The time comes in every blogger's life when they reach that point. A milestone, a moment of victory, a moment of triumph. That moment is when they reach their 139th post! This is a moment that is often overlooked, and under celebrated...so here I am giving this post its well deserved credit. WAY TO BE POST NUMBER 139!!!
In honor of this accomplishment I bring to you my very first sponsored give away! Thank you Alice Medrich, for sponsoring this give away, and for sharing your wonderful recipes with us! I knew we were kindred spirits when I read your thoughts on using unbleached flour in your recipes, and when I saw your beautiful and creative ideas on cookie making.Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies not only has great recipes, it also has great tips on how to make the perfect cookie. Tips on softening butter, melting chocolate, mixing, rolling, baking, and storing. All little things, but all important in order to produce successful cookies. The book is uniquely divided into sections according to texture...Crispy, Crunchy, Chunky, Gooey, Flaky, and Melt-in-your-mouth. I can't wait to try every single recipe in the book! So far my favorites from each sections have been:
Crispy: Vanilla Bean Tuilles with fresh Thyme
Crunchy: Great Grahams
Chunky: Pannelets - sweet potato cookies
Gooey: Turtle Bars
Flaky: Pecan Tassies
Melt-in-your-mouth: Coffee Walnut Cookies
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies has recipes for all the basics like Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal, but also has a plethora of new and exciting recipes. Alice also has an index in the back that lists which recipes are Wheat-Free, dairy-free, whole grain, only 2 0r 3 points on the Weight Watchers plan, doughs that freeze well, and cookies that last up to 2 weeks. A very helpful resource for anyone making cookies!!! The allergen-friendly cookie recipes taste good and don't call for an extensive list of rare ingredients...which is a nice breath of fresh air!!! Compared to other cookie cookbooks on the market this one is a win-win for everybody. That is why I am so happy to be able to give one away to my wonderful readers!!! If you don't win it I highly recommend you go buy one today! You can buy it on Amazon by clicking on the book link to the left of this post, or go to http://www.artisanbooks.com/
The first recipe I tried from this cookbook was the "Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares" recipe. I loved it! It was truly inspired, and different...very different. Thanks to Artisan Books for providing us with the beautiful picture and recipe from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies.
Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares
These crunchy-crisp and chewy cookies with sparkling bumpy tops started out to be simple raisin cookies. Indeed, you can pair lemon zest, cinnamon, or anise with dark or golden raisins. But you can also make the cookies with prunes, apricots, cherries, dates, cranberries, or candied ginger. Verbatim from our testing notes: anise is best with the prunes but smells divine in the oven, no matter what fruit we use. Try a ginger/cranberry combo for the holidays (and note that the cookies are sturdy enough to ship). If dried fruit is especially hard or chewy, it will only get harder after baking. To avoid this, soak pieces in a small bowl with just enough cold water (or fruit juices or wine) to cover for 20 minutes (longer will dilute and oversoften the fruit). Drain and pat pieces very dry before using.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes to soften slightly. On a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll one piece of dough into a rectangle 8 1/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches. With a short side facing you, scatter half of the dried fruit on the bottom half of the dough. Fold the top half of the dough over the fruit, using the paper as a handle. Peel the paper from the top of the dough. (If it sticks, chill the dough for a few minutes until the paper peels easily.) Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Flip the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and peel off the remaining paper. Sprinkle with half of the coarse sugar and pat lightly to make sure the sugar adheres. Use a heavy knife to trim the edges. Cut into 4 strips and then cut each strip into 4 pieces to make 16 squares. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the lined or greased pans. Repeat with the remaining dough, fruit, and sugar.
Here is how this give away is going to work.
You have to do 2 things
1. You either have to be or become my follower...yes I realize this is bribery...but do it anyway : ) You can do this via Facebook by going to the Networked blogs box to the right of this post and clicking on "Follow this blog"...if you do this every time I post it will show up in your Facebook news feed. Or you can scroll farther down the page and when you see all the little faces of people following me just click the "follow" button. Easy Peasy. If you are a follower and you want an email every time I post shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will add you to my list.2. The second thing you have to do is comment on this post by answering the following question:
What is your favorite texture for a cookie and why? Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth, flaky, or chunky?
In one Week I will use random.org to find a winner and post it on the blog. Be sure to check back and see if you win so I can get your address and have the book sent to you. This contest is only open to people living in the US...for shipping cost reasons, you can only enter once...but if your son who is 2 wants to enter as well that is cool with me : ), pass this on to your peeps...the more followers I get the more sponsored contests I can have!
P.S. Let me know if you do try the Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares recipe!
P.P.S. In the cookbook Alice also gives a wheat free version of the recipe, and a few variations...check them out in her cookbook!
P.P.S. I just took the double oat wheat free cookies out of the oven, they are amazing! Best Oatmeal Cookies ever! Thank you Alice Medrich!