Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sweet Reads

I thought it would be fun to share some books I’ve been wanting to bake from. Just some of the sweet reads sitting on my shelf. Well, actually they are on my mantle and on my floor because I am in desperate need of a bookshelf to house them all and keep them cozy.


They pretty much stay stacked to save space. I can get more stacks on my mantle that way. But you know – the book I want to pull down is always the one on the bottom. Of course. But do I unstack them to get to the one I need? Of course not. I strain and push and wiggle to lift the ones on top and try to inch the one I want out.

It’s never pretty.

Thank goodness all of these books are.

Let’s take a quick peek at them and hopefully you can help me decide which one to use first.


Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson
Photographs by Eric Wolfinger

This is a big, beautiful book of bread. And it scares me a little. I haven’t worked with dough or yeast a lot. But I want to learn. I want to make bread! And this book from the legendary Tartine Bakery in San Francisco is gonna help me. One day.


Ultimate Cookies by Julia Usher
Photographs by Steve Adams

Let me just say that this book could just as easily be placed in the art section as it is in the cookbook section. Julia’s cookie designs and attention to detail are absolutely amazing. Her piping work is impeccable and a little intimidating too. But she has lots of pictures and instructions to help you along the way.


Sugarlicious by Meaghan Mountford

Cute treats and fun sweets. This book is full of whimsical projects to that are easy to make and decorate for any occasion. And many of them kids can make, too.


Handheld Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Rachel Wharton
Photographs by Ellen Silverman

Umm… Pies? In my hand? Sold. Tiny treats in any form are hard for me to resist. And so was this cover. The book is divided into freeform pies, structured pies and jar pies. Too cute.


The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

Hey Ree – Thank you for including so many sweets in your beautiful cookbook. The Coffee Cream Cake is calling me. But so are all the other recipes. Maybe I should just start at the top and check each one off. If they are as good as the Chocolate Sheet Cake in your first book, I am in trouble.


Sweet Auburn Desserts by Sonya Jones
Photographs by Deborah Llewellyn

That’s a cover, huh. Completely captivating. I can’t stop looking at it and I think my heart just started racing.
Sweet Auburn Bakery is located in Atlanta and I can’t believe I haven’t visited yet. I must correct that immediately. Oh and stack cakes just moved up on the to-bake list. Oh my. Oh! My!


The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day

Look how adorable these two are. This book is from another Southern bakery and it makes me want to jump in the car and head straight to Savannah, GA to visit their charming shop. Turning the pages, each dessert is more tempting than the next. And there’s savories inside, too. Bacon Jam empanadas and the ham and cheese pastry puffs have my name all over them.


Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book by Jake Godby, Sean Vahey and Paolo Lucchesi
Photographs by Frankie Frankeny

With ice cream flavors like Secret Breakfast, Rosemary’s Baby and Fat Elvis … and more than 300K twitter followers, I want to know more about this little ice cream shop in San Francisco. When they say ice cream with attitude, they mean it.


Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Oh Joy. Your book is a total biggie. I remember when we chatted at the book signing I had in Santa Monica and you were just starting it. Can you believe? Look at the amazingness you made. So happy for you! Oh… and those Baked Chili Cheese Fries… help me. P.S. Great arms!


Milk & Cookies by Tina Casaceli
Photographs by Antonis Achilleos

With a title like that, how can you go wrong. Divided by vanilla cookies, double chocolate cookies, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, special cookies, family favorites, brownies and bars … milk is definitely mandatory.


Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever
Photographs by Leigh Beisch

I love this cover!!! Love it. I want to wallpaper my kitchen in it! All I know is marshmallows will be happening soon. I just need a better candy thermometer first and then look out.


Pie it Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado
Photographs by Tina Rupp

Pies, tarts, tortes and galettes. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Filled with tons of recipes and a passion to pie it forward, Gesine’s book should make any pie lover happy.


The Divvies Bakery Cookbook by Lori Sandler

I’ve had this book for a little while now and have meant to bake from it way before now. All the recipes are vegan and some are gluten free, too. If you have a need for egg, nut or dairy free, you might want to check it out. You can order online from them, too.


The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando
Photographs by Tara Striano

An encyclopedia of cookies. Oh yes. Buttery, chocolaty, fancy, fruity, spicy and nutty cookies fill the pages of this super cute book. It lays flat, too. Love that.


Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw
Photographs by Eric Wolfinger

I’ve baked from this book before but I couldn’t help showing it again. It’s really beautiful and one of the few books that I want to make almost everything inside. P.S. I have a recipe in the book, too. Fun!


Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson
Photographs by Scott Pitts

I didn’t make it to Top Pot Doughnuts when I was in Seattle, but hopefully I can fix that one day soon. I love cake doughnuts and old fashioned doughnuts. Okay, I love any doughnuts. Except filled. Can’t do filled so much.


