Book Review: “A Cookie to Celebrate” by Jana Douglas

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When you go to a bakery and see all those lovely decorated cookies, it is easy to think that the bakers have some magical process that you couldn’t possibly imitate at home. Jana Douglas, the founder of Jana Lee’s Bake Shop, shows you the “inside” scoop on those fancy cookies in A Cookie to Celebrate.

Carma holding a copy of A Cookie to Celebrate

Specs

Full Title: A Cookie to Celebrate: Recipes and Decorating Tips for Everyday Baking and Holidays
Author: Jana Douglas
Format: 6 x 5.9 Paperback
Publisher: Mango
ISBN-10: 9781633537569
ISBN-13: 978-1633537569

A Cookie to Celebrate by Jana Douglas

Summary of A Cookie to Celebrate

A Cookie to Celebrate is full of cookie baking tips, recipes, and presentation ideas. A variety of techniques for making artfully decorated cookies that will impress any guest and explained in simple language and illustrated with clear photography.

What Worked for Me

I love the care and detail that went into creating this book. Douglass breaks down decorated cookie creation into bite-sized lessons and provides advice for how to troubleshoot any problems that might arise. The photography is colorful and inspiring.

The book starts off with a chapter about creating the cookie base, including a recipe for sugar cookies and advice on what kinds of cookie cutters you might consider having in your inventory. Then she moves on to Royal Icing and eases the reader into making this critical piece of the decorated cookie. She even states up front that making Royal Icing that is the right consistency take practice, which I think many home cooks will find encouraging when they don’t hit it out of the park the first time.

From there she covers how to decorate and then shares a variety of holiday- and season-themed designs.

What Didn’t Work for Me

The book is tiny and won’t stay open unless you break the binding. This makes it much less practical than I would have liked it to be. It feels more like an armchair cookbook than an in-the-kitchen cookbook.

What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition

Find another way to bind the book so that it is easier to use. Or, provide PDF downloads for recipes and technique instructions so you won’t have to damage the book in order to use it.

Recommendation

This book really isn’t meant for the less confident newbie. The projects in the book can be challenging, but oh so worth it. If you’ve bolstered your kitchen confidence, then give this book a try. At the very least, it is a delightful book to peruse while dreaming of your perfect decorated cookie.

Rating for A Cookie to Celebrate

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Pick up your copy on Amazon.com here.

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you’ve read past book reviews, you’ll know that I don’t pull my punches when I believe they are warranted. I also try to provide balanced information so you can make your own decision to read or not read the book, even if you disagree with my opinion.

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, loves to be the wind beneath her clients' wings. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining. She has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas.

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