Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sweet Melissa Baking Book - A Pleasure

I love getting new cookbooks and this one by Melissa Murphy...The Sweet Melissa Baking Book is doubly good. Obviously the recipes, which are quite detailed for someone like me who's not really a baker by nature, but also because now I have a new place to visit when I next hit the Big Apple - Sweet Melissa Patisseries. I do hope I get to meet the lovely Melissa when I get there.

Naturally I had to whip up something quick while I enjoyed a cup of tea and took some time to really flip through the book. That's where the chewy peanut butter cookies come in. Although, truth be told, I like them even better the next day when they're crunchy and melt in your mouth. A couple actually lasted that long!


While I was flipping, (actually waiting for the tea to steep), I came across these lovely Double Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies and...well what can I say...I'm a cookie monster and these just screamed "MAKE ME! MAKE ME!" So I did.

Normally, I don't bother reading introductions to cookbooks...I usually just jump right in to the recipes. And this time started out like that, but there was something about the recipes and the way that they're presented that sent me back to the beginning. These two quotes say it all...

"The best food doesn't have to be challenging in its preparation, but should recall our fondest food memories."

and this quote that really sums up the book for me...
"I want to make everyone's favorite desserts better than they've ever had them before"

That's when it dawned on me, why so many of the recipes really resonated with me. They do remind me of my mother's kitchen! The book is set out into six chapters, starting with "Dessert for Breakfast" and really...what could be better! Sweet or savory muffins, scones, granola...the list goes on (19 delicious choices).

My personal favorite section is "After School Snacks" with lots of flashbacks to running in the front door after school and taking the deepest breath to try and figure out what delicious things my mom would have for us to munch on. I've already dog-eared the Honey Beescotti page.

Chapter 3 is called "It's Somebody's Birthday" and there are lots of awesome choices for those special event cakes.... Do you think someone else will make the Carrot Cake with Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, for my birthday later this month or am I on my own?

There's a chapter focusing on fruit desserts...pies, cobblers, crumbles, preserves..., and one on endings to dinner parties, with recipes like the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie or Ginger Custard Pumpkin Pie...Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake with Blackberry Glaze, anyone...I'm drooling just thinking about them.

Last chapter, "Favorite Gifts", is special. My mom taught me early that the best gift to bring when invited to dinner (or any party) is something you've baked yourself, and I usually do. Now I have a new repertoire of goodies with lots of pralines, brittles and truffle options.

I know this is one book that won't get dusty on a shelf! And if you'd like a copy and can't find it in a store near you, you can always order it directly from Melissa's website.

7 comments:

Ricki said...

Sounds fabulous! But then again--baking? What could be bad??

KayKat said...

Double Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies?!!

I almost keeled over just hearing about that. I want some *now*!

*drooling* over those cookies ...

Anonymous said...

These recipes are easy to follow, I like the step by step instructions, I made the scones, they are To die for! I love the little stories at the beginning of the recipes, this book is a treasure! Pamela

Muse in the Kitchen said...

This book goes on my to-buy list - I love your review of it. Especially the double dark chocolate cookies - they look so good!

Belle

melissa murphy said...

Ruth, I love your review of my book, I am soo thrilled that you like it!!! Thank you so much for your support- Melissa Murphy

Anonymous said...

These lemon bars just melt in your mouth, I love the toasted almond crust. Love & kisses from Aunt Susie

Anonymous said...

This book is like a peek into another time and place,it readS like a beautiful storybook. What a pleasure!