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Entries in books (31)


Sweet Cookbook: Petite Treats by Christy Beaver and Morgan Greenseth

Petite Treats

I love small things, and I love cute things.

Curiously, though, this doesn't always extend to the world of dessert, where I like quantity, preferably mass. But in the case of the new book Petite Treats: Adorably Delicious Versions of All Your Favorites from Scones, Donuts, and Cupcakes to Brownies, Cakes, and Pies, I'll make an exception, figuring that I'll just eat a baker's dozen of everything.

This volume is the follow up to Mini Pies: Adorable and Delicious Recipes for Your Favorite Treats, and like that title, this book is  just too cute! 

Here's what you have to look forward to in the new book:

Morgan and Christy's new book

Let's dig in, shall we? First off, I was so glad to see these mini scones.

Get Sconed

Why? Because I've actually tried them, in person. They're tiny and delicious.

Scookie: Scone Cookie from Mini Empire Bakery

I also want to eat cranberry orange rolls. Yum.Want to eat it

Pies! Of course there are pies. These girls are pie-making maniacs!


But my favorite thing? Definitely this...


Yeah, that's right. 


It makes me think of my friend Megan, and also of the Pumpple I ate. Both good things to think of, at any time.

I think you should buy this book! Here's the link again: Petite Treats: Adorably Delicious Versions of All Your Favorites from Scones, Donuts, and Cupcakes to Brownies, Cakes, and Pies.


Sweet Book: Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards

This is cute!

I've got to tell you, this book is cute. And I *know* cute.

It's called Decorating Cookies: 60+ Designs for Holidays, Celebrations & Everyday and it's by Bridget Edwards of Bake at 350. It's a great blog, and she's a great girl. I've met her, so I'm allowed to say that.

After looking through this book I have decided that you need it. Too bad Halloween's over, cos you could have made these:

Love it!

But don't panic. Just promise me you'll get it before Thanksgiving, because it also has Pumpkin Pie cookies!

Love it!

But if you can't get it together by then, promise me you'll get it by Christmas, because these holly-jolly cookies are contained, too:


...but if not, you'll enjoy this book for the kind of "everyday" cookie needs such as:


Cookies! Yum!

Buy it here: Decorating Cookies: 60+ Designs for Holidays, Celebrations & Everyday.


Daily Sweet: Zumbo, the Book


May I introduce my new favorite-favorite-thing in the world...

Zumbo: Adriano Zumbo's Fantastical Kitchen of Other-Worldly Delights I freaking love this book. It's like Willy Wonka plus Pierre Herme, times rainbow awesome. The unicorn is not actually on the cover, but I added it to see how it would look. It looks pretty at home, doesn't it?

I learned more about Mr. Zumbo from the publisher:

Adriano Zumbo's playful approach to food, far-ranging imagination, and cheeky attitude have made him one of Australia's best known chefs. He opened his first patisserie in in 2007 and his appearances onMasterChef Australia have since won him a national following.

While leafing through the pages, you'll find things like this:

Zumbo! Love it.

and this:

Zumbo! Love it.

and this:

Zumbo! Love it.

And incredibly inspiring, clever and cute artwork:

Zumbo! Love it.


Laminated pastry people too!

 Buy it here: Zumbo: Adriano Zumbo's Fantastical Kitchen of Other-Worldly Delights.



Daily Sweet: Good Housekeeping Little Book of Baking

Little Book of Baking

Today, I asked my cupcake (which lives on a pony): "What do you think of this book?" It has a big name for a tiny book: Good Housekeeping The Little Book of Baking: 55 Homemade Cookies, Cakes, Cupcakes & Pies to Make & Share.

Little Book of Baking

And after reviewing it for a few minutes, the cupcake said "you should buy it."

Why is that? Helpfully, the cupcake gave me several reasons.

Grape and ginger tart

It has interesting recipes. I'd never seen a recipe for a Grape and Ginger Tart before! Helpful tips!

It has helpful tips. You never can be too educated. Yummy stuff

It has tasty versions of classic recipes. For example: hazelnut brownies; cherry-pistachio biscotti. Not crazy-different, but they might just challenge you a little bit. Tasty classics  

Why not listen to the cupcake? Find the book online here: Good Housekeeping The Little Book of Baking: 55 Homemade Cookies, Cakes, Cupcakes & Pies to Make & Share.