Les Petits Macarons by Kathryn Gordon and Anne McBride
Photographs by Steve Legato

I love these little cookie confections. I’ve made them a couple of times, but not enough to feel confident with them, so I scooped up this cute book for inspiration.


Push-Up Pops from Courtney Dial Whitmore
Photographs Kyle Dreier

Hey Courtney! Thanks for sending me your book. I have my push-up pop containers and I’m ready to go. Can’t wait to play with them.


The Sugar Cube by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni
Photographs by Lisa Warninger

Twisted treats from the heart of this sweet little food cart in Portland. And yes, those are chocolate chips drizzed in caramel on top of that cupcake. This one looks like it will be fun to dive in to.


Sugar Baby by Gesine Bullock-Prado
Photographs by Tina Rupp

This book is mostly about cooking with sugar instead of baking with it. Working on the stove instead of the oven. And yes, you can make your own rock candy at home. Super excited about that one. The recipes are divided by temperature so a good candy thermometer would be helpful.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
Photographs by Stacy Newgent

I love everything about this book. The topic, the design, the unique flavors, the way the ice cream recipes are photographed. And I would love it more if I owned an ice cream machine so I could make some too. In the meantime, I just read that Jeni started selling some of her flavors at The Fresh Market last week – Yay for us! And you can also order them online.


Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson
Photographs by Keller + Keller

Spectacular recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery fill the pages of this mouth-watering book. Nutella tarts, chocolate brioche, and brown sugar popovers sound like a good place to start.


Phew – That wasn’t as quick as I expected but I hope you enjoyed this sweet peek.

So, which book or books would you want to bake from first?

If you made it all the way to the end of this post, just answer that question here on the website and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $150 Amazon gift card so you can pick out a bunch of books to bake from – or anything else you’d rather get from their site.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, May 3rd at 6 p.m. ET. Sorry, Time’s Up. Winner announced below.

One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday evening.

Good luck guys!


Oh my. That was fun. I really like reading what you guys like. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing with me. I picked the winner and the gift certificate is going to Dawn H! Yay! Looks like you will be able to bring a little bit of Tartine right to your own kitchen. Have fun shopping and deciding.

Giveaway sponsored by me.

Stephanie said...

The Tartine book, Joy the Baker’s book and the Top Pot doughnut book. I can’t choose.

May 3, 2012 09:26 PM
Meredith Griffin said...

I would definately go for Sugar Baby. I have always wanted to learn how to make lollipops and etc. Of course, the marshmallow book doesnt look too bad either….

May 3, 2012 09:34 PM
Kristy H. said...

Oh wow! They all look amazing, but I would have to say Joy the baker.

May 3, 2012 09:34 PM
Anonymous said...

ARGH! I missed the deadline by three and a half hours!!!

May 3, 2012 09:35 PM
Erica S. said...

That sugar cube book is calling my name!

May 3, 2012 09:38 PM
Niteowl Nancy said...

Drat! I always seem to miss your contests! Anyway, the “Milk & Cookies” cookbook is right up my alley!

May 3, 2012 09:43 PM
EG said...

Handheld Pies. SOLD.

May 3, 2012 09:45 PM
Huiran said...

les petits macarons! Im so afraid to try making macarons! this book makes it look easy!

May 3, 2012 09:54 PM
Beth Keim said...

Back in the Day Bakery….. I just read it!

May 3, 2012 09:57 PM
Lisa said...

I can’t stop staring at the cover of Flour by Joanne Chang! Wow, I think I’d start with that one!

May 3, 2012 10:03 PM
Allison said...

I am ALL over Pie it Forward. Omg.

May 3, 2012 10:14 PM
Elaine said...

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day!

May 3, 2012 10:14 PM
Dentata said...

Oh, Jeni! I worship her ice cream. I worked in the North Market in Columbus, where she started, and I got an employee’s discount at Jeni’s, too… god, it was worth it. Her book is beautiful, really.

But if I had to choose? Joy the Baker. I’ve had my eye on her book for awhile now. And she’s adorbz.

May 3, 2012 10:24 PM
Kyla said...

cookiepedia needs to be in my kitchen asap! making my mouth water…

May 3, 2012 10:29 PM
April said...

Push up pies… what a great idea.

May 3, 2012 10:32 PM
Katie said...

I would so love to have the Joy the Baker cookbook — I love her!

May 3, 2012 10:32 PM
Peggy said...

As cute as the other books are, I am going up to SF this weekend and will stop by Tartine, so I am definitely partial to that!

May 3, 2012 10:33 PM
Paige said...

Les Petits Macarons – I have yet to be successful in making them but I am definitely going to keep trying…!

May 3, 2012 10:46 PM
lori Michell said...

REE REE ! love her

May 3, 2012 10:47 PM
Amy said...

I will have to say to try Pioneer Woman!! I have heard so much about her and I would love to try her recipes!!

