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The Christmas Cookie Cookbook: All the Rules and Delicious Recipes to Start Your Own Holiday Cookie Club [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Ann Pearlman , Mary Beth Bayer

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26. Oktober 2010
The Christmas Cookie Cookbook is the perfect holiday present or year-round companion for new and seasoned bakers alike. Packed with tips, anecdotes, and tons of recipes, this cookbook is a must-have for anyone looking for a new holiday tradition or simply a fresh way to spread holiday cheer throughout the year.

For almost twenty years, Ann Pearlman and a dozen of her friends have been in a Christmas Cookie Club founded by Marybeth Bayer. Every year at the same time, they gather at her house to exchange cookies, wine, and laughs. Now, with The Christmas Cookie Cookbook, Ann shows readers how to start a club of their own.

The recipes and the inspiration are all here in one complete guide for cookie club hopefuls. With a diverse selection of not only Christmas cookies, but Chanukah and Ramadan cookies too, there’s a treat in here for everyone!


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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Ann Pearlman, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Nominee, is the author of Infidelity: A Memoir, The Christmas Cookie Club, and The Christmas Cookie Cookbook. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Confessions of a Cookie Virgin

IHAD NEVER HEARD OF cookie exchanges until I met Marybeth. We joined the same woman’s investment club back in the late nineties and discovered we had lots of interests in common. We both loved to dance, read books, go to concerts, socialize, dine out, and cook. When she moved around the corner from me, we spent even more time together! As soon as I heard about her cookie party, I wanted to join. I listened as our friends laughed about funny events, discussed what cookies they might bake, and joked about the rules.

“I want to come,” I said, but they shook their heads.

“Nope. We have rules. Only twelve people. So someone will have to drop out.”

“Twelve? Why only twelve?” I pushed.

“’Cause we don’t want to bake more than 13 dozen cookies!”

“Thirteen dozen? If there are only twelve women?”

“We each donate one dozen to charity, Safe House.” That completely sold me. The fact that I would be making something for families going through hard times and partying with my girlfriends increased my desire to attend. Well, maybe some year I’d be able to come. Maybe I could even start my own group.

Finally, someone dropped out. There was room for me.

I was thrilled.

But I was nervous! I love to bake, but I heard about the standards of delicious cookies in fabulous packages and wondered if mine would taste sufficiently yummy, be sufficiently attractive. And the cookies had to come with a story! What kind of story? I immediately thought of baking my grandmother’s pecan balls, the favorite cookie of my entire family and one that held memories of me and my grandmother in her kitchen. But there was no story: no hero, no conflict, no quest, no crisis. Only happy memories and always the happy ending of delicious cookies.

“That’s enough,” Marybeth assured. “Family recipes with memories are the best cookie stories.”

Then I shopped to buy packaging that might be acceptable. I went to party supply stores, craft stores, department stores. I looked at tins and baker’s boxes. Finally I chose small brown paper bags and decorated the handles with raffia and bronze wired ribbon.

I relinquished the idea of baking watermelon rind fruitcakes loaded with amaretto, which I love, but which my children do not. The weekend after Thanksgiving, I baked cookies instead of fruitcakes. And as I was rolling the warm cookies with their nutty and buttery aroma in feathery confectioners’ sugar, I was brought back to my grandmother’s kitchen with the laughing lady cookie canister and remembered how she taught me to sift the sugar over the mounds of cookies to let it soak in.

The party was full of great cheer, fun, fabulous food, joking, and good-natured teasing. I didn’t know all the women at the first party and thus was introduced to women who eventually became new friends. When it was my turn to pass out my cookies and tell my story, I was nervous. But my new friends were welcoming and wanted to hear more about my grandmother Lala. They liked my packaging and loved the cookies. I was no longer a cookie virgin! And I was accepted into the fold of fun-loving cookie bakers. Through the party I developed a group of friends I socialize with all year.

I returned home with 12 dozen cookies, which I shared with friends and family alike. My kids and grandkids tasted them, each immediately developing a favorite. At the yearly yoga party I attend, the guests marveled at the homemade delicious cookies. I got a call from the hostess of the Chanukah party wanting recipes. Of course I saved a few dozen for Christmas Day to be nibbled on in between present opening. Now everyone always knows when the cookie party is and they all come over to taste the goodies.

