Extraordinary Vegan by Alan Roettinger [epub | 3,75 Mb] ISBN: 1570672962

  • Full Title: Extraordinary Vegan
  • Autor: Alan Roettinger
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Book Pub Co
  • Publication Date: August 15, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570672962
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570672965
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 3,75 Mb
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As a private chef to the rich and famous (including a president and a prime minister), for over 30 years, Alan Roettinger has learned a lot about what people hunger for and what satisfies. Learn his secrets for creating simple yet sophisticated, vibrant vegan dishes with a decidedly international flair and add joy and surprise to your menus, whether for everyday meals or celebratory gatherings.
Discover Alan’s more than 100 delightfully artful, completely vegan recipes,and transform your meals from ordinary to extraordinary! With dishes like Artichokes and Fennel with Preserved Lemon and Saffron, Fig Jam with Port, Spicy Minted Slaw, Arabesque Garbanzo Beans, and Bananas en Papillote served with Pina Quemada Ice Cream, there’s something to tempt every palate.

 

Editorial Reviews

Review

In a world of meh, Alan Roettinger goes for extraordinary. "I want to make extraordinary food accessible to the average person." It’s not about the Food Network, it’s not about the Cordon Bleu and "it’s not that difficult," says the author of the new cookbook "Extraoardinary Vegan." "It’s about attention and love." –Ellen Kanner, Huffinton Post

There are over 100 recipes using plant-based foods that will open your eyes (and your taste-buds!) to a whole new world of vegan living. His cooking style and tantalizing recipes will make you want to take chances in the kitchen that you have never taken before. All the recipes in this cookbook are also gluten-free. Some of my favorite recipes include the Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Salad, Spicy Minted Slaw, and the Pears in Pomegranate Juice. This cookbook is perfect for those planning on making the upcoming resolution of eating and living a healthier lifestyle in the New Year. –Kathleen Reale, Be Free for Me

What I like very much about Extraordinary Vegan by Alan Roettinger, is the clarity of the book. Not only the myriad of attractive pictures, but the recipes themselves are clear and lead to easy preparation. For those not familiar with vegan cooking, which eschews the use of any animal products including honey, it can seem foreign and daunting. But Alan Roettinger puts it easily into one’s grasp. –Amy Siegal, Gluten Free Maven

Alan Roettinger and his fabulous new book, EXTRAORDINARY VEGAN hits the sweet spot…His recipes are a wonderful balance of health and pleasure that are sophisticated yet accessible…If you want some interesting vegan recipes that will rise above the crowd, there are some fabulous ideas in this book. –Tess Masters, The Blender Girl

What I like very much about Extraordinary Vegan by Alan Roettinger, is the clarity of the book. Not only the myriad of attractive pictures, but the recipes themselves are clear and lead to easy preparation. For those not familiar with vegan cooking, which eschews the use of any animal products including honey, it can seem foreign and daunting. But Alan Roettinger puts it easily into one’s grasp. –Amy Siegal, Gluten Free Maven

About the Author

Alan Roettinger has cooked in private homes, catered parties, and provided specialty desserts for a broad spectrum of high-profile clients. A world traveler, he absorbed elements from many cuisines to synthesize a unique, creative style of his own. Throughout his years as a private chef, Alan developed a reputation for working within the limitations of restricted diets to create delicious food tailored to the specific tastes of each person.
His books, Omega-3 Cuisine and Speed Vegan, showcase his ability to bring healthfulness and flavor together in a wide range of dishes that are simultaneously exotic and accessible to the home cook.