Delicious Volume: Midwest Sweet Baking History by Jenny Lewis

Brownies: a midwest baking classic!

I'm fond of saying that "everything tastes better with a backstory". After all, isn't it more fun to eat a chocolate chip cookie while imagining Ruth Wakefield in a Massachusetts toll house, trying to take a shortcut making chocolate cookies by adding chocolate chunks, and inadvertently creating an American icon? Or picturing a hapless baker in St. Louis mixing up the sugar and flour in a recipe and ending up with Gooey Butter cake? 

If you find this sweet lore fascinating, then you should probably go ahead and invest in the new release Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics around Lake Michigan by Jenny Lewis. It's published by The History Press. Did you know they existed? I didn't, but I am glad I do now--they have a ton of interesting books.

a book I like a lot

This volume is a comprehensive source for learning about the popular treats of the Lake Michigan region--but really, it goes beyond that. 

While you'll get plenty of sweet stories about specific foods, you'll also get a very interesting primer and backstory on the general history of baking in America.

There are chapters devoted to the development of popular baking ingredients (ever wonder when baking soda became a common pantry item?) and the developments in kitchen technology which played into what and how we ate. Author Jenny Lewis, who is a pastry chef, Certified Culinary Educator (did you know that was a thing? I didn't! I also didn't know all of these degrees existed!), and clearly One Smart Cookie, also gives some of the backstory on companies such as Kraft, Nabisco, and even smaller manufacturers in the Midwest such as Lessafre Yeast Company.

And then there are recipes. Yes! From historical--including one of the first printed brownie recipes, from the Chicago area, old fashioned doughnuts, and homespun pies--to contemporary, such as peach crumble with cornmeal cinnamon streusel, apple tart with salted caramel, and cherry whiskey cake.

Morever, what we learn is that recipes--and baking methods--aren't so much invented as they evolve--and so, the popular baked goods will reflect the immigration patterns of the United states, often the result of "old country" favorites getting a "new world" makeover based on the kitchen technology and ingredients available in the new surroundings. And it's a fascinating and delectable journey.

Buy the book here: Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics around Lake Michigan; listen to an interesting interview with the author here.


Sweet Discovery: Cake Magic by Kate Shirazi

Cake Magic

Recently, I was sent a review copy of a book called Cake Magic by Kate Shirazi. And after careful review, I have decided that even if it hadn't been sent to me for free, I'd probably buy this book. And I would recommend it to friends, too.

Now, I don't want to be bossy about it. But I know that you're not going to really read the reasons (the creative projects, the fun lore and stories in the headnotes, the user-friendly format), so I'm just going to go right to showing you five things that intrigued me right away in the book.

First off: English Madeleines? What? I've never heard of such of a thing. But gosh, now I want to get to know them better.

Cake Magic

Second: Little tarts featured with a photo of little dollhouse people. I don't even care what flavor they are, I want one! Cute.

Cake Magic book

Third: Teacakes that look like some sort of tricked-out Mallomar. I vote yes on this. 

Cake Magic

Fourth: The snuggle loaf. I have had the urge to snuggle with carbohydrates before, and I consider this permission to act on this urge.

Cake Magic

Fifth: The Fancy Pants cheesecake. Eat it with your pinkies out, yo!

Cake Magic

Ready to buy? Thought so. Find it here: Cake Magic.


Save the Date: Joy The Baker at CakeSpy Shop on March 17!

Want the recipe? Come buy the book!Save the date, sweeties.

Joy the Baker is coming to CakeSpy Shop in Seattle!

We are THRILLED to be hosting this extra-special event for our dear friend, Joy the Baker! Join us to celebrate Joy and her first cookbook at CakeSpy Shop on Saturday, March 17th! Come hang out with Joy, CakeSpy founder Jessie, and the winner of the "So You Wanna Be a CakeSpy?" contest, Molly Allen!

Want to learn more about the book? OK.

Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes is a celebration of butter, sugar, and cream--all of our favorites! Everyone is just looking for an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast, and this book is reason enough to indulge. With 100 recipes and photographs, like Avocado Pound Cake to The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake, the Joy the Baker Cookbook is designed to be fun, approachable, and meant to make you feel like a wizard in the kitchen.