The Christmas cookie night became the highlight of my winter holiday season, a party that I looked forward to throughout the year. I also knew, from the first time I attended, that it would make a terrific setting for a book about women’s friendships. The seed of my novel, The Christmas Cookie Club, was planted. Once the draft was written, Marybeth and I started dreaming about writing a book on how to throw your own cookie party, which became the book you are now reading.

• • •

BUT I HAD NO IDEA the phenomenon that would surround me. Since The Christmas Cookie Club hit the stands, I have felt like I’ve been at the forefront of a movement I did not even know existed. Across the country I’ve been swarmed with people excited to tell me about their cookie exchanges. And I’ve been amazed by the number, the variety, and, of course, the importance of them to the participants.

In Greenville, South Carolina, I met an independent bookstore owner whose cookie party has been meeting for thirty years. Now, there are three generations in that club! In St. Joseph, Michigan, I met a group of women who had read my book for their book club and happened to be away on a girlfriends’ weekend. They had no idea I’d be at a bookstore in the area. I signed books for them, and then all of us signed one for the hostess of their cookie exchange. At another reading, a woman sent her daughter to get a book signed for her. Her mom had been in an exchange, the highlight of her winter season, for decades. Unfortunately, she was now in a walker, but her daughter retrieved a book for her.

There are cookie parties where all the cookies are eaten by the end of the party. (Of course the attendees don’t each bring 13 dozen cookies!) Some are co-ed, some are all men, some are extended family parties. In several, a group gets together to bake or exchange kitchen gadgets in drawings and white elephant games. And cookie clubs spring up from social groups, work groups, church groups, neighborhoods, and families.

I’VE HEARD FROM A LOT of people how a Christmas cookie club has helped them through hard times. Peggy, a teacher, e-mailed me that the holiday season was difficult because her husband had died right after Thanksgiving the year before. Joannie, a new teacher from China, joined her school’s staff and mentioned that there was a muffin tin left in the apartment she rented. She had no idea what to do with it and didn’t understand American baking. Peggy offered to help, and taught her how to make orange-ginger muffins and peanut butter cookies. The next time they got together, they made pumpkin banana muffins and gingerbread boys. And then right before Christmas, Joannie brought two friends recently arrived from China and Peggy taught them how to make and decorate Christmas cutout cookies for the first time. Most unusual cross-cultural cookie virgins! It was just the experience Peggy needed to put her in the holiday mood!

And then right after Christmas of last year a special connection was made that was close to home. It’s about Daphne, one of my friends and one of the original cookie sisters. I had folded parts of her life—the circumstances regarding the tragedy of her son’s death—in the chapter about Charlene. Unfortunately, at this year’s cookie club, Daphne announced that she was moving to Texas to be closer to two of her children, both quarterhorse trainers, and to accept a huge promotion. Car loaded, she was driving when she got a call from her sister-in-law.

“Do you know a Melody Mead Parker?”

Before Daphne could answer, her sister-in-law said, “She says she’s your sister and has been looking for you for years. Here’s her telephone number.”

Daphne immediately dialed it.

Melody and her two brothers were from Daphne’s...

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.8 von 5 Sternen  4 Rezensionen
18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Few Recipes and No Photographs 17. November 2010
Von M. Hill - Veröffentlicht auf
The author's version of cookie party isn't a mere cookie exchange. It is where friends meet to share the stories behind the recipes along with favorite holiday memories, and, of course, cookies.

The first forty-four pages of the book detail how the author created her cookie party, the rules for setting up the party and information about cookies - their history, tips and tools of the trade, etc.

There are only thirty-three cookie recipes and many of them are basics - in fact the Cream Cheese Spritz cookie recipe found in this book is the exact one I've been making for over twenty years. I can vouch for its deliciousness, but I am disappointed that with such a small number of cookie recipes they aren't all fresh versions. I also noticed an error -- the Hazelnut Shortbread Sticks recipe is included twice - first on page 75 and then again on page 127.

Except for the front and back cover, there are no photographs and few illustrations of any kind in the book. So, although the text is charming, the book lacks a festive feel. This is a paperback book so it won't lay open flat on the countertop. A cookbook holder would be helpful, which will also prevent spills from damaging the pages.