 

Keywords

4th Estate

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This eBook edition published by 4th Estate in 2017

Copyright text © Giorgio Locatelli 2017

All photographs © Lisa Linder 2017

Design and art direction: BLOK

www.blokdesign.co.uk

Giorgio Locatelli asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this eBook on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source ISBN: 9780008100513

Ebook Edition © September 2017 ISBN: 9780008100520

Version: 2017-08-18

For Plaxy

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

The places I call home

Seasonal salads and vegetables

Simple soups

Panini, crostini, pies and other snacks

Pasta, rice and pizza

Favourite fish and seafood

Grilled meats, roasts and stews

Cakes, treats and ice creams

Index

Acknowledgements

About the Publisher

The places I call home

Home means many things to me. Home is north London with my wife, Plaxy, and now grown-up ‘kids’, Jack and Margherita, who come and go but still expect to raid the fridge as soon as they walk through the door. When Plaxy and I are at home on our own, the meals we share are about simply cooked fish, vegetables and salads, and many of our favourite recipes are included here. But when Margherita was small, much of our cooking had to begin with something that she could eat, since shortly after she was born we discovered that she had an allergy to around 600 foods, especially fish, tomatoes and eggs. So for years we could never have fish or tomatoes in the kitchen, and ingredients like almonds would be kept in jars in separate labelled cupboards to keep her safe. We never wanted her to feel different, so we would always find a way of making something for her that looked like what everyone else was eating, even if the ingredients varied. But for me, that should always be at the heart of all home cooking: the idea that you adapt and change according to what you buy fresh that is in season, what you have in your cupboard and your fridge, and who you are cooking for.

Home, for me, is also Corgeno in Lombardy, northern Italy, where my whole family was involved with my uncle’s restaurant, La Cinzianella, on the shore of Lake Comabbio, so my grandmother was in charge of the cooking in our house while my grandfather raised rabbits and chickens and grew vegetables in the garden. Many of the meals that my grandmother cooked, I still cook at home for my own family, and when I do, it is as if I am back in Corgeno with her and my grandad again.

According to the day of the week, we might have risotto with saffron, pasta with homemade passata, fish from the lake, and once a week fresh prawns; or stews, such as osso buco or my favourite, spezzatino, made with beef, potatoes and peas, according to whatever pieces of meat Stefanino, the village butcher, had kept for my grandmother.

When my elder brother, Roberto, and I would come home from school there would often be a soup made with my grandmother’s broth and maybe a scallopine to follow: a sliver of pork, veal or chicken, encrusted in breadcrumbs from the big jar in the kitchen and fried. I still think that in a family environment, soup is very important. It is a great comfort food; it doesn’t need so much planning, and you can make a potful and freeze some in a container for next time. If I get home late from the restaurant, or from filming, having tasted so many dishes during the course of the day, all I want is a simple soup to soothe and settle the stomach. Or a simple pasta.

I never tire of a plate of spaghetti with a brilliant tomato sauce, but I often think that while the great advantage of pasta is its familiarity, that is also its worst enemy, because we all have our one or two favourite recipes that we make over and over again, when actually a dish of pasta should reflect the changing seasons. It is a perfect medium for introducing kids to ingredients with different textures and flavours throughout the year.

My grandparents, who had been through the war, never lost the fear that there might come a day when there was no food – something that Jack and Margherita have no reason to understand – but in Europe plentiful food has come at a certain cost to society. There is no doubt that we have to
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Acknowledgements

Copyright

ABOUT THE BOOK

EASY, AFFORDABLE GOOD FOOD ON A BUDGET

Graduate Rachel Phipps shares the delicious recipes for the food she and her friends love to eat. Her foolproof recipes, tried-and-tested in real shared kitchens, are ideal for first-time cooks.

Breakfast. Lunch. Solo Dinners. Food for Friends. Something Sweet. Drinks

Try: Homemade Granola, Chorizo Baked Beans, The Only Tuna Pasta Salad You’ll Ever Need, Good Green Couscous, Frying-pan Lasagne, Store-cupboard Fishcakes, Quick Late-night Miso Soup, One-Bowl Chocolate Cake and Banana and Nutella Muffins.

The smart, modern cookbook every student should own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Food writer Rachel Phipps is a recent graduate from the University of London. A lover of good food and a self-taught cook, Rachel started producing easy recipes to share with her friends at uni who were struggling for food inspiration on a budget. The best of these recipes have gone into her first cookbook, Student Eats.