Joy will be here to tell us all about her awesome new book, answer questions for her fans, and of course have a stack of books to sign!

Date: March 17

Time: 3-6pm

Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 East Pine Street, Seattle; 206.325.1592

Check out the Facebook invite here. Oh, and you might like to hear the interview with Joy and CakeSpy together, too!


Giveaway: Ultimate Cookies by Julia Usher

You know what? Because you're sweet and I like you, I feel like offering up a giveaway.

The sweet prize you could win? How 'bout a copy of Julia M Usher's Ultimate Cookies book?

If you're not familiar with Julia Usher's work, well then, you're in for a treat. Full of gorgeous aspirational cookies (I say that because I personally have not made anything from the book yet, but I have looked through it lovingly, and said "someday" at many of the projects), this book contains recipes and tutorials for cookies that are certain to wow a crowd, such as cookie sailboats, fancy cookie rings, and 3-d collage cookies. It's really a delight.

How do you enter to win a copy of this beautiful book? Oh, it's easy. What I need you to do--in the comments section below, or on the CakeSpy facebook page--is simply tell me the following:

What kind of cookies are you most excited about baking this holiday season?

The fine print: this giveaway will close on Friday, November 11, at noon PST; a winner will be chosen at random. Because of high shipping rates, I am only able to offer this giveaway to US and Canadian entrants!


Sweet Find: Scanwiches by Jon Chonko

From Scanwiches by Jon Chonko, published by powerHouse Books.I am absolutely obsessed with the new book Scanwiches by Jon Chonko, published by Powerhouse Books. This book features oddly sexy, almost Damien Hirst-style sandwich cross sections, presented in a high design sort of way and then gives a blurb about the sandwich's specs and place in society. While it is not a recipe book per se, it does feature the "construction" of each sandwich, so it invites readers to create their own versions (or seek out the best in their town). 

But don't take my word for it all; here's the official book description.

Scanwiches takes the sandwich and spreads it out for all to see. There's nothing quaint or humble about its presentation. From full-frontal, cross sections of monsters like the Dagwood and club, to minute, geometric tea sandwiches whose construction looks more like minimalist art than culinary creation, Scanwiches presents unabashed food porn that satiates even the most severe sandwich fetish. A supernova of swirling bread, cheese, meat, and lettuce, suspended in a black, vacuous space, and reproduced at actual size, each sandwich lays imposing, exposed, and tantalizing. Complimented by text revealing the origins and development of each sandwich throughout history, you'll learn to love and lust after these lowbrow delicacies in a whole new way.

From Scanwiches by Jon Chonko, published by powerHouse Books.But why should it be written up on a cake and dessert themed website? Because while there aren't many dessert sandwiches, there are enough to make it of interest to the dessert lover. Profiles on the fluffernutter and on sweet tea sandwiches captured my interest in particular, and I think they would interest you, too. In fact, the tea sandwich has spawned the idea for my next entry on Serious Eats (picture preview below!).

Buy the book Scanwiches here.


Save the Date: Official CakeSpy Book Launch Party at CakeSpy Shop on October 13

People. It's happening.

My book is out. It's called CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. It rules. It's available for purchase. And on October 13 at CakeSpy Shop, at 415 East Pine Street in Capitol Hill, Seattle, we're gonna have a party to celebrate this momentous occasion.

If you're not in Seattle, don't despair: it's also the kickoff of my lovely and amazing Tour de Sweet book tour, which will span the entire nation (lucky you!). And I sincerely promise to draw a cupcake, unicorn, or robot in every book, free of charge. Um, the books you still have to pay for though.

But back to the launch party at the store.

What to expect: an informal open-house type setting where we will have cake and treats (I will have 4-5 types of sweets made from recipes in the book!), alcohol (woooo!), original artwork as featured in the book on sale in the gallery, and my lovely little self on hand to sign the books which you should plan on buying. 

  • Date: Thursday, October 13 (this is also the night of the Cap. Hill art walk!)
  • Time: 6pm-???
  • Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine Street, Seattle, WA; online at cakespyshop.com

For the rest of the tour dates, click here! To purchase the book in advance, visit cakespyshop.com.

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