Monday, April 18, 2011

Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers by Debby Maugans


Wipe the excess saliva off your chin and look into my eyes, or at least try and concentrate whilst trying to read this.  I was asked by Debby Maugans the Author of "Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers" to review her cookbook.  She was generous enough to give me one for my readers also. After reading about Debby's book on Paula Deen, I decided why not; let's see what this small-batch baking was all about.

I was honored Debby would entrust me to critique her baby.  I did warn her though that I was used to baking in large quantities since we have a large family. After thinking about it, I do know plenty of people that don't have a need for 4 dozen cookies or a whole cake.  I told my mom about the book and she was really excited about it, it's just her and my dad now and she doesn't always want to have large quantities of baked goods in the house.  I promised I would pass the book on to her after I got done with it.

I love Debby's introduction of the book in which she illustrates her husband slipping a sliver of dark chocolate into her mouth to gently awaken her.  One comment, care to trade husbands with one who awakens me with an elbow to the back and a reminder to go let the dogs out.


After reading the book cover to cover, I decided I would try Simply the Best Small-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies first; after all I don't call myself SPCookieQueen for nothing.  There were so many choices it was a little hard to choose.  


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon well-beaten egg or egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional

Tip from Debby:  Spoon the flour into the measuring cup for the proper amount to ensure chewy cookies.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven for 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.

Place the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend.

Place the butter and sugars in a small, deep mixing bowl; beat with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until blended, about 20 seconds.  Add the egg and vanilla; reduce the speed to medium, and beat until blended, about 10 seconds.  Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon; then stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Spoon eight equal-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 1/2 to 3 inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are golden brown 12-13 minutes.


Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place it on a wire rack, and let it cool 5 minutes.  Slide the parchment paper, with the cookies, onto the wire rack and let them cool completely.  Use a metal spatula to lift the cookies from the paper.

Makes 8 cookies.

The cookies came out perfectly, so I decided why not try another recipe.  I made Debby's Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart, with a 72% dark chocolate and sea salt on top, if you want the recipe, you will have to get the book.

Enjoy,

Gina

51 comments:

  1. Great review I think that she will be very pleased! Great recipe and you made it beautifully Gina! Thanks for sharing!!!!

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  2. I'd love to have a small-batch chocolate cookbook. It's just Michael and I...and Lucy-cat doesn't eat sweets ;)! These cookies look GREAT!

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  4. It so happens I have been looking for a book like this one. It is pretty easy to scale down main course recipes for 2, but when it comes to baking it is not as easy. This is Perfect! Thank you for sharing this with us. Will have to check this out on Amazon. Great post Gina.
    Rita

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  5. Wendy got you down. Rita did you want two entries, lol.

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  6. good job Gina!i really need a good book especially i m not good with the cookies and so on:)

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  7. me, me, me! i really, really hope this is an international giveaway! small batch baking sounds perfect for our little home... if i don't win, i do hope i can find this book in stores here! thanks for sharing, gina! :) :) and i know it doesn't make a difference, but i already follow you, and i am SO glad i do!

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  8. Gina,
    Count me in. One of the reasons I don't bake very often is that with only the two of us at home now, we usually end up throwing half of everything away even if we give some to our neighbors.

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  9. Yes friends, I will be happy to ship this book anywhere in the small world you may be.

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  10. Me, me, me! These cookies look outstanding. Totally dunkable :)

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  11. That is so great! I love the small batch! How awesome, I always have way too much leftover. Thanks so much for sharing this Gina!!

    COUNT ME IN!

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  12. I have been looking at this book at the bookstore and thinking about getting it. Small batch baking would be perfect for my one-person household!

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  13. Count me in, as well! I love the idea of smaller-scale baking. I end up taking all of my treats to work with me because there is always way too much for my little family.

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  14. Count me in too! Yum, Yum! Gina, those cookies looks delish and I love the idea of smaller scale. I usually end up with 24+ so after I feed my husband about all he can eat I try to bring the rest in for work. Smaller would be great for a change!

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  15. Oh, Gina, how did you know I was drooling at your photos! Looks like a lovely book~

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  16. *SWOON* So glad I found you on TK! This book looks perfect, and love your photos!! You're looking at your newest follower!!

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  17. That is one beautiful tart... I'm blown away! What a wonderful review of this book, I'd love a copy!! ;-)

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  18. Do you have a spy cam? How did you know I was drooling. I have a large family too but sometimes you need a little, and sometimes you need a lot. This book looks fantastic so please count me in. And of course I am stalking, I mean following you. I need to know what yummy thing you will come up with next!

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  19. I can't imagine making only 8 cookies! I, like you, am a cookie queen.... actually I refer to myself as a 'cookie snob!' Beautiful, beautiful cookies and a nice book review as well. Me,Me Me! :)

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  20. Me, ME, Me...LOL. I am drooling over the caramel tart too. This is actually a great book for smaller families. Especially since my husband sometimes want special treats that my son may not enjoy!
    Nice giveaway :)

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  21. I'm big on small-batch baking now that I bake pretty much every day! What a great idea for a cookbook. Those cookies look amazing, I have to say and 8 is the perfect amount for, say, a couple with no kids (or grown kids!).