Find Rachel on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram (@makingmewonder and @missrachelphipps) and at her blog (www.rachelphipps.com) where she shares her student-friendly recipes from her, now, graduate kitchen.

Rachel has contributed to Great British Chefs, The Times, The Debrief and Buzzfeed.

INTRODUCTION

I can remember clearly the afternoon my parents dropped me off at halls for my first year of university. I can remember my father trying to cram all of my bags and boxes into one ride of the lift, and my mother making my bed for me because she knew that I’d always hated doing it.

I can also remember the first box I unpacked the moment my parents had left. As I found homes for the battered pots and pans I’d inherited from my aunt’s student days and for the bags of pasta and rice I’d been sent away with, I was absolutely terrified.

What worried me the most about moving away from home and starting university was that I wasn’t going to be able to feed myself the fresh, healthy and pretty much 100% homemade food I was used to at home on a student budget. I was scared that I would run out of money for fresh food and have to start living off the student stereotype of packet meals, jarred sauces and bowls of 40p rice. It was in my efforts to avoid this bleak eventuality that I found my love of food and cooking.

I started writing a fashion blog while I was still at school. It was a space where I could share my photos and writing with the world. Therefore, it seemed natural to me to photograph and share the cheap, fresh and easy meals I’d started producing in my student kitchen. After a little while, everyone, from my best friend to total strangers, was telling me how much they’d enjoyed one dish or another.

I spent the second year of my degree studying abroad in California. It was in Los Angeles that I really stopped writing so much about clothes and make up, and started getting braver and bolder about creating my own dishes. I spent the holidays, when I had the kitchen to myself, perfecting some of my favourite recipes.

I WAS SCARED THAT I WOULD RUN OUT OF MONEY FOR FRESH FOOD AND HAVE TO START LIVING OFF THE STUDENT STEREOTYPE OF PACKET MEALS, JARRED SAUCES AND BOWLS OF 40P RICE.

My kitchen table in America was where I first started to imagine what a cookbook written for students like me could look like.

Fast-forward almost 5 years after that first day of student life and here is the book I wish I’d had back then. A book full of the sorts of recipes that you’d want to throw together after a packed day of lectures, or the morning after the night before. The most important thing to me when I was writing this book was also to make sure that it is a ‘student’ cookbook in name, budget and simplicity only.

SOMETHING BRIGHT, FRESH AND DELICIOUS, OR WARM, COSY AND COMFORTING, DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE, DIFFICULT OR TIME INTENSIVE TO CREATE.

I hope you’ll enjoy cooking from this book long after graduation. I wanted the recipes to have more in common with the dishes you’d find in a ‘grown-up’ cookbook, rather than some of the other student titles out there.

Writing my blog, I’ve had countless comments and emails from readers with busy lives and a tight budget, who have recently started their first jobs, have families to feed or who just want to eat well without spending all of their time in the kitchen. This book is for all of those people, too.

Looking away from my own student experience crammed into shoebox east L
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recipes in my books for food that is sautéed, stir-fried, or made by other labor-intensive techniques. For me, the easiest thing is to throw something in the oven, set a timer, and forget about it. Grilling is great—and I’ve certainly done a lot of grilling—but it means you have to stand over a hot grill, away from everything else going on in the kitchen. The coals are too hot; they’re too cold; you never really know when the food is done just right. Instead, my Steakhouse Steaks are seared in a cast-iron pan on the top of the stove and then thrown in the oven, the way restaurants make them. The steaks come out perfectly every time—seared on the outside, done to juicy perfection on the inside.

Or take French Toast Bread Pudding, the perfect example of making something easier. Instead of standing at the stove making French toast two slices at a time, I decided to combine all the ingredients of my challah French toast recipe in one baking dish and make it into a bread pudding. Same breakfast—but so easy! Out of the oven, a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, and breakfast is ready for a crowd.

