Admit it: You clip recipes like mad and fall like a sucker for anything that says “best,” “crispiest,” “crunchiest,” and more. And you try a recipe, for say, chocolate-chip cookies, and it’s just another cookie that isn’t as good as the recipe on the back of the chip package.
Not to get too dramatic about this, but a few years ago I tried a recipe for chocolate-chip cookies and the results were spectacular. They came from an Alice Medrich cookbook. She’s a celebrated author based in Berkeley, Calif., who seems to make magic from ordinary ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter. In this particular recipe, Medrich melts the butter and instructs the baker to refrigerate the batter overnight. What happens is that the melted butter spreads throughout the flour-sugar mixture and the finished cookies are super-crisp. Ever since I discovered this recipe, I stopped looking for the perfect chipper. I had found it.
Those chocolate-chip cookies are part of an e-book with 20 recipes we’re releasing today. You’ll find lots of favorites from over the years: all chocolate, of course, these from longtime Globe contributor Julie Riven, made like a brownie batter with extra chips; some mixed with New England’s beloved molasses (chewy hermits, crunchy molasses-clove cookies); several plain butter formulas, including my mother’s sugar cookies, which originally came from the back of a cookie press box; and cookies made with peanut butter, oatmeal, dates, walnuts, and the latest fabulous combination, sugar and salt. To celebrate that, we offer salt-topped chocolate cookies and something called “salted butter breakups,” from cookie connoisseur and author Dorie Greenspan.
We fell hard for Globe contributor Lisa Yockelson’s dark-chocolate brownies and for cinnamon-topped chocolate-chip mandelbrot someone gave us a couple of years ago.
We offer you these 20 recipes with good cheer this season. Sorry we cannot deliver the little confections in person.