Cookie Count & Bake: A Cookbook and Cutter Set.
Debora Pearson. Illustrated by Jane Kurisu.
Review by Leslie Millar.
CLEAN UP FUN.If your child believes the above, you may be able to circumvent many future battles. Cookie Count and Bake is a nifty little kit that includes an attractive coil-bound cookbook, a sturdy square cookie sheet, plastic measuring spoons, and colourful number and shape cookie-cutters. All of the cooking utensils are made of nontoxic and dishwasher-safe materials. The only real drawback to this kit is that the cutters and spoons come attached to each other by plastic tabs which, when you break them apart, leave sharp points behind on the cutters.
What's the next best thing to making cookies? Washing up when you are done.
The package notes claim there are twenty recipes and activities in total, which is somewhat misleading. There are only four cookie dough recipes, and some ideas about different things to make with the dough, like a treasure chest made from cookie dough and filled with cookies. There is also a recipe for sticky icing, and ideas for decorating the treasure chest, as well as a recipe for baked playdough which can be used to create a home-made memory game.
Some of the suggested activities are pretty lame - unless you think finding the cookie-cutter numbers that match your weight and shoe size, or playing with the cutters at the beach is your child's idea of a great time. More fun will be had in the kitchen, using them for what they were made, cutting cookies!
There is really only one cookie dough recipe, for a basic sugar cookie. The other three recipes just add different ingredients to make new cookies (mint extract and food colouring for mint cookies; orange rind for orange-flavoured cookies; and cocoa for - surprise - cocoa cookies.) I have now given away nearly all the secrets of this book. I must confess, being a cookie gourmand, I was initially disappointed in the lack of variety. But the true test was in the baking, and those number cookies looked terrific! The orange ones being my personal favourite, did not last long in the cookie tin.
Is a kit like this necessary? No. You probably have the necessary accoutrements for making cookies in your home, including more interesting recipes. No doubt you could purchase number and shape cookie cutters somewhere. Is it fun? You bet it is, and $19.95 is pretty good value for a cookbook, cutters and a shiny silver baking sheet just for you. Or for your child, or one you know.
Leslie Millar is a mother and substitute teacher.
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