I love risotto as much as anyone but I hate standing at the stove for twenty-five minutes stirring and adding stock in small quantities. For my Easy Parmesan “Risotto” you simply throw the rice and stock into a Dutch oven and put it in the oven. Forty-five minutes later, you stir in the Parmesan and wine and serve up the most delicious risotto, lots of flavor—no stress. Meatballs and spaghetti are a great old-fashioned meal but I hate rolling all those meatballs around in a pan of hot fat—and then you have to clean yourself, the stove, and the ceiling. My Spicy Turkey Meatballs & Spaghetti are made lighter with ground turkey and they’re baked in the oven. And believe me, they’re even more delicious than your grandmother’s!

easy menus

Weeknight dinners are usually easier because I can make one or two things and dinner’s ready. But dinner parties are a whole other thing; we all feel that we need to make something really special for our friends. Even with all my books full of easy recipes to make, though, my stress level can skyrocket if I try to cook six things at three different temperatures that all have to be done ten minutes before dinner. Instead, I make a plan: I’ll stagger the work and the cooking times with recipes that work for me. With cocktails I’ll serve Savory Coeur à la Crème—a delicious cheese appetizer served with mango chutney and whole-grain crackers—which actually needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator, so it’s ready whenever my guests arrive. Or I’ll make my Roasted Eggplant Caponata, which tastes even better the next day. All I have to do is toast some pita bread in the oven and it’s ready to serve. For dinner, I’ll choose an entrée like Caesar-Roasted Swordfish so I can prepare the Caesar sauce early, slather it on the swordfish before dinner, and bake it while we’re sitting around having drinks. For a side dish, I’ll make Scalloped Tomatoes—it’s like a crusty tomato gratin—that I can assemble early in the day and just throw into the oven before dinner. By the time we’re ready to eat, I’m not red in the face and completely frazzled from running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room; I’m relaxed and ready to have fun with my friends.

I really do keep the party menus pretty simple. Your friends have come to see you—not to critique your cooking skills! I’m asked all the time, “How many hors d’oeuvres do I need to make before dinner?” “None!” is my answer. If I’ve planned a really good dinner for friends and it’s going to take more than two hours to prepare, I’ll almost never make hors d’oeuvres, unless they’re really simple like my Stilton & Walnut Crackers, which I can freeze weeks ahead of time and defrost, slice, and bake before dinner. Cocktail food at my house is little silver bowls with salted cashews, ripe cherry tomatoes, vinegary caperberries, or salty potato chips. It’s elegant, it’s delicious, and frankly, no one really wants to fill up on pigs in blankets before a dinner that you’ve worked so hard on.

For dessert, if I’ve already got three or four things to make for dinner, I’ll buy a few delicious treats to serve “as is”—I might get farmstand apples, good English Cheddar, and some chilled hard apple cider; for a celebratory dessert, I like long-stemmed strawberries dipped in chocolate, a glass of demi-sec Champagne, and some store-bought cookies. And you probably have a good bakery nearby that makes a special chocolate cake that everyone loves. Who wouldn’t want that for dessert with some good vanilla ice cream or fresh berries? You’ve served a really special dessert—and you didn’t even have to turn on the oven!

easy recipes

When I’m working on my cookbooks, I test the recipes over and over again—and then I hand them to my wonderful assistant, Barbara Libath,
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along with holly and skeins of ivy. Mine came from an oak tree in Hereford, though nowadays much of the folklore-laden evergreen arrives by less-than-romantic truck from northern France. It is only the mistletoe grown on oak that is imbued with magical powers.

Empty glasses are scattered around the room, perched on shelves and window ledges from where we toasted the new, albeit unfinished kitchen. And there is just enough Champagne left in a bottle in the fridge for me to celebrate, in secret, the first morning of the New Year.

This January 1st is no different from all the others, in that I will make soup and a loaf in what is now an annual ritual. Kneading is a good way to start the year. Tactile, peaceful, creative, there is something grounding about baking a loaf on New Year’s Day. We have baked bread since the New Stone Age.

