Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter

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  • Eat Your Books

    2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award Winner

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Peanut jumbles

    • JKDLady on July 20, 2015

      The whole peanuts were pretty intense. No need to make again.

  • Zach's chocolate coconut devils

    • jenmacgregor18 on November 21, 2019

      These are really delicious. However, we missed the instructions not to mix all the coconut into the batter; but save some for top. I'm thinking that's for looks. We mixed it all in - and folks the result was not attractive. Of the dark, brown & lumpy genre, these were really an interesting shade of ugly... that I could not stop eating. I think i managed to eat the entire batch mostly by myself and enjoyed every fudgy, coco-nutty bite. Will be making again.

  • Snickerdoodles

    • ashallen on September 17, 2019

      These cookies have a great texture that lasted into Day 2 (at least) - chewy and moist. I tried baking these on both insulated and single-layer cookie sheets and preferred the single-layer - cookie bottoms browned better without which the cookies seemed kind of doughy and undercooked. At first I really liked their flavor but then a weird, chemical/metal aftertaste developed for me. I looked online and it turns out some people are more sensitive to the taste of cream of tartar than others (guess that includes me!) and this recipe uses more cream of tartar than some other snickerdoodle recipes I've tried. For myself, I'd cut back on the cream of tartar next time and see if the other flavors and texture were still as good - for others it's probably just fine the way it is!

  • Oatmeal almond jammies

    • ashallen on September 14, 2019

      My husband loved these cookies (I also thought they were great). Well balanced almond and oatmeal flavors and a pleasantly chewy texture. I tried a few different jams and liked the tarter ones best - they balanced out the sweet cookie dough better. Using room temperature jam created the best melted/concentrated jam pocket texture in the final cookies. These spread significantly while baking - substantially more than one would expect from looking at the book photo - the final cookie's pretty thin. I looked around online and it appears that this is typical for this recipe and the way it's meant to be - they're still delicious. Kept well over several days.

  • Oatmeal walnut crispies

    • ashallen on August 23, 2020

      Nice buttery cookies with lots of walnuts and a crunchy, but not tough, texture. I removed them from the oven while they still had a bit of give/chew in the middle, but I imagine they'd become crunchy all the way through with longer baking. You can taste the baking soda, but it's not unpleasant (as long as you don't mind that flavor). I thought they might bake up very thin, but they're actually a "typical" thickness and pretty sturdy. Flavor kept very well over a couple of weeks.

  • Poppy seed thumbprints

    • ashallen on June 07, 2020

      Delicious, tender shortbread-style cookies with a dab of jam in the middle. Recipe calls for raspberry jam or apricot jam - I used homemade apricot lekvar, but any jam, especially a slightly tart one, will work well. Rolling the dough smoothly/firmly when forming the dough balls helps prevent cracking later on. A 1/2-inch wide jam pocket worked best - my first batch had a slightly smaller pocket and weren't jammy enough. Cookies needed a longer baking time after filling with jam to lightly brown and lose their raw squidginess on the bottom - more like 10-15 minutes versus the 5 minutes specified in the recipe. Not sure why since everything was at room temperature... These might do better baking on a thinner/lighter single-layer cookie sheet than the thicker/heavier one I used.

    • PatriciaScarpin on April 29, 2014

      These cookies are delicious and look absolutely pretty!

  • Teton trailers

    • ashallen on September 15, 2019

      A trail mix-type cookie with a great mix of sweet and salty flavors, a moist, chewy interior, and lightly crisped exterior. Cookies are big and thick - everyone at work thought they were giant chocolate chip cookies (until they bit into one!). Despite the lack of chocolate, people really liked these. Actually, chocolate chunks would be a great addition so long as there wasn't so much that it overwhelmed the flavors from the other add-ins. Prepping the add-ins took a bit more time than I expected - not difficult, just needed time. I baked these on ungreased insulated cookie sheets - they didn't stick at all and I liked the level of browning on the bottoms. They stored well, staying moist into the next day.

  • Maple walnut icebox cookies

    • ashallen on November 22, 2019

      I thought these were good, but not fabulous, cookies. Some of my co-workers liked them more more than I did, however! They're nicely crunchy and have good buttery, nutty flavor. They're also pretty without requiring lots of fussing. Personally I would have liked them to have been sweeter to better balance out the baking soda flavor and the bitter side of the walnut flavor. As the author notes, they improved in flavor after sitting a few days (I still wanted more sugar, though!).

  • Spritz cookies

    • jenmacgregor18 on December 30, 2019

      My first time making spritz. The dough was a bit crumbly so I added 2 tablespoons of milk & it came together for me. For a 2nd batch of dough, I added 1 oz of melted bittersweet choc & omitted the milk. I had issues with my cheap (plastic) Wilton cooking press. I managed the first batch without major issues. However with the 2nd, plastic platform that pushes the dough in the chamber bent completely in half and couldn't press out the dough any longer. So threw the press in the garbage, and ordered a Marcato metal cookie press. Have yet to use it; but I can't imagine having the same problem here. The cookies tasted great. So as long as I have a functioning press, i think we're golden.

