Cook the Book: 'Sarabeth's Bakery'

20101227-129761-sarabeths-bakery.jpgBeginning in 1981, Sarabeth Levine has been building a quiet empire of bakeries and restaurants in New York City. Her warm, homey Sarabeth's bakery kitchens turn out some of the most consistently delicious baked goods in the city, not to mention a stand up line of preserves.

A few months ago I had a chance to go behind the scenes at Sarabeth's Chelsea Market location, to catch a glimpse of pastry magic. Doughs were proofing, pounds of butter was kneaded into croissant dough, rugelach rolled into half moons, and of course, plenty of cookies. Sarabeth and her crew worked together nearly wordlessly, with a level of skill and understanding that only comes from years of baking together. Even before I had a chance to taste Sarabeth's pastries, I knew they were going to be great.

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Sarabeth's newly realeased cookbook, Sarabeth's Bakery is filled with gorgeous step-by-step photos, especially helpful for baking beginners. But for those who prefer to keep it sweet and simple, cookies and jams are as easy as can be. And since it's the final week of our whirlwind month of cookie baking,all this week we will be sharing cookie recipes from Sarabeth's Bakery including her signature Rugelach, crisp Shortbread, and Chocolate Clouds.

Win 'Sarabeth's Bakery'

Thanks to the generous folks over at Rizzoli, we are giving away five (5) copies of Sarabeth's Bakery this week. All you have to do is tell us about who taught you to bake in the comments section below.

The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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