reviews: artisan’s sweet books
Some of my favorite memories as a child and also with my own children, involve going to bakeries. It’s such a wonderful experience to look in the glass cases and see all the treats. I’ve enjoyed Mexican, Armenian and French bakeries, each with their own regional favorites. I haven’t had the chance to go to the Back in the Day bakery in Savannah, with its old fashioned Southern charm and delicacies, so I was thrilled to find The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. A foreward by Paula Deen explains how special this bakery is and what a treat it is to visit. Since I don’t live close by, it was a real pleasure to leaf through it and enjoy seeing all the gorgeous foods and old timey memorabilia that make the The Back in the Day Bakery such a sought after destination.
And then there’s the recipes! The nine chapters cover Breakfast, Breads, Cupcakes and Cakes, Pies, Pudding, Cookies, Candies, Savory and more. Each recipe has a fun description that tells about its connection with the bakery. Reading about Griff’s childhood memories picking berries at his family’s cabin brought me back, too, and made the Blackberry Cobbler extra compelling. Lots of Southern classics like ‘Nana Cream and Sweet Potato Pies are included, as well other yummy treats, like Chewy Granola Bars or Vegetable Pot Pie. Of course, I immediately had to try out a recipe and I decided on the Peach Cobbler Muffins, they sounded so good! The turbinado sugar on the top did remind me of crunchy, sweet cobblers and the almond extract made them smell and taste heavenly. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is an ideal example of how food is so much more than just good eating, it is most definitely memories, too!
I love to bake, it’s always been one of my favorite activities, but sometimes we are pressed for time. In addition, I’m always on the look out for simple recipes that I can help my daughters learn how to make. Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts fit the bill nicely for both of those needs and in it, author Alice Medrich has compiled a cookbook filled with stunning, yet simple desserts. Alice has written several other titles and her latest offers the knowledge and ability to whip up a quick dessert, all of which, in my opinion, are high-end restaurant worthy. A trip to Paris and the simple dessert she enjoyed there encouraged the author to consider how to make uncomplicated, yet “luxurious” desserts. In Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts she has done a stellar job at that task.
The resulting recipes from her efforts range from simply baked pies and tarts to rich ice cream topped treats. Puddings, cookies, cakes and other sweets are also present. In addition to the decadent recipes there are also pages with excellent tips, like the Eight Ideas for a Bar of Chocolate or 10 Ways to Flavor Whipped Cream. I’ve tried a few of the recipes so far, including My Favorite Flourless Chocolate Cake, which has literally three ingredients, plus a pinch of salt and the berry topping. It turned out amazing and so rich, and my family eagerly awaits the next time I create it. I also tried the Honey Balsamic Sundaes and the Creamy Dreamy Rice Pudding, and other than some stirring time with both, they both came together with very little effort and tasted absolutely perfect. I’m looking forward to trying many more of the scrumptious (and simple!) recipes in Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts.