What I love about this book is it creates big, soft, and delicious cookies. The sweetness is just right, so that it never feels like you're being overpowered by sweetness. If you bake it right, it turns out quite chewy on the outside and very soft and gooey in the middle. Surprisingly enough, I have baked ALL her recipes, from natural cookies to sandwich cookies to dipped cookies and they were all delicious! I have tried cooking with The All-American Cookie Book and BIG FAT COOKIES book had far less fats and oils and more pure ingredients - butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. The other recipes from different cookbooks were more complicated and seemed to detach from the home-made style of fresh ingredients.
I started out as a beginning cook with absolutely no experience in baking cookies, and a month later using her cookbook, I am able to make awesome cookies that have been a hit between my friends, family, and relatives.
This is a great book!
Update: October 2013
Almost 8 years since I purchased this book and I'm still using this one to create my chocolate chip cookies! Many things have happened since then. I graduated from college, got married, moved to a new country (Tokyo, Japan!) and started a new life. I'm still baking these cookies and my new neighbors (Japanese and Americans) are loving it. =)
Make sure that your measurements are exact. If the recipe calls for 3/4 tsp of salt, don't go 1 tsp or 2/4 tsp. Also, level them after you scoop it up, to be exact. You wouldn't want a "heaping tablespoon" of something. You want just "a tablespoon". Same thing for the flour. Also, when it calls for a mixer, use a mixer. You'd be surprised at the taste difference between a cookie made with a mixer, and one made by hand. Also, if the recipe asks for room temperature softened butter, *Please* don't skip this step by microwaving the butter. The cookies will come out hard and crispy instead of soft and fluffy! When baking, don't bake them too long in the oven than needed. Bake in the middle rack, not the top or bottom, and in the middle of baking period, turn the cookie sheet around so they bake evenly. Use high quality, REAL vanilla extract, and high quality chocolate chips (I *don't* like Hershey's. I like using Ghiradelli's). Using real vanilla extract vs. a fake one will definitely have a +1 to +2 level difference in taste.