Cookbook Review: Crazy About Cookies By Krystina Castella

Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella300 Scrumptious Recipes for Every Occasion & CravingSoftcover 290 pages
Are you crazy about cookies?  I know I am.  I was thrilled to receive Krystina Castella's newest cookbook, Crazy About Cookies.  Upon opening the book I could tell right away this cookbook was extremely comprehensive in it's coverage on cookies. 

Crazy About Cookies is broken down into six chapters, with a bonus chapter on the basics, as well as several cookie templates.

Chapter 1: Cookies in the Know is all about baking equipment, decorating tools, baking and storing cookies, transporting cookies, mailing cookies, cookie ingredients, decorating ingredients, cookie-types and techniques, and finally decorating cookies.  I'm normally not a fan of these introductory type chapters, but this chapter is very informative and helpful. *There is even a great inside tip about how to make your very own baking powder.

Chapter 2: Everyday Cookies includes recipes for Breakfast & Brunch Cookies, Snack Cookies, as well as Vegan and Sugar-Free Cookies.  There are a few recipes that I would consider your everday run-of-the-mill cookies, but most of the recipes are inventive and fun like Cinnamon Swirl Cookies, Waffle Cookies, Rice Cereal Marshmallow Sandwiches (recipe show below), Cereal Killer Cookies, and even Chocolate Chunk Yogurt Cookies.  Hmmm...cookies made with yogurt definitely piques my curiosity.

Chapter 3: Party Cookies highlights cookie recipes for dinner parties, tea parties, summer parties, and even cocktail parties.  One of my personal favorites from this chapter is a recipe for Rum, Mint, and Bourbon Ball Kabobs. In the book the cookies are pictured as cute little cookie balls skewered onto a stick and served with cocktails.  How fun!

Chapter 4: Occasions Cookies brings you cookie recipes for every occasion under the sun: birthdays, weddings, TV game and sport parties, as well as cookies for toddlers, kids, and teens.  I had so many personal favorites from this chapter, namely the Family Tree cookie, Beer and Mixed-Nut Cookies, and also the Butter Rum Popcorn Cookies.  This chapter, in particular, is filled with some wonderfully inventive recipes.

Chapter 5: Holiday Cookies celebrates cultural holiday cookies, as well as cookies spanning from New Years Eve all the way up to the Christmas season.  Some of my personal favorites were the 4th of July cookies, but I chose to go with the Orange Bunny Cookies for Easter (cookies shown below).

Chapter 6: Christmas Cookies is filled with over twenty Christmas cookies and includes some pretty extensive gingerbread houses with templates in the back.

Now for the fun part, bring on the cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I made two cookies from the book, letting each of my children pick their own recipe.

My four year old has severe food allergies, so he was limited in his choices, but he does favor a good ol' rice crispy treat so he picked the Rice Cereal Marshmallow Sandwiches in the Everyday Cookies Chapter.  These cookies were such a treat we made them twice!  It is essentially a much softer and more marshmallowy rice crispy treat stuffed with a fluffy marshmallow filling and ate as a sandwich.  Fun and delicious!
 Rice Cereal Marshamallow SandwichesAdapted from Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella Type of Cookie: Bar SandwichMakes 24 cookies
Cookie Base:1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter3 cups mini marshmallows1 teaspoon vanilla extract4 cups puffed rice cereal
Marshmallow Filling:3/4 cup marshamallows2 tablespoons butter1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Make the cookie base: Melt the butter in a double boiler over low heat.Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Add the cereal and stir until well coated.  Press into the prepared pan and let cool. Make the marshmallow filling: Melt the marshmallows and butter together in a double boiler over low heat.  Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar.  Remove the cookie base from the pan by flipping on to a cutting surface using a spatula to loose if necessary.  Cut into 3-inch squares.  Spread the filling on half of the squares and sandwich with remaining squares.
The second cookie we made were the Orange Bunny Cookies, which were essentially a sugar cookie flavored with both orange zest and orange juice.  These cookies were topped off with colored royal icing, sprinkles and dragees, just in time for Easter.

All in all, Crazy About Cookies is a very comprehensive and extensive guide to cookies.  One of the many things I love about this book is that it contains recipes for every level of baker out there, from the most basic to most intricate.  There is something for everyone!