recipe and ending with the last.

  • rdunsmore  on  December 22, 2020

    New york cheese danishes

  • rlmolnar  on  December 22, 2020

    I’d try the onion boards (pletzels).

  • ravensfan  on  December 22, 2020

    Carrot currant pecan loaf

  • stevestroud  on  December 23, 2020

    Cinnamon babka FYW!

  • roxlet  on  December 23, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip poundcake

  • bawc  on  December 23, 2020

    Master recipe for Challah

  • minichau1  on  December 23, 2020

    Challah rolls!

  • Suskraig  on  December 23, 2020

    Salted caramel sticky buns!!

  • Lafauvette  on  December 23, 2020

    Carrot currant pecan loaf

  • ang709  on  December 23, 2020


  • Leonard5854  on  December 23, 2020

    Chocolate sugar cookies

  • fujirw  on  December 23, 2020

    Chocolate Babka!

  • choppergirl  on  December 24, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • gabyskurnick  on  December 24, 2020


  • debbiehb  on  December 24, 2020

    Salted caramel sticky buns

  • Emwitting  on  December 25, 2020

    Cherry pistachio panettone

  • Kitiara121  on  December 25, 2020

    Hot dog buns. The store bought buns are terrible. I would like to learn to make my own.

  • Dannausc  on  December 25, 2020

    Hot dog buns

  • gilmonster  on  December 25, 2020

    cinnamon babka

  • sequoia55  on  December 26, 2020

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • BMeyer  on  December 26, 2020

    sourdough starter
    Ham and cheese croissants

  • h0lly  on  December 26, 2020

    Chocolate Shortbread!

  • RickPearson54  on  December 27, 2020

    cinnamon babka

  • clairew137  on  December 27, 2020

    Soft Pretzels

  • Patoliv1312  on  December 27, 2020

    I would like to make the Spiced plantain with coconut, apple, and ginger salad.

  • moralla  on  December 27, 2020

    Chive fantails

  • teamkies  on  December 28, 2020

    Carrot cake with pineapple – yes, please! (My favorite carrot cake with classic cream cheese frosting )

  • lauriesk  on  December 29, 2020

    Cinnamon babka with brown butter cinnamon glaze

  • feliciakw  on  December 30, 2020

    Pistachio biscotti

  • JenThomas318  on  December 31, 2020

    Salted caramel sticky buns

  • Breeze81  on  January 1, 2021

    Cinnamon babka with brown butter cinnamon glaze

  • hrk  on  January 1, 2021

    Cinnamon babka with brown butter cinnamon glaze

  • RSW  on  January 1, 2021

    Summer focaccia with Sungolds, corn, and basil pesto

  • leilx  on  January 1, 2021

    Johnny Cash’s mother’s pineapple rum chess pie sounds amazing!

  • dbranigan27  on  January 2, 2021

    I would like to try the Carrot currant pecan loaf.

  • LindsPesh  on  January 3, 2021

    Cranberry cream cheese babka!

  • Gneissspice  on  January 3, 2021

    I didn’t have to read farther than tahini date challah knots to know that’s what I want!

  • JessHeilman  on  January 4, 2021

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake.

  • hillsboroks  on  January 4, 2021

    Orange, coconut and poppyseed cake

  • CatsintheKitchen  on  January 5, 2021

    Perfect Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

  • hilaryhp  on  January 6, 2021

    The gingersnaps would be first for sure!

  • YarnAndChocolate  on  January 7, 2021

    SO many good recipes to choose from! I have no idea what I’d make first. Maybe the soft pretzels or the Khachapuri, but also maybe chocolate babka.

