175 Best Small-Batch Baking
Treats for 1 or 2
By Jill Snider
Robert Rose Press
Retail : $24.95
Review by Joan Leotta
Baking is not what I am known for. The careful chemistry of ingredients, exact measurements–all of this does not jive with my little of this, little of that style of cooking. I do bake–cookies mostly, and when I do, I am careful to follow the directions no matter how much my inner spirit wants to rebel.
Cookies are one of my favorite things to make and eat (if you check out my photos you will know the truth of that!). However, now that we are a family of two, cookie making is restricted to holidays, parties and church or community functions. Even then, I am often faced with a large amount that need to be frozen. When I pull them out months later, even if frozen in small batches, I feel as though it is a chore to eat them. I prefer fresh.
Cutting a recipe for 24, 36 or more cookies into batches of 6 or nine is more than an exercise in simple math. The chemistry of the cookie requires, adjustment of certain ingredients, a smaller pan, a different baking time. Jill Snider has done all of the experiments to make sure that the recipes she has included meet those criteria. These are not oddball cookies–oh no! She has many of my holiday favorites in this book and there are others, related to them, chewy and crisp, bar cookies, min pies, mini loaves and more that are perfect for a romantic dinner, afternoon spur-of-the- moment snack (without days of required eating or gifting of leftover cookies). My freezer is already smiling at not having to bear the burden of tiny bags of cookies that will be lost behind roasts and veggies until dried out. Many of the recipes are for things that are my personal faves–dream bars, apricot and fig pinwheels, and even pecan balls.
Author Jill Snider has decades of baking experience in her resume, including 25 years as a test kitchen manager for a major flour maker. This Toronto, Canada resident is the author of two other cook books as well. She has recalculated cooking times and pan size. She knows how to split an egg! (several of my cookie recipes call for one egg and to halve the recipe….) Snider’s recipes are calculated so this issue is resolved.
The 175 recipes in this book–well, this means I can pick up the book and find something I want to make any time I am in the mood for something sweet–and home-made, no chemicals.
Small batch also means lower cost and fewer sugary calories to be consumed at one sitting. Such calorie avoidance, by eating fewer cookies, does not make this a health cookbook, but certainly no one can argue it is good for mental health, providing the means for a small sweet treat when the psyche needs it. This book makes a wonderful gift for anyone who has a smaller household.
With permission of the author the publisher I am printing one of the recipes from the book. Try it, But try it at your own peril, because like all delicious things, once you try one, you will want more!
Raspberry Coconut Pinwheels
Makes 8 medium or 6 larger cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons quick oats
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter ,softened
1/4 cup pack brown sugar
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 1/tablespoon raspberry jam
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats and baking soda and salt
In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat together, butter, sugars, the egg and the almond extract until creamy, Add the coconut and the flour mixture.
Set aside 3 tablespoons of the dough for topping. Then drop by spoonsful onto prepared baking sheet. make an indentation in each cookie. Put the jam in the indentation and then partially cover with the reserved dough
Bake in the preheated oven, 10-14 minutes or until golden.
Let cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.