There has been a decade of New Year’s loaves in this house: a simple white bun, its surface softened with a bloom of flour; a dimpled foccacia that left our fingers damp with olive oil; a less than successful baguette, as thin as a wand; a brown, seeded loaf we ate for days like fruit cake; a flatbread; a crispbread; and once a craggy cottage loaf, its top slid to one side like a drunk in a top hat. I forget the others.

This year’s bread is the simplest of them all, a single, hand-worked loaf of strong white flour and spelt – the ancient cousin of wheat that is currently enjoying a renaissance. (This is less considered than it sounds: they are simply the flours I happen to have left in the cupboard after making mince pies.) Modern spelt is a hybrid of the emmer wheat and goat grass grown since the Iron Age, and has found favour with those who consider modern, commercial wheat heavy on the gut. I like it for the faintly nutty quality it brings to the party.

Making a loaf is cooking at its most basic – a bag of flour and a pinch of salt, some warm water and something to make it rise (baking powder, yeast, a home-made leaven). Yet there is more to it than that. There is something therapeutic about kneading live, warm dough. We do it in order to make the dough softer and more elastic, but the feel of dough in the hand makes you consider yourself a craftsman of some sort, which of course you are. I often knead my bread dough every twenty minutes or so, rather than the customary twice. Each kneading only lasts for about a minute. I do it gently too, without bumping or slapping. I am not sure any good can come from treating our food like a punch-bag.

I will attempt to achieve the yeasty sourness I want by using a glass of cider in place of some of the usual water and will get the crust crisp by punching the oven up to almost its highest setting. I want a crackling crust that shatters over the table when you break it, and a soft wholemeal crumb within. A good plain loaf that smells slightly sour and faintly lactic, yeasty, with a subtle fruitiness to it – a quiet and humble loaf with which to start a new year.

A cider loaf

Makes one medium-sized round loaf that will keep for two days and is still good for toast after four.

wholemeal spelt flour: 250g

strong white bread flour: 250g

sea salt: a lightly heaped teaspoon

whole milk: 150ml

honey: a teaspoon

fresh yeast: 35g

dry cider: 250ml

Warm a large, wide mixing bowl (I pour in water from the kettle or hot tap, leave for a minute, then drain and dry). Weigh the flours into the bowl – there is no point in sifting – then stir in the salt. Warm the milk in a small saucepan. It should be no hotter than your little finger can stand. Stir in the honey until it dissolves. Cream the yeast with a teaspoon in a small bowl, slowly pouring in the warm milk and honey. When it is smooth and latte coloured, pour it on to the flours together with the cider and mix thoroughly. I use my hands, though the mixture can be sticky at this point, but a wooden spoon will work too. When the dough has formed a rough ball, tip it out on to a lightly oiled or floured surface. Knead gently for one minute by firmly but tenderly pushing and stretching the dough with the heel of your hand, turning it round and repeating. Lightly flour the bowl you mixed the dough in and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover with a clean, preferably warm cloth and leave in a warm, draught-free place for an hour. Close proximity to a radiator will do, though not actually on it, as will the back of an Aga, a shelf in the airing cupboard or indeed anywhere the yeast can work.

Remove the dough, scraping off any that has stuck to the bowl, and knead lightly for one minute. Return to the bowl, cover and replace in the warm for twenty-five to thirty minutes, until the dough has risen once again.

Set the oven at 240°C/Gas 9. Knead the dough once more, this time forming it into a ball, then place it on a floured baking sheet and dust it generously with flour. Cover
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ughters.” And we all see what happened with the Prince of Wales. Lesson One: Never let a family member pick out your husband.

From left to right: Grandmom, Pia, Mary, and Mom discuss how to cut the cake. We all remember that the storm blew over quickly.

Francesca, who still answers to her childhood nickname, Checka, has invented brilliant shortcuts for many of our recipes, with delicious results. Like Mom (seven children, one right after the other) before her, Checka (three children, one right after the other, and at this writing, numero quattro on the way) has to get the food on the table fast, and it had better be tasty.

