Guess what I have for you today?? A giveaway that includes not only delicious cookies to feed you for a day, but a great cookbook that you can use to bake your own cookies all year!
The kind folks over at Tate's Bake Shop in the Hamptons, NY contacted me and asked if I would like to try out their cookies and receive a copy of their Bake Shop Cookbook plus a copy of the cookbook and a cookie gift pack for one of my lucky readers. Of course I was interested! I had heard of Tate's in passing, but never had the pleasure to try out their famous cookies. Tate's Bake Shop features cakes, pies, crumbles, and of course their famous chocolate chip cookies, all of which are baked from the best natural ingredients.Their baked goods have received numerous accolades such as Best Hamptons Bakery in 2010, and have been featured in major national publications.
In a 50-brand taste test, Tate's chocolate chip cookie was voted #1!
From chocolate chip, to oatmeal raisin and white chocolate macadamia nut, all Tate's cookies are the thin-and-crispy variety. If you have ever made Thomas Keller's chocolate chip cookies, they remind me of those, although Tate's recipe seems more simple and easy. I would be remiss if I didn't fess up and tell you that I usually prefer a thick-and-chewy chocolate chip cookie (much like the Jacques Torres recipe) but Tate's cookies still proved irresistible for me.
Kathleen King, the founder of Tate's and the author of Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook, has loved cookies ever since she sold them at her family's farm as a child. As an adult, she brings that same love to all the cookies sold her shop as well as the heartwarming recipes in her cookbook. I really enjoyed reading all her recipes, and I especially appreciated the headnotes where Kathleen recounted how she had gotten certain recipes from a beloved neighbor, or a co-worker, or a special friend.
The cookbook starts out with a foreword by Ina Garten (and we all know how much I adore her!) followed by a 'basics' section, where Kathleen tells readers that "All the recipes in this book should take less time to make than it would to go to the store and buy a commercially prepared baked good." This sounds like good news to me, and is the first sign that this cookbook contains the kind of quick, fail-proof recipes that homecooks love.
The book is divided into chapters including muffins and scones; pound cakes and breads; cookies and bars; pies, crips and cobblers; cakes; and a final chapter with healthy alternatives (Kathleen really enjoys outdoor activities and hiking, so she includes recipes for energy bars, granola, etc). Most of the recipes don't have a photo included, but there is a beautiful full-color spread in the center of the book featuring the most popular recipes.
So, would you like to win this book and some of Tate's fabulous cookies??! I bet you would, so here's how to enter:
-Leave a comment here telling me what cookie recipes are your favorite to bake for the holidays (or anytime of the year!).
-Follow me on Twitter, AND tweet the following: Enter to win a Tate’s Bake Shop cookbook and cookie gift pack from @TheCilantropist! http://bit.ly/fa4XtX #cookie #giveaway
-Be a NEW subscriber to my blog, using the links on the side of the page!
That means you can have a total of 4 entries!!! Giveaway ends Sunday, Dec 26th at midnight PST (while I am soaring over the Atlantic towards Norway), and I will choose a winner using random.org on Monday Dec 27th. Giveaway is open to US residents only. And guess what?! Even if you don't win, Tate's is offering a 15% discount, good until Dec. 31st, on all their products on their website! Just use the discount code "cookie" to get your 15% off.
I obviously decided that I needed to test out one of the recipes from Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook, and as I was paging through I settled on Cappuccino Shortbread. The shortbread is quick and easy to make, and like Kathleen says, "You probably have all the ingredients you need to make this in your pantry." Plus, I like to eat anything where I can get a little jolt of caffeine.
The dough for this shortbread was a really beautiful caramel color, studded with dark flecks of instant coffee (I didn't have espresso powder so I subbed coffee). Combined with the chocolate, the smell was pleasant even before I started baking them.
For the recipe, Kathleen called for a 9-inch square baking dish, and I only had an 8-inch pan. I decided to go with it, thinking it would make little to no difference in the final product. (Plus, it was sort of test: I think half of us cooks have 8-inch pans and the other half have 9-inch pans. I wanted to see if the recipe would work for everyone.)
In my 8-inch pan, I actually had to take it out of the oven after about 27 minutes (the recipe called for 30 minutes in a 9-inch pan) and everything looked perfect and golden brown. The shortbread was a little thicker than I would have normally preferred, more like the thickness of a bar cookie, but I think that was solely due to the pan size. Regardless of thickness, the cookie was not over-baked, and had a nice crumbly texture. I was hoping for a more pronounced coffee flavor, so next time I think I will add in an additional tsp or so of instant coffee. Either way, since these were so quick and easy, I will definitely be giving these a try again with a few adjustments. Some other recipes that I am looking forward to making from Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook include the Sour Cherry Pie, Zvi's Cinnamon Bread, and the Persimmon Cookies.
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp salted butter, softened 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee 2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar 1 tsp cornstarch 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips, some whole, some roughly chopped)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, or bowl of stand mixer, mix all the ingredients together except the chocolate. (I creamed butter first, then added all the dry ingredients to incorporate). Mix in the chocolate, then transfer the dough to an ungreased 9-inch square baking dish.* Pat down the mixture evenly.
Bake for about 27-30 minutes, or until they are brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting the shortbread into squares or triangles.
*If you want your shortbread to be thin, definitely use a 9-inch dish. You can see in the photo above, that using an 8-inch dish makes cookies that are more the thickness of a bar cookie. No difference in taste, but just appearance/texture/number of cookies you get.