Martha Stewart fans, get your autograph cookbooks ready—the lifestyle guru is headlining the annual MetroCooking DC Show for the first time on Saturday, November 16. In addition to staging a cooking demo, Stewart will sign copies of her newest book, Martha’s Stewart’s Cookie Perfection, a compilation of 100-plus recipes that mix updated classics (hello, potato-chip cookies) with party-ready celebration cookies, giant shareable confections, and more. You can get tickets here.
We chatted with Martha about her lifetime pursuit of the perfect cookie—the best, the most underrated—as well as how times have changed since publishing her first book, Entertaining, in 1982; Cookie Perfection is her 95th.
I love your first book, Entertaining. You have amazing, elaborate sections like how to throw an omelet party for 30. But times have changed, and you’re the ultimate tastemaker. Do you have any predictions for trends in 2020?
I think people are getting even more relaxed than they’ve been. People are entertaining in their kitchens even more. I think that a simple one-course [meal] and a drink is many people’s choice for dinner these days. Maybe that’s what entertaining is starting to become. It’s nice. The other day, I roasted seven turkeys for a TV show, and we had all of this turkey left over. I just invited friends over for turkey sandwiches, and it was so successful. I had hot turkey sandwiches and cold turkey sandwiches, gravy and cranberry sauce. And they gobbled them up, they loved it.
You have over 100 recipes in Cookie Perfection. Do you have a personal favorite?
Yes. One of my favorite cookies is the kitchen-sink cookie. If you make them big enough, it can last you for the entire day. It’s kind of a healthy cookie. The other one is the oatmeal-raisin cookie, which I love very much. I like the earthy healthy kind of compilation cookies.
How about an underrated cookie?
Our chocolate-chip cookie is so much better than all other chocolate-chip cookies. It’s thin, it’s crispy but soft, it’s full of chocolate chips. It’s tasty, it’s addictive. That’s the sign of a really good cookie— you eat one, you want more.
You have a full section on brownies. Is a brownie really a cookie?
I think it is. It’s small, it’s chewy. If you make it in those little paper cups, I think it’s an amazing cookie—and boy, is that addictive. I don’t make those, because I’m not going to eat those.
So then is a cupcake a cookie?
Well, these are so dense they’re really like a thick cookie. No, I don’t think cupcakes are cookies.
Washington is an increasingly partisan town, but they say food always brings people together. If there’s a cookie—or dish in general—that can unite a gathering, what do you think that would be?
I don’t think cookies will do it.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.