Since the included recipes may dictate whether the book is of interest to a buyer I am listing them: Cowboy Cookies (these are oatmeal, chocolate chunks, pecans & coconut cookies,) Cinnamon-Nut Spice Cookies, Jubilee Jumbles (pecan cookies.) George's Love Cookies (Chocolate-Chocolate Chip cookies,) Lemon Drops (lemon cake mix and cool whip,) Crispy Chocolate Jumbles (cranberry chocolate chip cookies with rice krispies cereal,) Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons, Chocolate Chip Kisses (coconut, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and chocolate chips,) Molasses Sugar Cookies, Lala's Molasses Cookies, Peanut Butter Krinkles (peanut butter cookies with a hershey's kiss pressed into center,) Almond Cookies, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Sandwiches, Hazelnut Shortbread Sticks, Chocolate Thumbprints, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Peanut Butter Balls (not baked -- more candy than cookie - butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar than dipped in chocolate,) Basic Refrigerator Cookies, Orange Pistachio Slices, Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies, Chocolate Nut Wafers, Cranberry-Cherry Pinwheels, Nut-Edged Lemon Slices, Santa Faces (sugar cookies,) Sugar Cookies, Raspberry Linzer Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Espresso Shortbread, Pizzelle, Pistachio Meringues with Toasted Coconut, Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies, Vanilla Malted Cookies, Seven Layer Bar Cookies and Brown Butter Hazelnut Shortbread with Fleur de Sel.

There is a chapter on Candy that has twelve recipes: Mary's Famous Peanut Brittle (same peanut brittle recipe I've used for years,) English Toffee, Oven Caramel Corn, Easy Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Sugared Nuts, Candied Walnuts or Peanuts, Mom's Friday Night Fudge, Chocolate Dipped Caramels, Pecan Praline Morsels, Chocolate Peanut Toffee, Truffles Without Trouble and Peanut Butter Truffles.

The remaining chapters are Packaging, Last-Minute Decorations and Food, Paaarty!!! and Baking Tips. There are two appendixes, Steps in Making Cookies and Handy Kitchen Math and Chemistry, along with an index in the back so finding a particular recipe or piece of information can be quickly accomplished.

The book is designed for someone interested in starting a cookie exchange/party and offers advice and some recipes to use to start the process. The recipes will be more useful to a novice rather than an experienced baker. The books biggest flaws are the small number of recipes, some of which are uninspired, and the complete lack of photographs. To ensure the book is a good fit, I would suggest potential purchasers view it in person before buying.
5.0 von 5 Sternen What a great tradition! 8. Januar 2014
Von Dee Camp - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Read the first book! Loved it and my friend started our own, Now with the official book we will feel like experts. I bought two one for me one for her. Next year we will really do it big.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Cookies!! 17. Oktober 2013
Von Joyce A. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Good recipes. Would like it much more if it had glossy pages and at least SOME photos, but it has no photos of the finished product. Most recipes read as if they would be easy to make, and taste great. Has a lot of tips and instructions to have your own cookie exchange. Interesting.
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not Really a Cookbook 26. August 2013
Von Garnet - Veröffentlicht auf
This isn't really a cookbook. Its really a book about how to set up and run a cookie exchange group and party, with anecdotes from the author's own experiences, with only a handful of actual recipes to go with it. I think the first part of the title of the book is a bit misleading, and it should have just been something like "Rules and Recipes to Start Your Own Holiday Cookie Club" or maybe just "Starting Your Own Holiday Cookie Club."

Reading about cookie exchanges was interesting and the author writes in a fun and easy to read way and I enjoyed that part. There actually weren't that many cookie recipes for something claiming to be a cookie cookbook, as the second half of the book had recipes for candy and foods you could make for your actual cookie exchange party. There were a few cookie recipes that included small stories with them and it would have been nice to have more of those, as part of the focus of the exchange party is to share not just recipes, but memories and so on.

It did include tips on the parties and how to put together nice and practical cookie containers for the exchange and this part was useful (I never would have thought about using clay pots or empty oatmeal containers), even if you don't do an exchange but want to give cookies for holiday gifts.

I think I would have given the book another star if the book had contained some pictures of their actual parties and the decorative packaging of the cookies. Color pictures can add a lot to a cookbook, especially if you're talking about giving cookies as gifts.
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