May 3, 2012 10:49 PM
katherine said...

you have an amazing collection of pastry books! it was so funny today i was at barnes and noble and a lot of the books i was looking at are also on your list..the very last one, flour, looks like they have a lot of yummy desserts! happy baking, baking queen :)

May 3, 2012 11:20 PM
katherine said...

p.s. you need to get a candy thermometer. they are really handy to have!

May 3, 2012 11:22 PM
abby said...

Humphrey Slocumbe Ice Cream book for sure!

May 3, 2012 11:33 PM
Colomba Sanchez said...

The Divvies Bakery Cookbook by Lori Sandler! Go vegans <3 c:

May 3, 2012 11:36 PM
amy said...

what a collection, love the ideas in sugar baby though

May 3, 2012 11:46 PM
Emily Posey said...

Oh! I have been wanting Sugarbaby! So fun.

May 4, 2012 12:10 AM
D-Rache said...

Oh wow, I would love to have all those books @home :)
Some of them just entered my wishlist (The Cookiepedia, Milk&Cookies, Tartine Bread)

I’m looking forward to your bread-experiences. I love the smell of fresh bread in the air :)
Today I’ll bake Pesto-Rolls – love this recipe.

May 4, 2012 05:44 AM
Alison M said...

I would try The Divvies Bakery Cookbook. I am in need of some great dairy free dessert ideas. However, The Handheld Pie one looks so tempting too!

May 4, 2012 01:43 PM
Anne Marie said...

Petit Macarons!

May 4, 2012 08:00 PM
Jacqui said...

The push pops one would be my first one – sooo cute and creative! But I really would love any :-)

May 4, 2012 09:23 PM
Rebecca Ednie said...

This is easy! Macarons and marshmallows!

May 4, 2012 10:58 PM
darlingbeatrice said...

I love being a librarian because I have gotten to see a few of these books, and your book at work! And I catalog them so I get to browse through every book! Thanks for sharing!

May 5, 2012 05:44 PM
Alicia said...

I would MOST DEFINITELY start with the Hand Forged doughnuts. Oh my.

May 6, 2012 02:16 AM
Raegan DeWitt said...

Oh wow! Can I just say this is probably my favorite post ever? I LOVE to see what other people are reading. Love love love. Thanks for this – even though I missed the giveaway – I don’t care.

May 8, 2012 03:19 PM
Chelsea Barclay said...

Sugarlicious by Meaghan Mountford, looks like it will have some very fun things in it.

May 22, 2012 10:54 PM
Bailey Wood said...

I LOVE your website. I always get great ideas for parties and events.

May 26, 2012 10:19 AM
Shilain said...

Soooo . . . I seen these books and I have 4 or 5 more of these books on my list that I have to get but I found the Marshmallow Madness book first. I tried one batch and I quickly found out that instant clear gel is for canning and is not the same as unflavored gelatin. I know I know go ahead and laugh I did. So the second batch that I made (using Unflavored gelatin) turned out good. I was amazed that I could make homemade marshmallows. So if you even inkling that you want to try these don’t hesitate go ahead and give it a whirl!!! They really do not take much time to whip up and I am so looking forward to experimenting with flavors, I really want to try the cocktail flavor marshmallows (LOL) !!! Fluffy pillows of heavenly sugar they are so much fun. Thank you for another great idea!!!!

May 31, 2012 10:40 PM
Liz Jordan said...

I wouldn’t,t know where to start. I guess the best strategy would be to start at the top of the stack and work my way to the bottom. I’ll need a BIG pot of coffee.

June 2, 2012 08:03 AM
Sarah said...

Try the Pioneer woman cook book. My Mom has it and its really good!! make the brownies!

June 5, 2012 10:15 AM
Maria Hanrahan said...

I know this is an older post, but I just had to comment on your books, because I have recently added several of them to my collection. Top Pot, Back in the Day Bakery, Joy the Baker, and Cookiepedia were recently added, and I’ve had the Flour cookbook for a few months. They are all wonderful books. I love Gesine Bullock-Prado’s books, too, and will likely add them to the ever growing collection. The Milk & Cookies, Homemade Comfort and Marshmallow Madness ones now intrigue me!

June 20, 2012 12:24 AM
lirone said...

OMG! they are all so awesome! But When I saw “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier” by Ree Drummond, the first thing I saw was her name and how much it looks like redrum. creepy…

July 8, 2012 10:58 PM
Colleen said...

Reading this post reminds me of how I so often feel….



Back to the kitchen….

Tonight, I am making a very simple recipe from Cook’s Country magazine (2011?) for Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream and Snickers Bar Sauce. They put together a handful of simple recipes designed to use up Halloween candy :) Basically you just stir mini peanut butter cups into vanilla ice cream, then use heavy cream and mini snickers bars to make a sauce. Four ingredients; easy peasy.

November 22, 2013 04:55 PM
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