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21. Storybook Cakes: A Step-By-Step
$10.88 $5.99 list($16.00)
22. The Ultimate Ice Cream Book :
$9.98 list($25.95)
23. The Church Ladies' Divine Desserts
$11.53 $11.15 list($16.95)
24. Hey There, Cupcake! : 35 Yummy
$17.97 list($29.95)
25. The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion:
$17.32 $16.92 list($27.50)
26. The Whimsical Bakehouse : Fun-to-Make
$22.05 $19.98 list($35.00)
27. Colette's Cakes : The Art of Cake
$25.20 $9.00 list($40.00)
28. Baking With Julia: Based on the
$25.17 $23.73 list($39.95)
29. The Wedding Cake Book
$28.35 $26.93 list($45.00)
30. Splendid Soups : Recipes and Master
$13.96 $8.99 list($19.95)
31. Semi-Homemade Desserts: Easy Delicious
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32. Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cake
$11.87 $8.95 list($16.95)
33. Williams-Sonoma Collection: Ice
$34.65 $32.41 list($55.00)
34. Grand Finales : The Art of the
$17.95 $11.83
35. Icebox Desserts : 100 Cool Recipes
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36. The Perfect Wedding Cake
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37. Chocolate : A Bittersweet Saga
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38. Cupcakes
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39. Family Fun Birthday Cakes : 50
$10.85 $10.68 list($15.95)
40. The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee

21. Storybook Cakes: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Enchanting Novelty Cakes
by Lindy Smith
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0715316826
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: David & Charles Publishers
Sales Rank: 216544
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Book Description

15 step-by-step projects for enchanting cake designs Lindy SmithDelight children and adults alike with any of these 15 lively, fun cake designs based on well-loved fairy tales and enchanted stories.

Well-known novelty cake designer Lindy Smith offers a comprehensive guide to making a range of delightful cakes, and guides the reader step by step, from baking and carving to icing and adding special finishing touches.

A clear techniques section introduces the wide range of tools and equipment available to today's cake maker, and explains how to make sponge, fondant, buttercream and other recipes required. The 15 projects have easy-to-follow illustrated steps revealing how to create and decorate the cakes. Handy tips for short-cuts and creative variation ideas throughout allow you to tailor each cake to your timescale and taste (not forgetting the childrens' ideas!), resulting in bespoke cakes for any occasion. In addition, handy templates and cutting guides are provided to ensure easy and professional results every time. ... Read more

22. The Ultimate Ice Cream Book : Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More
by Bruce Weinstein
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688161499
Catlog: Book (1999-06-02)
Publisher: Morrow Cookbooks
Sales Rank: 2528
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Ultimate Ice Cream Book contains enough recipes to fill your summer days with delicious frozen desserts -- but after acquainting yourself with this book's hundreds of tempting concoctions, you'll want to use it every day of the year. With over 500 recipes, author Bruce Weinstein has put together the most comprehensive cookbook of its kind, covering just about every conceivable flavor of ice cream, sorbet, and granita; dozens of different recipes for shakes, malts, and other cold drinks; how to make your own ice cream cones; and toppings galore.

If you ever worried that you might not get full use out of your ice-cream maker, cast your doubts aside. Ice cream recipes feature such unusual flavors as lavender, chestnut, rhubarb, and Earl Grey tea. Even Weinstein's vanilla ice cream is anything but plain, with variations like Vanilla Crunch, Vanilla Rose, and Vanilla Cracker Jack. There is also a plethora of light, refreshing recipes for sorbets and granitas, with flavors like Apple Chardonnay, Coconut, and Kiwi. Top everything off with the author's recipes forhomemade sauces. Whether it's a special event or a midnight snack, The Ultimate Ice Cream Book has what you need to make any occasion a little sweeter.

... Read more

Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Addictive Ice Cream Book
I don't usually share my thoughts about cookbooks that I buy, but I have to say that this book is truly addictive. When I first started making the ice creams in the book I stuck to the recipes that didn't require eggs. The author calls them Philadelphia style, but my family calls them delicious. All the ingredients called for are fresh. Fresh berries, fresh peaches, fresh cream. I like it that the strawberry ice cream requires so few ingredients. But my husband grew up eating frozen custard so I decided to try a few of the recipes that required a little more cooking. Beat the eggs, add the sugar, beat in some flour or cornstarch to help thicken the custard, heat the milk - it scared me at first, I'm not a great cook. But I did it. The custard was rich and smooth. Then came the fresh fruit. We're totally addicted. And it's nice knowing that there's nothing artificial going into our ice cream and frozen custards. I also like the fact that all the eggs we eat are being cooked first. After reading a few of the reviews here, I decided to try an experiment. So many people said they were staying away from the odd flavors, so I made some - sweet potato and green tea. We're hooked. They're so good. Someone else said you shouldn't add flour to ice. I made the mint ice cream recipe from this book without adding the cornstarch as the recipe called for. The ice cream was icy, grainy is what my husband called it. So I made it again just as the recipe required and it was perfect and has become an instant staple in our freezer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Diverse array of recipes - something for everyone!
I just got my new ice cream maker and I purchased this book and the book "Gelato!" to get started. I found this book to be my favorite of the two. It is fairly straightforward and no-frills, and it's not the type of book to sit and read in an armchair ("Gelato!" is that type of book, with a history of Gelato making and rich text and accompanying photos). But this book has several recipes (rich to not-as-rich) for the basic flavors, and offers several variations on most of the recipes (such as grapefruit-kiwi sorbet after the main recipe for grapefruit sorbet).

