Hermit Bars, Thumbprint Cookies, Icebox Summer Pie, Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers...aren't homey desserts the best? When all the bittersweet chocolate curls are put away, we love to whip up silly goodies just like we made in our Easy-Bake Ovens. And in this cookbook, Jennifer Appel coaches us to make comforting, homemade treats with a masterful finish.
Appel, the successful owner of two Manhattan bakeries, can even give panache to Peanut Butter Mud Pie. Her soothing, smart style has won over everyone, from homebodies to sophisticated city dwellers: "Customers tell me they feel embraced by childhood memories of their neighborhood bake shop," Appel writes. "These classic desserts are satisfying the midtown neighborhood folk as well as the most prestigious of clients." And Appel's recipe books are as appealing as her goodies; with recipes that are easy as, well, pie, and generous helpings of professional hints. "The important thing to remember when baking muffins," she explains, "is to gently mix the batter until the dry ingredients are just moistened by the wet ingredients. Overmixing or using too strong a hand will result in deflated, dense muffins." Appel also offers up plenty of advice about ingredient swapping, so that we home bakers can improvise our own classics.
Experienced bakers will enjoy this book for its unique take on traditional favorites; novice bakers will find it a delicious introduction to their favorite desserts. Appel's recipes are a delight: short and sweet, just like her cupcakes. (Jesse Gale)