Dana Meachen Rau is an author, editor, and illustrator of children’s books. She has written more than 100 books for children, many of them nonfiction in subjects including astronomy, history, and geography, as well as numerous biographies. She lives in Burlington, Connecticut, with her husband and two children.
Dessert Designer: Creations You Can Make and Eat!by Dana Meachen Rau
Design and decorate like a pro with no baking skills required! Using premade cupcakes, cookies, and cake, kids of all ages will learn tips and tricks for creating whimsical, inspiring, and utterly gorgeous desserts. It’s deliciously fun!
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. The review is my honest opinion and I was not paid for this service. Dessert Designer: Creations You Can Make and Eat! is a very creative guide for making unique desserts. While this does give you the directions for creating the many creations inside it does not however, give you the recipes for the cupcakes, cakes or cookies used to make the creations. The author had some wonderful ideas of which I cannot wait to try. The author created step by step directions that are easily understood by someone who has never done anything like this before. There are tons of wonderful illustrations throughout the book in which you can use to reference your creation. The included photos of the decorator's toolbox was a nice addition to the book as not every cook has used all of the tools that the author mentioned. It was nice to be able to look back to see what it was that she was referring to. Although the book was designed for young children, I think adults are more appealed to the book mainly because we as parents are always looking for new and unique ways to get our children to eat or try new things. This book certainly has new innovative ways of doing just that. Although the book creations are all for sweets, I think that the ideas would also do well with vegetable or fruit creations as well.
This is a very creative dessert decorating book with loads of unique ideas. Some of the ideas are very intricate and complicated and I wonder if a beginner really could pull them off. Most of the ideas are not too difficult, though and could easily be made. In order to try out the ease of the designs, I made one of them! My daughter loves zebra stripes and since it was her birthday, I decided to make her the zebra striped purse cake that I found in this book. After all, I needed to try one of the ideas in order to know if it was doable. I had to make a few changes based on my daughter's tastes and my own limitations, but the idea was super cute and was a big hit with my daughter. It wasn't too hard to recreate the cake, but of course, the one in the book looks much better than mine. :) The thing to keep in mind is that this is not really a recipe book. It is a decorating book. You are getting instructions on how to decorate your desserts. Most of the instructions are easy to follow, but occasionally I got confused with all the frosting choices and would have to go back to the descriptions to try and figure out which frosting they were talking about.
Creative cooking and baking is all the rage right now. Just turn on any food-related network and even some other mainstream channels. You can even find cooking shows playing alongside sports events in restaurants. This book helps even the youngest bakers and designers get involved in the current trends. I love the gorgeous photography used to illustrate the book. I don't know that my own creations would ever look quite as good, but the pictures make you want to try your very best! For kids: The Decorator's Toolbox is a great page. The photograph looks much like a real kitchen drawer or box would and helps you to identify what all of the tools are. You can go shopping with your parents to get anything that is missing. Maybe you can even get your own drawer in the kitchen, or your own dessert designs plastic box in which you can store your things. The cupcake decorations appear to be the easiest and would require less adult supervision. The candies and the cakes are definitely much more complicated and will probably require some help. These creations would be perfect to make ahead of time for a party or other special event. Slumber parties just got more exciting, too, as you could plan to make these desserts with your friends! I am dying to try the rabbit cupcakes for Easter. I think I want to make the Polka Dot Presents for my next birthday cake. For adults: I would recommend getting your child her own set of decorating tools to keep in a special drawer, or even a plastic box of her very own in which to keep supplies. This would give her greater ownership over the projects. Making these projects together can add to great family bonding time and memories to cherish for years to come. Your child will want to have some independent time, too. Go through the book together to determine which ones she can do alone and which ones would require your help. Designate some to make ahead of time for parties and others she can make with her friends at parties. You could easily apply the skills that you learn from this book to making some of your own favorite creations. As with any cooking project that you are sharing with friends and family, be aware of everyone's food allergies and/or sensitivities prior to creating and presenting them. Some modifications could possibly be made for some of those. I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.