  • LeMinou  on  January 7, 2021

    Soft pretzels

  • mpdeb98  on  January 7, 2021

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • Laura1  on  January 8, 2021

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • Gardengz  on  January 8, 2021

    Hot dog buns

  • banba1  on  January 8, 2021

    Kale and cheese khachapuri with zhoug

  • Bake4one  on  January 8, 2021

    Tahini challah

  • MeerkatSilverleaf  on  January 8, 2021

    Challah Rolls

  • t.t  on  January 8, 2021

    Khachapuri with cheese, baked egg, and nigella seeds

  • InAHealthyKitchen  on  January 9, 2021

    Soft Pretzels sound fun

  • say  on  January 9, 2021

    soft pretzels

  • MarciK  on  January 10, 2021

    English sausage rolls

  • Ceribells  on  January 11, 2021

    I really want to learn how to make enriched breads, and the Cinnamon babka with brown butter cinnamon glaze sounds delicious.

  • Dhasenkampf  on  January 14, 2021

    Steamed persimmon pudding

  • Bolerorkm  on  January 14, 2021

    So many awesome items to try but I will definitely have to make Potato Onion Buns first.

  • Ren23  on  January 16, 2021

    Perfect Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  January 16, 2021

    Sufganiyot with blood orange jam.

  • Shelley.b  on  January 17, 2021

    Oatmeal raisin cookies

  • Sfgordon  on  January 18, 2021

    pletzel!! so hard to find them in bakeries!

  • cellenly  on  January 21, 2021

    Pumpkin muffins

  • kelrific  on  January 21, 2021

    I’d make the soft pretzels 🙂

  • jezpurr  on  January 21, 2021

    Salted caramel sticky buns!!!^_^

  • linmulholland  on  January 23, 2021

    Kale and cheese khachapuri with zhoug

  • Mariarosa  on  January 23, 2021

    Kouign amann

  • dylanjamesk  on  January 26, 2021

    Lemon rosemary curd tart with rye crust!

  • NaomiH  on  February 2, 2021

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • ToPieFor  on  February 5, 2021

    Tahini White Chocolate Chunk Cookies!

  • virjeania  on  February 7, 2021

    Onion board (Pletzel)

  • HomespunHouse  on  February 12, 2021

    soft pretzels

  • lhudson  on  February 14, 2021

    With Easter around the corner Hot Cross Bus sounds like a good choice.

  • LEKcookbooks  on  February 15, 2021

    Chive fantails

  • michalow  on  February 16, 2021

    Pain aux raisins!

  • nvernon  on  February 17, 2021

    Whole-wheat pan au lait Pullman

  • EmilyR  on  February 17, 2021

    soft pretzels

  • rltalbert  on  February 19, 2021

    Golden raisin babka sounds fabulous

  • vhfvhf  on  February 23, 2021

    Master recipe for Challah

  • lisambb  on  February 24, 2021

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • sarahteertzah  on  February 25, 2021

    Fudgy brownies

  • Melsmom  on  March 6, 2021

    Challah Crowns

  • lpatterson412  on  March 7, 2021

    Concord grape slab pie!

  • hibeez  on  March 8, 2021

    Cinnamon babka with brown butter cinnamon glaze.

  • avonleajules  on  March 19, 2021

    salted caramel sticky buns

  • orchidlady01  on  March 20, 2021

    Churros and hot chocolate

  • SousSon  on  March 24, 2021

    Cinnamon Babka

  • Aminata95  on  March 29, 2021

    Soft Pretzels

  • KitKatCat  on  April 2, 2021

    Ham and cheese twice-baked croissant

  • JEWGAL777  on  April 16, 2021

    Carrot Currant Pecan Loaf

  • ktwalla  on  April 16, 2021

    Ricotta Chocolate Chip Poundcake

  • Shelley.b  on  April 16, 2021

    Cherry and pistachio panettone

  • InAHealthyKitchen  on  April 17, 2021

    I’ll be making the chocolate sugar cookies tomorrow!

  • Moosegirl  on  April 17, 2021

    Definitely the soft pretzels

  • Kitsune  on  April 18, 2021

    Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake

  • TheMaven  on  April 20, 2021

    Mmmm, New York cheese danish!

  • ToPieFor  on  April 24, 2021

    Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze sounds delish to me!

  • ltsuk  on  April 28, 2021

    spelt bulls eye scones with jam

  • jay.moe  on  April 28, 2021

    Salted Carmel Sticky Buns

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