Cookbooks Plus

Cookies for Grown-ups

Written by Kelly Cooper
Photos by Frank Anzalone
Hardback $23.99


Many of Kelly Cooper's most inspired cookies are built on memories. Her grandmother taught her to bake in California’s orchard-rich Santa Clara Valley, where apricots, figs, almonds and berries were abundant. Her sweet cookies brim with these and other fresh flavors, enhanced by surprise grown-up ingredients, such as Gruyère or Grand Marnier®. Unusual additions are carefully chosen to draw out the essential flavors of a cookie while adding another layer of pleasure to eating it.

Her savory cookies are also amazing. Indeed, a bite of her Antipasto cookie (featuring bits of Italian salami and cheese) or Redolent (in which specks of roasted red pepper dance with slivered almonds) will likely convince you to bake for your next cocktail party.

Ms. Cooper's whimsical cookies are for adults not only because each is carefully paired with a drink but because they’re deliciously suited for the discerning palette. We’re talking hearty breakfast cookies with dashes of maple syrup and bacon, manly game-time cookies that incorporate Slim Jims™ and late-late-night cookies to stir the senses. For any occasion, Kelly Cooper knows just how to mix beloved, familiar flavors with enlivening, new ones—and that’s the true secret of successful sophistication.

Let your tastebuds decide...

Intrigued about Cookies for Grown-upsbut not sure that it's for you? Take your tastebuds on a test drive with these 3 delicious recipes. These irrestibile treats are called Satisfaction, At The Diner, A Sweet Moment And A Salty Tongue.



Pear (or peach), blue cheese, lemon and walnut

Pairing: Sparkling Wine

Satisfaction is a fruit-and-cheese plate all in one cookie. Whether served before or after a meal, this sumptuous soft cookie with a light nut crunch perfectly complements a bubbly wine. If you’re making this recipe with a mild blue cheese, use pears. For a strong blue cheese, use peaches.

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 Bartlett pears, unpeeled (or 2 peaches, peeled), roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ cup walnuts, chopped medium

1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and lemon juice. Beat until well blended.

2. Whisk together flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and add to butter mixture. Beat until just incorporated.

3. Stir in fresh ginger, thyme, pears (or peaches), black pepper and walnuts. Do not stir in blue cheese.

4. Scoop or drop dough by 1 teaspoon portions and place 1½ inches apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Place 1 blue cheese crumble on the center of each cookie. Don’t place more than one crumble; more cheese will overwhelm the cookie. Bake for 10- 12 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Let sit for a couple of minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Yields about 4 dozen

At The Diner

Yukon Gold potato, onion, sausage and chive

Pairing: Coffee

Inspired by a traditional diner breakfast of eggs, sausage, potatoes and a biscuit, At The Diner brings to mind the hearty meals served when big appetites wake up on a weekend morning. These savory cookies bake up with a soft interior from the sausage and potatoes and a nice exterior crust. Leftover sausage, potatoes or bacon will also work well in this recipe.

1 cup breakfast sausage, crumbled patties or links, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into small cubes, unpeeled or peeled
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted or salted butter, melted
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons chives, chopped medium

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, fry sausage until it is cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain oil from pan, leaving 2 tablespoons (or heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a fresh pan) and sauté potatoes and onion until cooked but not quite soft. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 425° F. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Gently stir in melted butter. Use fingers to create consistent dough with as little handling as possible (it will be fluffier when not overworked). Gently fold milk into the dough, using fingers to mix. Once the milk is incorporated, fold in sausage, potatoes and onion.

3. Scoop or drop dough by 1 teaspoon portions and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Lightly brush tops of cookies with egg and sprinkle with a few chives. Bake for 15 minutes or until bottoms and edges are golden. Let sit for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Yields about 5 dozen

A Sweet Moment And A Salty Tongue

Chocolate, caramel and coarse salt

Pairing: Tawny Port

The milk-chocolate, caramel and salt combination brings this dense cookie to a new level. Creamy caramel and coarse salt entice and entertain with each bite. This recipe never fails to evoke, “This is my most favorite cookie ever” comments which is why you’ll probably find yourself craving it at 2 a.m.