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  22. I have to laugh because even though there are just three of us in the house, my Hubby and Dudette would look at me appalled if I ever pulled out a pan of cookies from the oven and there were only eight on it. That's one serving between the two of them. :)

    I just wanted to say hi and that your cookies are amazing looking. I really wanted the recipe for that tart. I could tell it was caramel and it was calling to me.

    That being said, since we wouldn't really use small-batch cooking, don't include my post for the drawing, ok? Just feel the love. :)

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  23. this book would come in so handy since I love baking and have to eat what I bake to bake some more. sometimes I'm just too lazy to scale down a recipe. your honest review sold the book. thanks Gina.
    the cookies look great

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  24. I love the comment about the husband swap...a sliver of chocolate in the mouth to wake up???On which planet does this happen? lol
    Aside from a different way to wake up, I would love to win this book too. Even if Wally eat like 5 teenagers, I still try to not exaggerate with the baked goods quantities. If I don't win this book I'll just have to buy it.

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  25. Count me in!!! I love small batch baking. While my family loves baked goods, they often don't eat them all, so I feel guilty with them looking at me and I eat them so they won't be there any more. Love the idea!! The cookies look just perfect and that photo of the stacked cookies with the milk is a stunner, BTW!!

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  26. Me, me, me, please count me in! I'm into small batch baking, especially when it's for one (ie. Me!). I think this book will be very helpful to my weight loss program... Whaaaat? LOL.

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  27. PS. If I don't win the book, I'd like to win Debby Maugans' chocolate-feeding husband, please.

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  28. What a wonderful, idea, small batch baking. It's just Scott and & and If I have a whole batch of cookies, I have to give them to neighbors, or we end up eating all of them. I want the cookbook.
    Your cookies look wonderful, especially at 5 AM:)

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  29. Wow, Gina. Your tartlet is really droolworth, and your photos are beautiful...looks like professional photography!
    Love the idea of the small batch baking, it would be so perfect for my 9 yr. old granddaughter, she also loves to bake when my daughter helps her make the batches...this would be so perfect for her.
    I really want those cookies...yumm!!!

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  30. Could I scream out loud that I want the book?!?! The chocolate tart :-)) I love it and those cookies are great too.

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  31. Thanks for the giveaway. I love chocolate chip cookies.

    Chris M.

    zekks at yahoo dot com

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  32. Yay! Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

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  33. How did you know? I was salivating over that tart! What a wonderful book!

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  34. I'd love to have this :)
    Meggs♥
    urbakinmecrazyy@aol.com
    urbakinmecrazyy.blogspot.com

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  35. Fabulous review of the book. The photos are amazing. As are those cookies.

    Bravo.

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  36. Count me in! The tart is making my mouth water big time and you did a wonderful job reviewing this book. :o)

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  37. Gina your photos made it hard for me to concentrate on you text. But I wiped the drool away and got through it, phew. Great review and it sounds like a great book to make my husband buy for me. My mouth is still watering though. (Tell your gorgeous little girl to exclude my name:) )

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  38. Wow! what a great cookbook! Great recipe and you made it beautifully Gina! Thanks for sharing!!!!

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  39. Count me in too!!

    catharine.ellie [at] gmail.com

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  40. Those cookies look amazing.....perfect for a quick chocolate fix!

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  41. Me, me, me :-) BTW - I tagged you today in my Easter post. Liz tagged me yesterday and even though it's late, I wanted you to know you're one of my favorites!

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  42. yes, please, count me in! many thanks!

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  43. To Foodiva: You can't have him, but let your husband read the intro!!
    Glad you like the book!

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  44. Hello there! I just stumbled across your lovely blog from...well, I'm not exactly sure HOW I got here! Funny how that happens when cruising the interwebs! I have to say I was first lured in by your gorgeous photography. Those strawberry lemonade waffles halted my clicking finger in half a second!

    What a fabulous idea for a cookbook! I love baking and trying new recipes, but I am usually discouraged at the thought of trying to "get rid of" dozens of treats before they lose that fresh out of the oven taste. I would love it if you would count me in in your giveaway...that Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart looks too good to be true!

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  45. Sounds like a great book...do you suppose I could learn to bake cookies from it, lol
    Your photos are gorgeous Gina :)

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  46. I love this book already! We are a family of 3, so small batches are perfect! That tart looks amazing!

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  47. Please include me the giveaway chance, if it is still going on! I am a cookbook hoarder :)

    vickdn@live.com

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  48. Hi Desi,
    Thank you and everyone who entered, but the book has gone to Lizzy that Skinny Chick Can Bake. Hoping she is enjoying it.
    -Gina-

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  49. Please count me in, we are also a small family that are constantly dieting, so not having an abundance of forbidden treats around is a good thing.
    lyndaclark81@yahoo.com

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