Cookie Crash Course
From my Danish great-grandfather’s cherished klejners to my Mexican grandmother’s galletas de boda to my mom’s perfected chocolate chip recipe, holiday baking means getting out the cookie sheets.
Written byBonnie Graves
We asked one of our favorite local bakers, Roberta Koz Wilson of Cookies for a KOZ, to share some secrets of cookie wizardry. Based in the west Valley and raised in Woodland Hills, Roberta credits her late mother for inspiring her career transition from busy media exec to philanthropic baker.
“My mom, Audrey Koz, was one of those incredible people who made a lasting impression on everyone she knew,” says Roberta. “Audrey was a pharmacist by profession. As such, she knew that the ‘best medicine’ was a great homemade chocolate chip cookie!” Like her recording artist brother, saxophonist Dave Koz, Roberta is a generous supporter of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and donates 10% of every purchase to this incredible organization.
What are the most universally loved cookies during the holidays for at-home bakers to make?
Roberta Koz Wilson: I would have to say chocolate chip. Those are always the most ordered cookie. Another popular flavor is our special Holiday Shortbread Cookie with holiday sprinkles. Decadent!
What are some unique cookie recipes worth trying this season?
RKW: I think it would be brilliant to master a delicious gluten-free line of cookies. I have been dabbling with this for a short while, and I think I'm on to something. With so many people on gluten-free diets, I think there would be a huge demand for a great-tasting, gluten-free chocolate chip, red velvet, oatmeal raisin, etc. There are so many out there, but I'm talking about one (so delicious) that you'd never know the difference between it and a regular cookie.
What's the most common mistake at-home bakers make when preparing cookies?
RKW: Not using a standard size cookie on the sheet—I use an ice cream scoop so that all the cookies come out the same shape and size; it makes them look more professional. And don't be afraid to experiment—use your favorite cookie base (sugar, chocolate chip, etc.) and add in your favorite mix-ins to try really different cookies. We have done Oreo cookie cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-covered pretzel cookies and more. You can come up with some really fun combinations.
What are the three most essential tools for successful cookie baking at home?
RKW: Good baking pans, a KitchenAid MixMaster and a predictable oven.
What's your personal weakness—the one cookie you can't resist?
RKW: The one cookie I have the hardest time resisting is the plain shortbread cookie. I hate when I have extras, as they go straight to my hips.