Field Guide to Cookies is a little book that promises to deliver instructions on “How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable” in its subtitle. That is a tall order for a pocket-sized volume to fill. The book is part of a series of “field guides” by Quirk Publishing. All the books are set up in a style similar to that of a “real” field guide – by which I mean one meant to help the reader identify different species of plants, animals, insects, etc. A little bit of the effect is lost with cookies, as you’re unlikely to discover them roaming in the wild (and they’re generally labeled in bakeries and stores), but the overall concept is cute.
The recipes are all presented with a little bit of the history/development of the cookie, serving suggestions and notes on any baking tips that might come in handy. The actual recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, and there is a good variety of recipes including basics like chocolate chip and gingerbread, as well as brownies and sandwich cookies. There are plenty of suggestions for variations on the basic recipes, too. At the center of the book, there are several pages with full-color photos of the cookies, the “identification” part of the book. Other helpful features are included in the form of tips on ingredients and equipment at the beginning of the book and conversion tables at the end. The book was written by Anita Chu, the author of the blog Dessert First, and if you’re a fan of her site you won’t be disappointed by her attention to detail here.
I should mention that this book won’t be out for about 4 more weeks, in the middle of November. This still means you’ll have plenty of time to add recipes from the book to your holiday cookie-making schedule if you order it, but until then you are certainly more than welcome to stick to some past cookie recipes to get you through.