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup chopped high-quality milk chocolate bar
2 tablespoons milk
30-36 caramels
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons coarse salt

1. Preheat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and add to butter mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dense but not sticky.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch diameter balls and place 1½ inches apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, then using your thumb or a teaspoon, press a small indentation into each. (If you prefer a lot of caramel, deepen the thumbprint with the back of a teaspoon when the cookies come out of the oven.) Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes. The cookies do not brown; they are cake-like. Let sit for a few of minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

4. In a medium bowl, microwave caramels and heavy cream on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for an additional 15 seconds or until soft. Place a dollop of caramel into each cookie thumbprint. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of each as desired.

Yields about 3 dozen

Cookies for Grown-ups is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon


The Best Little Book of Preserves and Pickles

by Judith Choate

Paperback $15.95

Inquiring minds will want to know: Was Shaker Lemon Sauce really so good that it substituted for sex? The answer is yes, although Shakers also enjoyed Blueberry Catsup and Green Tomato Marmalade.

These recipes and others for delectable versions of traditional jams and relishes give the reader benefit of newer, safer and easier jarring techniques. What comes from yore is the wisdom of starting with newly-picked organic produce to end with fresh-tasting results. Surprising, delicious notes enter conserves and dressings; urbane sauces and salsas will prove piquant accompaniments to entrees or give exquisite finesse to desserts. Treats include Gazpacho Sauce, Sichuan Pickles, Sambuca Romana Jam and White Chocolate Sauce.

The author doesn’t expect you to use kettles big enough to steam off the wallpaper or to have enough just-ripe figs on hand to put up dozens of pints of preserves. Rather, she guides you to making four to eight jars of a true gourmet delight, just enough for a couple of dinner or brunch parties, with a couple of jars left as gifts.

She will also tell you when you don’t even need the jars – that is when you can dispense with canning per se and refrigerate or freeze. Tuned to today, she considers what sugar substitutes work best and frankly advises when nothing but the genuine stuff will achieve the very best taste and color.

Judith Choate draws on a lifetime of experience to present her newly-tweaked versions of the very best preserves and pickles of all time. Her experience includes teaching at the French Culinary Institute, collaborations with chocolatier Jacques Torres and restaurateur Charlie Palmer among other internationally renown chefs, and preparing meals with four generations of her family.

“No matter how superb or unusual the commercial product, it will never equal the ultimate preserves made in your very own kitchen,” declares author Judith Choate.

It’s not just the love you add when you prepare and jar a jelly or jam, pickle or chutney, syrup or sauce that makes it so special. These recipes themselves are extraordinary. Ms. Choate, who has won James Beard awards for three cookbooks, is the go-to cook for both America’s top chefs and knowledgeable home cooks.

This book is about the very best of those little extras on the table that bring joy to the discerning diner. Many employ unique combinations of ingredients to achieve supreme flavor and style, but none is unnecessarily fussy or laborious.

The hidden ingredient in The Best Little Book of Preserves & Pickles is care.

This book is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family for Your Family.


by Clara Silverstein

Paperback $24.95

Only 2 dozen copies left, but this book is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

This highly-praised chronicle of the White House kitchen garden tracks it from dream time to real time, from planning to picking to planting again.

It boasts a fitting four-score and seven recipes for the garden’s bounty and for the honey made by White House bees. Recipes from Presidential households, from George and Martha Washington’s through Barack and Michele Obama’s invite your family to eat as well as heads of state. The book also includes star recipes—all of them kid approved—from community gardens across America.


