Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu

A big thank you to Quirk Books for sending me The Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu. This cute pocket sized book follows the design of a field guide not only in size but style too. This is not your average cookery book; each cookie recipe comes with detailed information, such as its history, storage suggestions and serving suggestions. In many ways this book is an encyclopedia of cookies, from A to Z and with 100 global recipes this is a handy kitchen reference tool.

With so many different recipes to try you can easily imagine there are cookies that you have never heard of before. I wanted to try something really different and picked a South African recipe, that I had never come across before. What I enjoyed about this recipe was when people commented on it being an unusual recipe, I was able to fill them in on the history and origin of the recipe. The Field Guide makes you able to turn your cookies from snack to share into a conversation piece too! This is fantastic book for a food blogger, cooking writing and photographing food are all second nature, so cookie conversation starter is a must!

Here is the recipe I tried:

South African Spiced Wine Cookies (Soetkoekies)

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 120g unsalted butter, cold cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml port, sherry or red wine


  1. Sift flour, baking powder and spices together in a food mixer.
  2. Add sugar and chopped almonds, mix until combined.
  3. Add the butter and combine for a few minutes on a medium speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  5. Add port and mix to combine.
  6. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Wrap tightly and chill in the fridge for about 30 mins until firm.
  7. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line baking tray with baking paper.
  8. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.
  9. Use a 2 inch cookie cutter to cut out rounds from the dough. Place on baking tray and 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 10-12 mins. The cookies are done when they are golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

This book is written by a fellow blogger, check out her website here.

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