A Good Bake – Cookbook GiveawayDecember 21, 2020 by Jenny
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.
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.a Rafflecopter giveaway
- angiejackson on The Last Bite Cookbook Giveaway
- MarciK on Good & Sweet: Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- MarciK on The Lodge at Black Pearl Cookbook – Worldwide Giveaway
- kennethjohngilmour on Good & Sweet: Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- CatsintheKitchen on Good & Sweet: Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- CatsintheKitchen on The Miller’s Daughter Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- Pamyoungvb on Good & Sweet: Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- Radu321 on The Last Bite Cookbook Giveaway
- virjeania on Good & Sweet: Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- Skamper on Sometimes the best things come in small packages