What the Food Experts are Saying

“Something magical happens when kids taste the fruits of their labors from a garden, a point at the heart of A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family for Your Family by Clara Silverstein.”                                    — Dallas Morning News
“Clara Silverstein's A White House Garden Cookbook has plenty of dirt on Michelle Obama — and the 55 fruits, veggies and herbs that she's grown at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The book brings together recipes from community gardens across the country that are certainly fit for the first family — and yours.”                   — Washington Post
“Ms. Silverstein shares the best of the recipes she collected (along with photos) from gardening groups, along with recipes from White Houses past and present, which she tested and modernized and otherwise developed.”                        — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The book chronicles the first year of First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House kitchen garden . . . it’s easy to read out loud and share, with plenty of pictures and four-score-and-seven recipes, many drawn from kid-friendly community gardens across the country.”                                                                                   — San Diego Union-Tribune
“Packed with easy, fun recipes aimed at getting kids, or anyone, excited about cooking and eating fresh, seasonal produce”
                                                                                   — Boston Globe
“Although A White House Garden Cookbook is billed as a cookbook, my family found it to be so much more!” 
                                                        — She Is Too Fond Of Books blog
“This is a fabulous, inspirational book! I love that the first family is setting an example for healthy living and community.”                                                                                             —
“If you’re trying to get your child to eat more vegetables, this book contains lots of kid-friendly recipes from school gardens and other community gardens from around the country.”
                                                                     — Portland Press Herald
“I’m not generally a fan of the side of politics that is currently represented in the White House, so I had my fair share of hesitations, but I was curious about the book given the state of our health in America. I ended up being really surprised by this book and have enjoyed it a lot!”                                               — 5 Minutes for Mom
“Use A White House Garden Cookbook by Clara Silverstein to make like the first lady and get yourself and your family into using what your garden grows to make nutritious meals.”
                                                                     — Rochester Post-Bulletin
“A charming volume inspired by the White House garden project spearheaded by Michelle Obama. The book is aimed at families with young children, with colorful pages that explain the vegetables and when they generally can be harvested.”   
                                                              — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Plant a kitchen garden or a few of your favorite herbs in a window box. Take your kids to a farmer’s market. Try these recipes. Cook, eat and skip together. Do it for yourselves. Do it for your country.”
                                                     — Home Harvest Gardening Supply


A Reader's Cookbook

by Judith Choate 
Paperback $29.95

This book is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

In this book, three-time James Beard award winner Judith Choate has distilled a lifetime of professional cooking and reading into nearly 200 recipes and apt literary quotes.

If you like to read alone with a nibble redolent of the book you’re enjoying, or if you’re preparing a literary tea or have been tapped to bring a dish to your book group potluck, this is the cookbook for you. No need to invest in a Russian cookbook this month, a primer on Chinese cooking next month and so on, Judith Choate has something here, as the world of literature and food goes round, for your pleasure.

A Recipe Sampler

Top Foodies Cheer This Book

“Judith Choate is as passionate about the written word as she is about food, making A Reader’s Cookbook both a pleasure and a terrific blueprint for great writing and great eats.”
                                                                                 — Michael McCarty
                              Michael’s Restaurants in Santa Monica and New York
“Judith Choate has masterfully created a delicious roadmap for a culinary journey around the world. It’s the perfect pairing to any book club.”                                                                            — Charlie Palmer
 Aureole, Joule and other restaurants, hotels and wine shops across America

Around the World in Eighty Meals

by Nan Lyons 

This book is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

One of America’s most treasured food and travel writers follows Phileas Fogg’s famous route with her fork at the ready and her wit at the fore.

Nan Lyons stops in each place Jules Verne sent his hurrying hero but she lingers long enough to enjoy both its most special sites and its very best meals. Her food adventures also lead her to some luscious detours.

This book, full of lush color photos of both luxurious or exotic places and plate, looks as good as it reads. Do judge it by its dazzling cover with its unique three-dimensional central image.

Lyons, like Fogg, is a traveler which means most of her memorable meals have been in restaurants although some were provided by sidewalk (or floating) food vendors. Those of us who do some of our most far-out travel while planted in our armchairs will especially appreciate the famous restaurants chefs who’ve provided recipes we can prepare (or at admire) at home. 

Toques off to Nan Lyons

Advance Words!
Around the World in Eighty Meals is an essential travelogue for gastronauts who delight in discovering the world's great cities through their culinary delights. Nan Lyons’ rollicking global voyage is seasoned with a tasteful and diverse collection of eateries that include the old and new, refined and rustic, cutting edge and classic. Each place has something important to say about where it is, and you can trust that each one is good.”                                 — Danny Meyer
                                                                                   Union Square Cafe

“Diabolically delicious . . . comedy with more than a touch of class.”
                                                                                          — Newsweek
“A style rich and racy, peppered with a good seasoning of flaky humor.”                                                            — Women’s Wear Daily

The quintessential luxury-food book, Gluttony: More is More also by Nan Lyons, famous for her food writing in books, magazines and movies. Its title doesn't quite say it all. This book is about fabulous meals and dishes, plus over-the-top eaters. It contains amazing recipes from the past slimmed-down for the contemporary cook by the newspaper food writing team of Sylvia Carter and E. Clarke Reilly.