• Checka says: “Mom always reminds us that Italians know how to create dishes from whatever they have in their kitchens. It’s certainly true in my house!”

And I like to create my own versions of the family favorites, studying the classic recipes, reviewing mine, and then trying something new. I am proud to say that, while I’m a pretty good cook (after all, I was employed at the Mount Bethel Inn in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, one fateful summer in the early 1980s), my husband, Tim, learned the keystone dishes from Grandmom Trigiani (once she decided to accept him as my husband and started speaking to him directly).

Grandmom Trigiani taught Mom to make tomato sauce. Now, this would seem a natural thing, mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, both wanting to please the man in the middle. But Grandmom wasn’t big on in-laws; she was very clannish, suspicious of anybody “marrying in.” Especially if she hadn’t hand-selected the person. When Dad wrote to his parents from college and told them that he was going to marry Mom after graduation, Grandmom retained a detective (not a real one, a priest) to contact the Bonicellis’ priest in Chisholm, Minnesota, and find out what kind of family Mom came from. When the priest reported back that Mom’s people were of sterling character, Viola gave in and accepted the inevitable. (Later, I learned that Grandmom’s own father had gone to their family priest to convince Viola not to marry a fellow she was seeing. The priest changed Grandmom’s mind, which made the way for her to marry Michael A. Trigiani, our grandfather.)

• Mom says: “After Anthony was discharged from the army, after our first year of marriage, we moved to his hometown in Pennsylvania and lived our first year there in his parents’ home. Grandmom taught me how to make maccheroni and meatballs (in Italian, polpette) the way Anthony liked them; we hadn’t eaten pasta that way in my home. This became a standard dish once a week for years to come, and as the family grew, so did the size of the pot.”

Our family in Big Stone Gap.

When we moved to Big Stone Gap and encountered “spaghetti” in the Big Stone Gap Elementary School cafeteria for the first time, it was shocking. The noodles were boiled until you could see through them and then sloshed with sloppy joe mix, heavy on the ground hamburger. We did our best to swing the cafeteria staff toward authentic Eye-talian (as they put it), but we gave up when they insisted that all spaghetti sauce needs is a base of chopped meat, a cup of ketchup, and a shot of chili powder. Our credentials as the only Italians in the school held very little sway.

At home, we made our own pasta several times a year and it was always an event. First, the wooden kitchen table was scrubbed. Second, Mom did an inspection for cleanliness, presence of ingredients, and accuracy of measurements. Finally, Dad put on an apron and would “go ethnic.” He did this at every opportunity anyway, like dressing up for Halloween parties (calling himself The Godfather of Poplar Hill, our neighborhood), but he became more Italian with greater gusto when he could toss around some flour. The rest of us got to critique each other’s style and rate of production. (Mary hid in her room; she couldn’t take the performance pressure.)

The Pasta Making Team consisted of Toni, Checka, and our brother Michael. Occasionally Pia and our brother Carlo would join in, but the core group was pretty solid. Mom observed, mostly as a buffer to Dad, and to make sure that nothing that wasn’t in the recipe wound up in the dough.

• Toni says: “I prepped the kitchen and got the ‘tools’ for the day ready. Dad was an in-and-out overseer. He would check in at the start of the proceedings and watch the dough being made, and when the cranking started, he always got the first turn to monitor how the dough was working. Once he was satisfied with the proceedings, he would take a nap. When his nap was over, he would come in the kitchen and find the strands of spaghetti drying on the rack. He was as proud of those noodles as he was of a straight-A report card.”

Dough for Homemade Pasta (Pasta Fatta in Casa)

SERVES 4 TO 6

8 ounces unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 level teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons
Usually made from creamed batters, they are so named because the dough is scooped and dropped onto baking sheets for baking. They are some of my favorite cookies because of how quickly they can be thrown together.

