Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Top Cookie

Nine of my personal top ten from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies

Oh what a struggle! Limiting the list to ten was actually the easy part, ranking them was near impossible. I have a feeling if I did this again in a day or so, the order would be very different. The nine runners-up are pictured above and listed below. Top Cookie (which after all the angst was the one thing I was sure about) is pictured below. If there's one thing I've learned after making and serving all these cookies, it's that everyone has a different idea about what makes a good cookie. I doubt anyone else would choose the same cookies I did for their own personal top ten, but I'm certain any cookie lover will find at least one to love on this list...

10. Austrian Walnut Crescents

9. Plain Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

8. Tijuana Fiesta Cookies

7. Chocolate Mint Sticks

6. Hamantaschen

5. Pumpkin Rocks

4. Viennese Chocolate Walnut Bars

3. Texas Cowboy Bars

2. Cobblestones

and drumroll please! Top Cookie is...........

1. Big Newtons!!!!!!!

By the way, I just discovered that Jessica's Biscuit redesigned their site and all the links in my past Mondays with Maida posts to the "old book" are now obsolete. They still carry the book though, and I've put the updated link at the top of this post. For under $13, it's a steal - I think I can say that with authority :)

Don't forget to post your guesses in the comments by Thursday night - see here and here for more details.

Finally, huge thanks to the members of the cookie panel past and present. They did what I couldn't - rate the cookies - and in the process made it fun for everyone. So, thank you Phil, Suzanne, Denny, Laura, Terri, Drucie and Herman - I honestly couldn't have done it without you!! (And don't forget about their Top Ten list, which is quite different from mine.)


reid said...


I think my favorites would be the old-fashioned cookies that you made. The shape is quite unique.

I also love that light sprinkling of sugar on top. Mmmmm!

Rowena said...

The Hamantaschens!! By far still my favorite because I just love the shape. That collage is like in inspiration for the hectic cookie-baking season ahead. Way to go Cathy!

Nupur said...

I think you have a preference for rich and chewy cookies, Cathy :) my top ten would have been all of the crispy dunkable ones! But these chosen ones must be truly special if they stood out from a crowd of a 100-some cookies.

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, Cathy, that the Big Newtons have intrigued me the most so far. I am a HUGE fig and Fig Newton fan. (Have you tried the whole wheat Fig Newtons? Awesome.)

I made the Rum Raisin Shortbread a couple of weeks ago. Sublime.

In your honor, I will now work my way through your Top Ten.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid! Funny thing is I've made those cookies for years, but almost always have just used a round cutter. That was the first time I'd ever used that cutter! It is a great recipe though - so versatile and such a nice dough to work with.

Hi Rowena! I love that shape too - so attractive, but best of all it holds a good amount of filling :P I'm starting to think about Christmas too - haven't chosen any cookie recipes yet though!

Hi Nupur! I think you hit the nail on the head :) I came so close to including the Coconut Washboards though... and I really did like both those biscotti-like recipes... I guess I just like cookies :)

Hi Ann! I didn't even know there was a whole wheat Fig Newton! I've been shopping in Whole Foods for the last couple of years, so I guess I'm out of touch with the name brand cookies... must take a look soon! Mmmm... those Rum Raisin Shortbread cookies were another I almost included - 10 just isn't enough! Oh, I hope you'll let me know how you like them... then to be fair you'll have to try the cookie panel's top ten too! :)

Cakespy said...

I really don't know what to say except...PLEASURE OVERLOAD!

I was surprised by the newtons, but they do look really good homemade. Oh, what a yummy post. And the picture at the top!?!?!

Cathy said...

Hi Cakespy! Thanks so much - if only I could manage to make them all at the same time :) Even at Christmas I never manage to make more than six types of cookies over the course of a long weekend. Probably for the best though - otherwise there'd be some serious snacking going on!

Anonymous said...

(a little late, I know...but...) I've been wanting to congratulate you on finishing this massive cookie project! It's amazing! I remember when you started, I believe you listed how long it would be until you got to the last recipe, and it just seemed like an eternity to me...can't believe you're already done with it now! This will serve as such a great reference tool for the Maida book! Every time I flip through my King Arthur Cookie Book, I get ideas that I want to do a project similar to what you've done here...but I just can't imagine that I would be able to follow through with such a large scale project...I'm in awe of your accomplishment here. Congrats! And, Thanks for putting this out here for the rest of us!

Cathy said...

Hi Alice! Thanks so much! The time has passed quickly - even if I was dragging my feet on those last few cookies :)