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Cookie Love: More than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

I lived in Chicago for seven years near HotChocolate, but I had never properly met Mindy Segal, the owner of the restaurant who was known for her American desserts and larger-than-life personality. Writing this book in 2011 allowed me to really get to know the pastry chef and some of the tricks that fuel her creativity. Because of her tips,  I started beating the butter before adding sugar to cut down the time it takes to cream sugar and butter.  She also introduced me to this terrific gadget: the pastry roller. For more backstory, read this essay I wrote in 2012 for Taste Book when the book was published.


"In the richly illustrated pages, Ms. Segal, a pastry chef and the owner of the HotChocolate restaurant in Chicago, reinvents everything from snickerdoodles to chocolate chippers to brownie crinkles, sharpening the flavors, enriching the textures and refining the techniques.—Melissa Clark, New York Times

"Smoky bacon candy bar cookies? Folgers Crystals with sour cream gianduja shortbread? Graham crackers and passion fruit whoopie cookies? This is not your grandma's bake sale! Pastry Chef Mindy Segal, proprietor of Chicago-based HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar, dares you to redefine your cookie repertoire with these cheeky, sometimes edgy riffs on the formerly humble cookie."—

“Segal recommends using chocolate discs over chips, a trick which results in a beautiful layering affect, and a method I will employ in all future cookies, forever. Cookie Love is full of professional-grade tricks like this: mixing Folgers crystals or pretzel crumbs into shortbread, balancing the cherry filling in a fruit bar with kriek lambic, using goat butter in tea cakes to provide a unique tang. You could utilize these upgrades in your own favorite cookie recipes, although Segal’s versions are stout workhorses. My guess is you’ll prefer her versions.—Paula Forbes, Epicurious

“In her new book, Mindy Segal offers extraordinary tips on how to perfect one of her favorite things to bake: cookies.” —Ben Nims, Food & Wine 

“Because we gotta tell you, the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie simply can’t compete with these homemade Milano cookies from one of our favorite cookbooks of the year.—Leite’s Culinaria

Our latest cookie obsession comes from the brain of Mindy Segal, who plays with nostalgic treats and turns them into something bigger, better and sweeter.—Tasting Table

“The range and variety of cookies is truly impressive, and it is what stood out when I first flipped through the book. The recipes are universally appealing—they are cookies after all. These are the kind of recipes that get me hyped up to get in the kitchen and bake.” —Tim Mazurek, Lottie+Doof

“NYC-based pastry chef Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar) calls Segal her ‘soul sister on all things sweet;’ one look inside Cookie Love is proof that Segal’s a sugar fiend. ‘I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten an entire package of Milanos in one sitting,’ she admits to Eater. ‘I’m not the only one though, right?’ She’s absolutely right.” —Daniela Galarza,

“She can deliver it with a smile, or a frown, with an air of puzzlement, or a hint of generosity. It is a reassuring look for the author of a just-released cookie cookbook, because it says, even to someone as inexperienced with baking as myself: Look, if you can dress yourself, you can, with a smidge of patience and some common sense, bake a decent peanut butter thumbprint with strawberry lambic jam.”—Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune

“A decorated pastry chef and ‘cookie nerd’ shows us how to take our cookies to the next level. It helps to have a stand mixer and a candy thermometer if you want to bake your way through the book, but Segal provides plenty of useful tips to help improve even the basics.—Rebekah Denn, Seattle Times

“Although Segal’s sugary cravings change frequently, she has focused on revolutionizing the ordinary cookie for the last few years and shares her soft spot for these little sweet cakes through recipes that summarize her creativity as a pastry chef.”—Gillian Speiser, Broward/Palm Beach New Times 

“Her father was a jazz musician, and they made frequent trips to Rick’s American Cafe to listen to the likes of Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria, which inevitably lead her to a life of improvisation. It’s not to say she doesn’t have strong core technique, as seen in “Cookie Love”, her first cookbook, chock-full of drop cookies, bars, sandwich cookies, shortbreads, thumbprints, spritz, and those twice baked, but it’s the Peanut Butter Peanut Brittle Cookies, Fleur de Sel Shortbread, Malted Milk Spritz, Peaches and Cream Thumbprints, Brownie Krinkles, Banilla Nillas, and motorcycle riding Best Friend Cookies, that best showcase Mindy’s riffs. —Michael Harlan Turkell, The Food Seen, Heritage Radio Network

“Chicago chef-restaurateur Mindy Segal is a self-proclaimed ‘cookie nerd,’ so the recipes inCookie Love (Ten Speed Press, $24.99) are so meticulous and detailed you may find them annoying. Or you can be happy these are recipes so painstakingly clear you can be sure they won’t fail.” —Linda Cicero, Miami Herald

“This joyfully written and magnanimously photographed cookbook is bursting with recipes that not only think outside the cookie box but are both approachable and engaging.”.—Garrett McCord,

“There is a whole lot to love here. Not just this recipe, but the entire book. Peanut Brittle (which was also hugely popular on those nut farm outings), marshmallows, sandwich cookies, bars, and thumbprints.” —Shelly Peppel, Cookbooks 365

“These cookies looked like the cookies most of us bake at home. They aren’t perfect and the fact is, they don’t need to be.” —Dédé Wilson,