December 19, 2010
Gourmet’s last big idea, conceived by Jackie Terrebonne, was a series of pop-up cookie shops at Macy’s. They would have been beautiful, lapidary little shops with cookies displayed like jewels. But the magazine closed and they never happened. The accompanying Gourmet Cookie Book, however, was already finished; Romulo Yanes had shot all the photographs, Richard Ferretti had laid the book out and I had written the copy. And even though I asked the publisher not to put my name on it, every time I see this sweet little book it makes me happy.
This isn’t just another bunch of cookie recipes. We wanted to create a mini-history of cookies in America. We tasted through our archives, selecting the best cookie from each of Gourmet’s 68 years. Then, rather than homogenizing the recipes into current recipe style (as we did with The Gourmet Cookbook), we left the recipes exactly as originally written. If you did nothing but read the instructions you’d learn a great deal about the way we were.
The book offers a tiny taste of American history. As new ingredients came into the culture, they were incorporated into cookies. New equipment became available to home cooks, and that also allowed the recipes to evolve. Time passed, we kept baking cookies, and our tastes kept changing. All of this is reflected in the recipes. The discounted book sells for about $10, not much more than a fancy Christmas card.
Just to be clear: I do not get a penny from the sale of this book.
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