Cook the Book: 'The Art and Soul of Baking'

20091130theartansoulofbaking.jpgHold on to your sweet tooth and stock up on butter because here at Cook the Book, we are going to feature a cookie recipe everyday for the entire month of December. This month is going to be a veritable cookie-copia of every type of cookie imaginable to help you get into the holiday spirit in the sweetest possible way.

Our compendium of cookies begins with The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. The Art and Soul of Baking is put together by the folks from Sur la Table, a national chain of cookware stores that's nearly impossible to visit without experiencing a very serious case of "I absolutely need every single thing in here."

The same feeling of desire will hit you when perusing the pages of this book. Mushet is an accomplished pastry chef whose writing style is both informative and engaging. Her baking lessons will help even the greenest of bakers understand not only how to make wonderful desserts but help you understand why they taste so good.

The Art and Soul of Baking begins with the most comprehensive guide to ingredients, equipment, and technique that I've seen in any baking book. Leavening agents to luster dust, if an ingredient has any place in baking chances are Mushet has included a few very helpful paragraphs about it.

Although there are endless sweet and savory baked goods in The Art and Soul of Baking this week all of our recipes are coming from the cookie section. We are going to be sharing holiday standards, such as Classic Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies, as well as some new cookie recipe that are sure to become quick favorites. So, dust off those stand mixers and break out the cookie sheets, Cookie Month is here!

Win 'The Art and Soul of Baking'

Thanks to the generosity of the folks over at Andrews McMeel, we are giving away five (5) copies of The Art and Soul of Baking this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite holiday cookie in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, December 7 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.