Give me your crumbs, your huddled cookies yearning to be eaten
February 5, 2017 2:06 AM   Subscribe

In my quest to become the world's leading expert on cookies (mostly by eating them), I'd like to find more cookbooks featuring ethnic or regional recipes for cookies. American standards like the chocolate chip need not apply.

I already have a number of cookie-focused cookbooks in English showcasing the cookies of France, Germany, Sweden, etc.; all readily available on Amazon. I'd like to find some non-European cookbooks, even if they're in languages I don't understand. Amazon doesn't carry much in the way of other languages, and what little they do have might be just translations of English books for all I know. For instance, I heard of a Mexican cookie called the Marranito, and can find recipes online for it, but would like to read more about other Mexican cookies. Surely they have a proud cookie tradition!
posted by Soliloquy to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't used this one myself (most of my best Australian recipes are in general cookbooks), but anything published by Australian Women's Weekly on 'traditional Australian' cooking is usually reliable, and from what I can see online it looks fairly comprehensive. This Margaret Fulton Baking book also looks good - Margaret is our queen of home cooking, and I can vouch for her version of Anzac biscuits, which are one of the most iconically Australian foods in existence.

By the way, if you're looking for recipes from countries with a British-English (rather than US-English) background, you might have better luck searching for 'biscuit' rather than 'cookie', as that's the term we use.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 3:18 AM on February 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you can get this Brazilian cookbook it is very authentic- Brazilian Cookery by Margarette De Andrade.
Try making Casadinhos.
posted by SyraCarol at 3:34 AM on February 5, 2017

If you're looking for more international flavours consider that flour based, sweet pastry 'things' that are not cakes are not part of a lot of cuisines. Small sweet things on the other hand are.

I'd then also consider if there is seasonality. Most biscuit type baking in German speaking parts is based on Christmas things. If that's of interest search for 'Weihnachtsgebäck'. I can't even get biscuits in my local bakery at other times of year. All kinds of other baked goods, often sweet, absolutely, but biscuits not so much. And that was also my experience growing up. All other biscuits eaten in my family were industrial manufacturing products and I can't even remember there being recipes for this kind of thing. People would rather bake cakes,mini tartes etc.

In Itally it's often coffee culture based, at times using nuts, not flour, at times too dry to eat without a beverage by the side, things like 'biscotti'.

I am no kind of home baking enthusiast but to me, the concept of 'cookies' is really American, British might have a biscuit with a hot beverage and I have seen recipes for these but I am not sure there is this vast wealth of recipes in many cuisines.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:44 AM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sardinian amaretti
Handy for gluten-free cookie lovers; I've made variations on this recipe multiple times and it's always turned out great. I tend to ignore the distinction between sweet and bitter almonds and just use ground ones from the grocery store; I also leave in at least a couple of egg yolks-- often more-- because I think it helps the cookies stay softer longer.

But you can also make lemon curd out of the leftover egg yolks, which is AWESOME. (That recipe says to use whole eggs; it works fine with just yolks and a bit less butter.)

Venetian zaeti (cornmeal raisin cookies)
Venetian bisse degli ebrei (S-shaped lemon cookies)
Every bakery in Venice has a bunch of different kinds of yellow cornmeal cookies. Here are two of them.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:07 AM on February 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:25 AM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nankhatai from the Indian subcontinent.
posted by basalganglia at 5:31 AM on February 5, 2017

Yotam Ottolenghi has some great cookie recipes. I think they are kind of a middle east fusion sort of thing but probably incorporate more of the diversity that you might be looking for? As far as I know, though, he doesn't have a baking-specific book. Here is another fusion-y desserts cookbook.

As someone mentioned upthread, a lot of non-Western countries have other dessert traditions (cakes and sweets instead of cookies, per se) so you might have some success looking in general cookbooks and going through the dessert section. I've seen recipes for yummy traditional cakes and sweets in the back of Chinese and Indian cookbooks, for example.
posted by stillmoving at 5:37 AM on February 5, 2017

I've often enjoyed Sekerpare at my local Turkish place; here are two recipes for them.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:05 AM on February 5, 2017

I've made a couple cookie recipes from Swedish Cakes and Cookies that were quite good!
posted by vespabelle at 4:31 PM on February 5, 2017

I know you said you already have Swedish cookies. But if you don't have it, the FIKA book from IKEA is awesome (Fika: 30 Classic Swedish Baking Recipes from Bite-size Cookies to Festive Cakes). It's so pretty, and the recipes are the same as from my traditional Swedish cookbook "Vår Kokbok."
posted by gemmy at 8:55 PM on February 5, 2017

If you're willing to consider online sources, the Newfoundland recipessection of the Rock Recipes cooking blog has some regional classics. It wouldn't be Christmas without our version of snowballs and Queen Anne squares and there are a few other great cookie recipes in that section too.
posted by peppermind at 7:30 AM on February 6, 2017

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