  • Almond spritz

    • ashallen on September 15, 2019

      Good spritz cookies. This is the only recipe I've tried so far that uses almond paste - I thought it might make the cookies softer but they were instead tender-crisp. Almond flavor was good but not intense. I had some trouble with this dough in the cookie press and ended up with more misshapen cookies than usual, but I think it was probably because of how I handled the dough vs. the recipe. (I refrigerated dough 2 days, then froze it, and then tried using it in a 65F kitchen.) Keep an eye on these in the oven - once they start to brown, they completely brown very quickly. Browned batches still taste OK but aren't as pretty as the lighter ones.

  • Graham crackers

    • ashallen on September 16, 2019

      I thought it'd be fun to make a graham cracker crust with homemade graham crackers to see if it made any difference in the crust's flavor- it did! This is the recipe I've been using. These crackers are richer/more buttery than store-bought crackers and I've been experimenting with adjusting the butter amounts downwards in the pie crust recipes to compensate. My husband's surprised every time I make these how much he likes to eat them plain, too. They remind me a bit of digestive biscuits. So far I've been using finely milled whole wheat flour which makes for a very fine-grained cookie, but it'd be really nice to try some coarser flours - I think their texture and flavor would be great in these. I store logs of this dough in the freezer and slice off and bake rounds for a pie crust as needed.

  • Carole's best brownies

    • mamacrumbcake on July 10, 2015

      These are so easy and our family's go-to brownie recipe.

  • Stephen Schmidt's white chocolate macadamia nut squares

  • Toffee nut swuares

    • mamacrumbcake on July 10, 2015

      A favorite--easy, tasty, and not fussy--very much like a chocolate chip pan cookie.

  • Apple pie bars

    • mamacrumbcake on July 10, 2015

      A bit of work, but truly delicious.

    • PatriciaScarpin on August 10, 2012

      These are delicious! There are three different layers, but do not let that stop you from making the bars, because they are really, really good.

  • Cherry-pecan meringue bars

    • jenmacgregor18 on December 30, 2019

      These were ok. I liked the idea of them better than my execution. I found that the cookie base and meringue didn't balance out the cherry preserve mixture. The cherry & pecan flavor did come through. I would just have preferred more of a buttery cookie base to offset the cherry jam. It ended up being too sweet for me. It has promise though.. maybe double the dough for the base?

  • Hamantaschen with poppy seed filling

    • ashallen on January 03, 2020

      Excellent hamantaschen - after trying several recipes over the years, this'll be the one I use going forward! Made pastry with butter vs. margarine. It had a tender, cookie-like texture and a really nice vanilla/butter/egg flavor. I can't comment on the poppy seed filling part of the recipe because I used The Baking Bible's really great recipe instead - it made the exact amount needed. When making the pastry dough, I wasn't sure how vigorously to knead it - recipe says to "form into two disks." I handled it pretty lightly and ended up with a somewhat granular dough that baked up very tender but wanted to crack during handling. Rerolled dough scraps had a smoother texture, kept their shape better during baking, and were only a bit less tender after baking, so I'll knead the dough until it's smoother at the start next time. Recipe says to roll dough 3/16-inch thick. I erred on the thinner side (1/8 to 3/16-inch range) and got the stated 40-cookie yield after re-rolling all dough scraps.

    • ashallen on January 04, 2020

      Photo posted. The hamantaschen on the left was made with better-kneaded pastry dough and the one on the right was made with lightly kneaded dough.

  • Aniseplatzchen

    • jenmacgregor18 on December 09, 2019

      requires 20 minutes to beat eggs. I wouldn't want to do without a stand mixer. And they have to sit out on cookie sheets overnight to dry out. Otherwise easy to put together. They were my last batch of the evening & I baked off in the am. The recipe need jelly roll or half sheet pans- something with sides. I was one pan short & so put the last few on a flat sheet. Apparently, the pans with sides needed more time to dry, as they didn't "self ice" The ones on the flat, side-less sheet ended up with a cap of smooth dry icing- for lack of a better term. they all tasted good. crisp exterior, pleasantly chewy interior. Note: another recipe said to allow to dry for 18 - 24 hours.

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  • ISBN 10 0609609696
  • ISBN 13 9780609609699
  • Published Nov 04 2003
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 416
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Random House USA Inc
  • Imprint Clarkson Potter

Publishers Text

2004 IACP Award Winner for Bread, Other Baking and Sweets Category


Carole Walter, the author of the award-winning Great Cakes and Great Pies and Tarts, now draws on her skills as a master baker and the knowledge she's gained through years of teaching to help novices and old-hands alike bake the perfect cookie every time.


No one can resist a homemade cookie, and cooking up a batch is unquestionably the most popular form of home baking. And Great Cookies is the ultimate compendium of everyone's favorite treat, packed with 200 incomparable recipes, 150 tantalizing full-color photographs, and expert tips and techniques.


Great Cookies begins with a thorough explanation of the basics--necessary equipment, common ingredients, foolproof techniques, and advice on storing, gift-wrapping, and shipping cookies to keep them at their best.


From the wonderful section of Drop Cookies (which includes an amazing array of Chocolate Chip variations) to the enticing and exciting Big Boys, the book offers the best cookies from around the world. Other chapters explore meringues, macaroons, brownies, biscotti, rugalach, and savory snacks. Great Cookies provides something to satisfy every taste and every occasion.



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