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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
You can tell from the first page that Gale Gand is having a great time in the kitchen -- and that she's been playing with food since she was a kid. This is an irrepressible, delightful, creative book of miniature sweets, full of wonderful ideas for birthday parties, dessert parties, and buffets.
"We love miniature sweets because they are a wonderful combination of dessert and toy," says Gand, pastry chef at her own Chicago restaurant and host of the Food Network show Sweet Dreams. To this day her favorite miniatures -- root beef floats served in tiny cups with straws cut to size or baby chocolate doughnuts paired with cranberry jam and a little vanilla malted -- are based on the treats of her childhood.
As a chef, Gand has learned that what people want after a good meal is not a heavy dessert but just a bite or two of something sweet. A tray of petits fours is the classic solution, but her petit fours are far from formal -- in fact, her trays of lollipops, chocolate cigarettes, and tiny Rice Krispies treats make the waiters giggle.
Gand likes to serve three little desserts together for a special taste treat, so you'll find that each recipe includes a good tasting trio: for example Chocolate-Mint Tiddlywinks, Animal Crackers, and Brittle-Topped Vanilla Butterscotch Pudding Parfaits, or Peanut Butter Cookie-Grape Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches, Clementines in Mint Syrup, and Chocolate-Caramel Cigarillos.
There are many wonderful ideas in the book: cupcakes with the tops carved and positioned to look like butterflies; cookies that resemble mah-jongg titles, layered Jell-O juice shots, and a peppermint stickwhite chocolate bark that uses up all the peppermint sticks leftover from Christmas. You don't need complicated equipment to execute the recipes, but you'd better go out and get a mini muffin tin, if you don't already have one. (Ginger Curwen)