Dorie Greenspan is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and Washington Post columnist who has earned legions of fans with her friendly and encouraging voice, eye for detail and meticulous recipe instructions that make even the most complicated recipes seem accessible. She’s a master baker and her latest book, Dorie’s Cookies, just won a James Beard Award.
You’ve written other books that include cookies. Why a book devoted to cookies?
Because I love them! I grew up loving them and my whole family loves them. I always knew I would do a cookie book. It was just a question of when. I had written lots of cookie recipes, but I didn’t want this to be a best-of collection. So it was my chance to stretch myself and stretch the meaning of cookies.
Simple cookies or fancy cookies, which do you prefer?
My own personal style is for simper cookies. I like cookies that rely on taste, texture, and aroma more than looks. I think cookies are beautiful in their basic form. But I do have cookies you can dip in chocolate or decorate — though it’s not my style.
I like to think of cookies as being an everyday pleasure. There are moments to fuss over cookies but the majority are meant to be shared and enjoyed and not fussed over. Fuss over the ingredients and making them properly – but not decorating them.
Why do we love cookies as much as we do?
We love them for a million reasons. My son Joshua says, “Cookies are memories.” My mother never baked, but my memory of them is still strong. Their variety — we can have anything we love in sweets, in cookies. I’ve watched people eat cookies. Since they bake in batches, they are shareable. When you’re given a cookie, it feels like a gift.
It’s been a tough year for everyone, and I realized how happy I was making cookies and sharing them. So I’m encouraging people to make and share cookies and use #cookiesandkindness and tag me @doriegreenspan so I can see them. I think it’s a lovely way to make the world a sweeter place.
Do Americans have a particular affinity for cookies?
Americans do love cookies the most. Scandinavians have a strong tradition, but cookies feel very American. In France, the word cookie exists — but the translation is chocolate chip cookie. This can lead to some confusion. When I told a French friend I was writing a book on cookies with hundreds of recipes, he didn’t understand. In Paris, there aren’t all that many cookies— and they are plain.Continue Reading