-- Mario Batali
Gale Gand's Just a Bite: 125 Luscious, Little Dessertsby Gale Gand, Julia Moskin
Sweets. As kids, we could never get enough, and anything sugary, gooey, and good was gratefully devoured. As adults, we give a polite “no thank you” when a dessert tray passes by, or take but a sliver of cake if offered, showing restraint that would make any ten-year-old incredulous. Well, that’s not fair. Why should kids get all the fun? Now, adults can have the best of both worlds.
Gale Gand’s Just a Bite is equal parts kitchen-table, kid-giggling joy and uptown, grown-up chic. Award-winning pastry chef Gale Gand has collected the recipes from her Food Network show Sweet Dreams and renowned restaurant Tru into a book that is as charming and accessible as the author herself. These recipes aren’t just for the expert baker or pastry connoisseur but also for the everyday cook looking to lighten up the end of a meal, or even replace the ubiquitous brownie with, say, Banana Brûlée Spoonfuls. With easy-to-follow instructions, a handful of ingredients, and a craving for fun, you’ll be whipping up Devil’s Peaks with Double-Chocolate Drizzle and popping them in your mouth before, as a kid, you could have licked the frosting beater clean.
Gale has also assembled a mini-menu of sorts for her delectables. Called the Tasting Trio, three of the treats are served together for maximum, sweet tooth bliss. Combinations like Bomb Poppers, Marshmallow Moons, and Butterfly Cupcakes; or Orange-Vanilla “Fried Eggs” on Cinnamon Toast, Meringue Cigarettes, and Mini Granita Watermelons. Or try your own assortments, putting together yummys like Stained-Glass Cookies and Fig Nortons with Peanut Butter Cookie—Grape Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches and Mini Root Beer Floats. The possibilities are endless and the flavors . . . wow, with flavors like this, who needs to be a kid again?
-- Mario Batali
- Crown Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.61(w) x 9.45(h) x 1.04(d)
Read an Excerpt
My fantasy of the perfect life includes occasional weekends with no one around but my girlfriends, and nothing to do but play games and bake treats for one another. Friday night would definitely be devoted to playing mah-jongg. Two of my pals have taken up this Asian game in the past few years, rounding up other women whose mothers and aunts used to play.
Part of the appeal of mah-jongg is certainly the beautiful tiles and racks, often made of Bakelite (mah-jongg was big in the 1950s). These cookies, made from my mother's favorite sugar cookie dough and decorated to resemble the tiles, look great arranged on the colorful racks! And if the cookies make you want to play, you can find intact sets at Internet shopping sites or at flea markets. The National Mahjongg League will be happy to send you the simple rules.
A straightedge or ruler
Two cookie sheets, well greased or lined with parchment paper or with nonstick baking mats (see page 16); or nonstick cookie sheets
A few mah-jongg tiles, to copy
Tubes of black, red, and green icing with small tips for piping (you can buy these at most supermarkets and all baking supply stores)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream the butter until smooth and fluffy in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and mix until smooth. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix. Sift 1 cup of the flour with the baking powder, add to the mixer, and combine. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix just until combined. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Lightly flour a work surface. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a clean straightedge as a guide, with a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut the dough on a grid into rectangles, about 1 3 1 1/2 inches each. Transfer to the cookie sheets and bake until very light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan. Then apply the colored icings.
The three suits are: "craks," Chinese characters drawn in thin red lines; "dots," black circles with red centers; and "bams," short lengths of green bamboo.
Caramel-Orange Rice Crisps
makes about 16
A delicate, crackly combination of caramel corn and Rice Krispies Treats, with a bit of orange for zip, this nonfat tidbit is wonderfully crunchy, but as light as air and not too sweet. The golden caramel just coats the rice and holds it together.
A square or rectangular baking pan, about 8 x 8 inches, thickly buttered
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Freshly grated zest of 1 orange
Pour the sugar into the center of a deep saucepan. Carefully pour 1/3 cup water around the walls of the pan, trying not to splash any sugar onto the walls. Do not stir; gently draw your finger twice through the center of the sugar, making a cross, to moisten it. Over high heat, bring to a full boil and cook without stirring until the mixture is a golden caramel, about 15 minutes, swirling the mixture occasionally to even out the color. Turn off the heat and stir in the cereal and the orange zest.
Scrape the mixture into the buttered pan and press lightly to pack down into the pan. Let cool. Using a serrated knife, cut into bars (either cutting in the pan, or turning out the recipe onto a work surface first). Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
makes about 60
When I was growing up, children were supposed to drink oceans of milk every single day for their health. Fortunately, my mother came from a long line of bakers and often devised new desserts that made a tall glass of cold milk taste great. This chewy-sweet fruit and nut bar, which bakes up with a crackly brown-sugar crust, is one of them.
These moist bars last for a long time in the cookie jar. They are packed with "dried plums," as the growers' association now wants us all to refer to prunes!
A 9 x 13-inch baking pan, buttered and floured (or use a nonstick pan)
1 pound (2 1/4 cups packed) light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pitted dried plums (formerly known as prunes), quartered
9 ounces (about 3/4 cup) pecan halves
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Beat the eggs until light and foamy in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer). Add the sugar and mix. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in the dried plum pieces by hand.
Spread the pecans in a single layer in the prepared pan. Pour the batter over the pecans. Bake until the center feels set and a top crust forms, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan to room temperature. Use a serrated knife with a sharp point to cut into 1 1/2-inch squares, cleaning your knife often.
Meet the Author
Gale Gand is coauthor of American Brasserie and Butter Flour Sugar Eggs, which was nominated for the James Beard Foundation/KitchenAid Award for Best Dessert Book of 2000. Gale is executive pastry chef of Chicago’s acclaimed restaurant Tru, star of the Food Network series Sweet Dreams, and owner of her own root beer company. Gale was named Pastry Chef of the Year 2001 by the James Beard Foundation.
Julia Moskin is coauthor of several books, including American Brasserie and Butter Flour Sugar Eggs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I have made at least 20 of the recipes in this book and they are amazing...the best chocolate cake recipe you will ever make (chockablock) You will get rave reviews on everything you make. Yum!