Although you certainly can bake cookies just for the fun of it, most of the time we bake cookies for a reason, whether that reason is a holiday party, a housewarming or a birthday. In Crazy About Cookies, Krystina Castella puts together a great collection of recipes and techniques to give you the perfect cookie for any occasion. The book starts off with on tools and techniques on cookie baking and decorating before jumping into the recipes, which are divided up by events and occasions.
This format is unusual for a cookbook, as many divided up their recipes by flavor and might have one holiday chapter, but it does make sense. When you have a particular occasion in mind to bake for, it is very easy to flip this book open and find a recipe that is just the right fit. If, however, your occasion is “chocolate craving” it might be just a touch harder to track down the perfect recipe in this way. The recipes are clear and very well written, especially those that have long instructions for decorating the cookies. The photos are fantastic and make even the complex constructions – like the midcentury modern gingerbread house – look like a snap.
There are over 350 recipes in this book and there are tons of variations suggested as you go along, so it is almost impossible to run out of things to make. The book has a big emphasis on decorating and presentation, not focusing just on plain (although delicious) drop cookies. Decorating cookies, shaping them and piping on brilliantly colored icing is fun to do and easier than it looks, and it can really make a cookie into an edible work of art. It’s nice to see that all of the cookie bases – in terms of flavors and techniques – are covered in this book and that it is actually useful as a tool for getting the most out of your cookie baking.