“This book is so beautiful that I could not bear not having it.”                                                                      – Gael Greene, New York Magazine

If you like the aromas of fresh breads, cookies and cakes, In My Father's Bakery by Marvin Korman is for you.The late Marvin Korman was a world-class storyteller and an accomplished home bread baker who has converted recipes for star bakery treats and rolls into ones home cooks can follow. Have a look. Have a taste. In a word, Enjoy!



This book is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

The Homefront Butter Cookies

“After the war [World War II], the butter cookie remained one of the most popular items in my father's bakery. It was the gift you brought someone when you paid a visit, much the way a bottle of wine is used today. The fact is, in the best of all possible worlds, the visitor should bring along both, because they do go well together.

"Like most butter cookie recipes, this one is relatively simple. But you will need a piping bag and a metal tip if you want to achieve the star-like shape of the bakery cookies that wartime mothers and wives sent to their men serving far from home.

"If you insist on cheating, you can adjust the recipe so you can use a cookie cutter according to the direction in the note following this recipe. But you never heard me say that, did you?
— Marvin Korman

This recipe yields 50-60 cookies

2 sticks softened butter
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon of salt
1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons milk
Toppings: maraschino cherries (cut in half) or sour cherries soaked in
kirsch, or the jam of your choice. Melted chocolate is a nice topping, too.

Special Equipment:
Medium-size piping bag
#826 piping tip (or similar star-shaped tip)
Parchment paper
2 cookie sheets

1.  Blend all ingredients except the flour and the milk.
2.  Add the flour and, using your fingers, blend everything together.
3.  Add the milk and, with a hand-held mixer, blend everything until the mixture is smooth, soft and pliable.
4.  Pre-heat oven to 350°.
5.  Cover a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
6.  Insert piping tip and fill piping bag two thirds of the way full. Hold the bag straight, tip-down, barely touching the parchment paper, and squeeze out star-shaped cookies. Cookies should be about 1¼ to 1½ inches in diameter.
7.  Dampen your pinkie with cold water and make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill these centers with the cherries or jam. If using jam, make a cone-shaped tube out of your parchment paper, fill with as much jam as you think you will require, cut a snip off the bottom, and squeeze gently. If you plan on chocolate as a center, add a dollop of melted chocolate after the baking.
8.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (or longer) until the bottoms of your cookies are a golden brown. You will probably have to repeat the piping and the baking process twice to use up the cookie mixture.

Note: If the piping bag is a problem, reduce the milk in the recipe to 2 tablespoons to make a firmer dough. Form into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate dough for approximately one hour, then roll out on a floured board to ¼-inch thickness and cut with the cookie cutter of your choice.





The T.V. Sundae King is back with More than a Month of Sundaes, which adds to his initial book, an authoritative list of top ice cream parlors in the nation and some new sundae ideas. And this time, his book is in paperback so it costs even less.


The original book is available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

They Scream for this Ice Cream Sundae Book

"Weaves together sundae history, regional styles, folklore and recipes."                                                                 — New York Times
"To get the scoop, get your hands on this book."
                                                                    — Los Angeles Daily News
"As good as an ice cream sundae rippling with toppings."
                                                                              — CBS Early Show
"Sweet and breezy, ice cream lovers will lick their way through this book."                                                                                     — NBC
"You'll find everything you ever wanted to know about sundaes, including the best parlors in the U.S."                            Playboy
"A charming, beautifully-illustrated book."   Good Housekeeping

The original hardcover version is now available as an e-book at Apple/ibooks and Amazon

A Christmas Dinner; A Story by Charles Dickens

"Would that Christmas lasted a whole year as it ought."

So wrote Charles Dickens in this, his first Christmas story. In 1835, he had the novel idea that Christmas should be a family celebration, including forgiveness, fun, girst and feasting. The book includes menus and Dickens-family recipes adapted by the well-known food writer Alice Ross, a distinguished culinary historian. The beautiful 19th-century kitchen of her Long Island home is a working museum.


This book is also available as an e-book from Apple/ibooks and Amazon

“It’s a gift both to culinary professionals and to everyone who enjoys the magic of Christmas.”
.                                                                               —Andrew F. Smith
           Editor of The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink
“This handsome book is a feast for the eye as well as a practical guide for the modern cook.”
                                                                                   —John O. Jordan
                           Director of the Dickens project, University of California

If you can't find a Red Rock Press food book that you want to give as a gift (or keep for yourself), you're just not that into yummy. (But we wish you happy eating, anyway.)