I’m so excited to be reviewing a new cookbook today. Not just any book, but one that I’m totally nuts over. No jokes. I think the author, Abigail Dodge is my soul sister, because how perfectly me is a cookbook called “Mini Treats and Handheld Sweets?” Not only it it a cookbook full of glorious desserts, but they’re mini, and pretty much every recipe in this book is right up my alley. Lets discuss this, shall we?
At a First Glance:
My first reaction when flipping through this book was “ohmygosh I want to make everything.” The book is a treasure trove of delicious recipes that are either totally out of the box, or a brand new twist on an old favorite. (Why make carrot cupcakes when you can make carrot cone cakes? See what I mean?)
Some Features I Like:
The author of this book is a highly experienced and accomplished baker, and she shares her vast knowledge throughout the pages of this book with nuggets of useful information tucked into the margins of the pages.
Another great thing is that Ms. Dodge offers twists to switch up the recipes. Think of these ideas as bonus recipes!
When choosing a recipe to try, I purposely chose something that I’d never made before (scones) to see how the instructions are for someone who is more of a novice baker. And they were great – I was able to follow them very easily and the recipe was super clear.
The book is divided by section, and has an amazing variety: Cookies, Mini Pies, Mini Cakes and Whoopie Pies, Bite Sized Treats, Frozen Treats and Candy. That pretty much covers all of the important things in life, doesn’t it?
Some Recipes I Can’t Wait to Try:
Nutella Dulche de Leche Dumplings: I really don’t think this needs an explanation. Oh my.
Zesty Lemon Cake Bites: Think cake balls, but instead of frosting you use lemon curd. Pure genius.
Double Espresso Whoopie Pies: because the only thing better than espresso is double espresso. Especially when you bake it in a cookie.
Mini Mocha Roll Cakes: These may just be the next thing on my “to bake” list. I’m sure they’re gorgeous, but then there’s the part where they’re the perfect mix of gorgeous and just plain adorable.
Who This Cookbook is For:
This book is chock full of dessert recipes of every sort, and thus is a great option for bakers everywhere!
Specifically, this is a great book for people who enjoy baking and are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative recipes.
Also, if you frequently bake for parties with a buffet/dessert table type layout, this is THE book for you. Everything in this book is perfect for a dessert table (except the frozen treats, I guess). Jewish readers: I have a kiddush in mind here.
Who This Cookbook Isn’t For:
This is probably pretty obvious, but I’m gonna say it anyway. This is a dessert cookbook, and not for people to reference for general cooking. (Duh)
Although the book includes several recipes that are gluten free or even paleo, the majority of the recipes aren’t going to work for people with special dietary needs, such as gluten free, sugar free, fat free, etc.
What I Didn’t like About this Cookbook:
As I write about every niche cookbook I review, this book is limited. It’s amazingly diverse in terms of recipes within the hand-held sweets category, but you won’t find recipes for things like layer cakes or fruit crumbles. The goal is to have recipes that can all be eaten without a fork, but that means there are categories of desserts it doesn’t include. (This wasn’t much of a problem for me, because the type of desserts this book includes are exactly the types I enjoy making.)
My main issue with this book is that there simply aren’t enough pictures. Don’t get me wrong. The pictures in this book are beautiful. And I know I constantly kvetch that cookbooks don’t have enough pictures, but with desserts like this one I feel like pictures are more of a necessity. Some of the recipes are very visual, and a picture would do wonders in convincing me to try it (or even notice it!).
This book has a ton of really interesting recipes, and is a great option for anyone who enjoys baking gorgeous treats.
Does this sound like a book you’d like to own? I thought so! Well you might just be in luck, because the publisher has kindly offered to give a copy to one lucky OvertimeCook reader!
To enter the giveaway:
Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite mini treat is!
For Additional Entries: Each entry requires its own comment!
Follow @OvertimeCook on twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Leave a comment telling me that you did this.
Like Tales of an Overtime Cook on Facebook and post about this giveaway. Leave a comment telling me that you did this.
Follow @OvertimeCook on Pinterest and pin an image from this post. Leave a comment telling me that you did this.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 14th. A valid email address or twitter profile must be provided.
Giveaway is open to residents of the US.
Prize is sponsored by Taunton Press.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book for review by the publisher, Taunton Press. They are also sponsoring the giveaway. All of the opinions as well as my love of cookies are completely my own.
And now, lets discuss scones. I honestly never baked or tasted a scone before this. And my darn diet means I still haven’t tasted a scone. Here’s what I can tell you. I brought them to work, and everyone went nuts over them. All day people were calling, emailing and coming up to my desk saying “I heard you have amazing scones, any left?” Of course there weren’t. They were demolished quickly.
Cinnamon Sugar Scones:
Adapted slightly from Mini Treats and Handheld Sweets
1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) butter or margarine, cubed and chilled
1/2 cup half and half*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease) and set aside.
Cube the butter and chill well.
Whisk together the half and half, egg and vanilla and put in fridge until ready for use.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the chilled butter/margarine cubes, using 2 knives, a pastry cutter or pulses in the food processor. Cut until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about pea sized.
Pour the egg mixture over the flour, and use a spatula to stir and fold it in until it forms a shaggy dough. There will be some flour remaining. Scrape the dough onto the counter and knead it a few times until the dough is evenly moist and holds together. Do not overwork the dough or it will mess up the texture of the scones.
Shape the dough into a rectangle approximately 8×4 inches. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise into three long strips, then each strip into 6 pieces. Place the pieces approximately 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Prepare the topping: combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter or margarine in another bowl. As soon as the scones are cool enough to handle, one by one, dip each scone into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place back on the tray. Serve warm or room temperature.
*Note about the half and half: if making these non-dairy, use 2 Tablespoons of melted margarine then fill the measuring cup with milk substitute. I used soy milk here.
Hope you all love these scones- and make sure to enter to win this fabulous book! Have a great weekend! – Miriam