Easy Cookie Recipes
St. Martin’s Griffin, 2017
Here in Canada where Food Book Feast is based, we have a series of cookbooks called Company’s Coming. With over 200 titles, all written by Jean Paré, a former caterer from Alberta, the single-topic series covers pretty much everything from cookies and squares, to quinoa, chicken breast, and pizza. Given the number of books I’m seeing from Addie Gundry and RecipeLion, I get the impression they’re aiming to be America’s version of Company’s Coming and Jean Paré.
Which is not a bad thing if, like Paré, the recipes are solid, accessible, and easy to follow.
Cookies are one of the first things kids learn to bake, and having a variety of easy recipes is a sure way to get kids (of all ages and skill sets) to try their hand at baking. Gundry’s Easy Cookie Recipes does live up to the title. This is a diverse selection of much-loved cookies from classics such as chocolate chip and buckeyes, fantastic-looking bars that feature caramel, peanut butter and bacon (sometimes combined), and other standards such as molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, and shortbread, all easy to bake, with recipes that are not overly-complicated.
There are some fun flavour combinations here as well, with cookies made from soda pop, another with lime, coconut, and pineapple (I’ll take those, thank you very much!), and some vaguely terrifying but fun Jolly Holly Cookies in which cornflakes get covered with a lot of green food colouring.
However… I’ve never been a fan of cookies made with cake mix and Gundry has a whole chapter of these. You’re baking already, why not do it for real, with real ingredients that you can control, as opposed to store-bought mixes full of chemicals?
And I’m sorry, but in no way whatsoever does a Nanaimo bar include banana pudding. Just stop that right now. Ugh! Gross! You think US-Canada relations are uncomfortable over trade and lumber disputes? Go ahead and muck up one of Canada’s national dishes with banana pudding and see if we don’t boycott your book and your company! (Just kidding… not really.)
Overall, there are some fun recipes here, but there are some really bad recipes in this collection as well. YMMV depending on how much you like cake mix and fake banana flavouring. Gundry’s got a way to go before she catches up with Paré, both in terms of quantity and quality.
Usability (based on softcover version): very good. Recipes are clearly laid out in a good size font with numbers and line breaks between steps in the directions. Ingredients are likely to be on hand or easily accessible in most areas. No metric measurements.