My Advice: Drop cookies are perfect for dressing up. Consider unusual combinations of inclusions—crumbled pretzels in peanut butter cookie dough or chopped chocolate–covered espresso beans in Flourless Cocoa Cookies. Or try adding another component entirely—I love making drop cookies into sandwich cookies by adding a scoop of ice cream, a spread of Salted Caramel Sauce, or a hefty dollop of Dark Chocolate Italian Buttercream.

Cut-Out Cookies

Cut-out cookies are cut from a stiff dough that is rolled out to an even thickness. They can be any shape your little heart desires and are often decorated with icing.

My Advice: Whenever you roll out a dough, it’s best to use as little flour as possible. Any flour you throw onto your surface is going to be incorporated into the dough as you roll, and too much flour can make a dough dry and harder to roll out without cracking. Too much flour can also make your finished cookies tough. If you have trouble with your dough sticking, try rolling it out between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap—I don’t love doing this, because the sheets often bunch up and leave dents or lines in the dough, but the technique does come in handy for stickier doughs.

Also, if you’re using a cookie cutter that has a lot of intricate details (an elaborate snowflake, for instance), I recommend rolling out the dough, transferring it to a baking sheet, and chilling the dough on the baking sheet before cutting out the cookies. Then chill the cut-out dough again before baking, so those details stay sharp.

Pro Tip: Scooping Cookie Dough

I love cookie scoops. They make my cookies almost perfectly even every time, with minimal effort and no more cleanup than if I’d used the old two-spoon method. The most useful sizes are: #16 / ¼ cup (57 g), #30 / 2 tablespoons (28 g), #60 / 1 tablespoon (14 g). But if you’re scoopless, never fear—I provide volume equivalents in every recipe. My advice if you’re scoopless: Carefully measure out the first mound of dough, then eyeball the others to make them look like that first one. You can also do this with a scale, if you’re so inclined.

Icebox Cookies

Icebox cookies are made from a stiff dough that’s formed into a log, refrigerated or frozen, and then sliced into rounds. If you keep a log or two in your freezer, you can make freshly baked cookies at the drop of a hat. This is especially great for those times (cough, cough . . . holidays) when you need to make a lot of cookies.

My Advice: I learned a snazzy trick for getting an even log in no time at one of my very first bakery jobs. You need a big piece of parchment and a bench knife (or dough scraper; if you don’t have one of these, you can use the blade of a long offset spatula). Position the paper so a long side faces you, plop the dough onto the parchment, and form it into a rough log shape along that long side. (If the dough is very dry, lightly wet your hands to shape it; if the dough is very sticky, flour your hands.) Fold the parchment closest to you over the log. Press the bench knife firmly into the crease made by the paper folded over the log while pulling the parchment taut. Through the magic of pressure, the log will become smooth and even.

Shaped Cookies

Shaped cookies are formed in various ways:

Piped cookies (e.g., spritz cookies) are generally made from relatively stiff doughs that will hold their shape when piped and baked. Some doughs used for piped cookies are not stiff but are sturdy enough that they don’t lose definition when exposed to heat (e.g., Meringues).

Molded and stamped cookies include those made from thin batters piped into molds (such as Madeleines), and from stiffer doughs pressed into molds or shaped with stamps.

Sliced cookies, like biscotti, are baked twice, first as a log of dough, and then sliced and baked again. I love their long shelf life—they’re meant to be dry and they don’t stale during storage, so you can keep them on hand for coffeetime, anytime.

My Advice: Many of the cookies in this category look super-impressive even though they are beyond easy to make. Buy a nice mold or cookie stamp for your new signature cookie, and you can focus on finishing it in a pretty way (or leave it plain). These cookies are wonderful for finishing touches like a drizzle of, or dunk into, melted chocolate, which turns them into something even more special.

Pro Tip: Makeshift Molds and Stamps

No cookie mold or stamp? No problem: Get creative with the stuff you have on hand. Fabric or paper can be used to imprint patterns on cookies. Just be sure the pattern is deep enough to make an imprint. Doilies, for example, can create a gorgeous imprint on the surface of a cookie

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