Most of the recipes appear to be very easy to follow. If there is a complicated recipe, it's good bet he offers a simpler one for the same flavor, with a clear description of what the differences in your final product are likely to be. I haven't used my machine that much yet, but I have found the recipes I have tried from this book to be easy to make, with delicious results. It doesn't offer gelato recipes, but has many many ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt recipes. I think it will be a very useful companion to anyone's ice cream making at home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Icy delight
Very few commercial ice creams can stand up to homemade. Oh, I know. I have my commercial favorites too. When you make your own, however, you're in control of everything. Too sweet? Cut down the sugar a little. Too rich? Substitute half and half or milk for some of the cream. You want a flavor that doesn't come in the stores? Then it's time to bite the bullet and make your own.

You'll find details on ice cream machines in this book, as well as the differences between (and pros and cons of) ice cream made with and without eggs, details on flavoring ice creams, and tips for making "mix-ins" (cookies, crackers, etc.) that'll stay crunchy longer. You'll even find three recipes for ice cream cones in here!

This cookbook packs a lot of punch into a surprisingly small amount of space. Let's use Pumpkin Ice Cream as an example. Below it you have four variations listed: Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, Pumpkin Raisin Ice Cream, Pumpkin Rum Ice Cream, and Pumpkin Seed Ice Cream. Mr. Weinstein could have done this a number of ways. He could have printed up a new recipe for each variation. He could have left them out entirely. Or he could have put the traditional paragraph of "oh, and you could try adding this, and this, or this." In the first case you pay more for a cookbook that could have been smaller. In the middle case, we would have been bereft of many extra fantastic recipes. In the last case, when we sat down to pick a recipe and make out our grocery list, we would have failed to read the last paragraph, and we'd eternally find ourselves saying "Oh, next time," without ever making the variations. So this is PERFECT. I wish more cookbooks did this. The variations are 1-3 sentence quick directions, but easy to pick out and implement. They're also listed as individual recipes in the index, so you won't have trouble finding them if you lose them.

You'll find a fantastic array of flavors. Apple Butter Ice Cream, for instance. Avocado Ice Cream, with a Gazpacho recipe to accompany it--I guess you can eat ice cream for dinner! The Banana Ice Cream and the Banana Ice Cream Philadelphia Style (no eggs) come with a stunning array of variations. When Mr. Weinstein suggests Bubble Gum Ice Cream, he even provides the toll-free number of a company that sells bubble gum flavoring! Now that's service for you. The book also includes sorbets, granitas, toppings, and ice cream drinks.

In all, this is the best ice cream book I've ever laid my hands on, and we have at least four such cookbooks. Mr. Weinstein has created a true treasure of ice cream creation, and deserves no less than a full five stars for his glorious work.

5-0 out of 5 stars still the best ice cream book ev er
i've had this book for three years and it's the only ice cream book i ever use. i have others including ben and jerry's, but so many of ben and jerry's recipes use raw eggs which is not safe. and they don't give alternative ways to cook them. mr weinstein on the other hand, cooks all of the eggs that go into his custard based ice creams and that's important. but weinstein also has recipes for ice cream without eggs which are just as rich and delicious. i've bought this book for everyone i know with an ice cream maker and i've bought it along with an ice cream maker as a gift for friends that don't have either one. i guess i'm not alone - just read the rest of the reviews here, when i say the i think this is the best and only ice cream book for sale worth having.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great variety of recipes
I own this book and Ben and Jerry's and I like them both. However, this one is my favorite because it is more comprehensive. It is also nicely organized by recipe. Many flavors will have recipe variations listed below the main recipe. The Ben and Jerry's book is quite old and only has a few of their popular flavors which are listed under generic names and not the names sold in stores. If I did it over again, I would save some money and only get this book. ... Read more

23. The Church Ladies' Divine Desserts : Heavenly Recipes and Sweet Recollections
by Brenda Rhodes Miller
list price: $25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399147802
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 296598
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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The African American church-going experience is richly defined through the recipes and stories collected in Brenda Rhodes Miller's The Church Ladies' Divine Desserts: Heavenly Recipes and Sweet Recollections. Throughout the book, Miller introduces us to many church ladies and shares their sweet yet significant contributions to their neighborhood churches and communities.

The phrase "church social" is equivalent to homemade and the recipes are of the sort one would expect to find on the tables at a church social or bake sale, ranging from Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to Sweet Potato Pie. Boxed cake mixes are forbidden with this crowd and Miller even includes a story of one church lady from her childhood who was quite comfortable sending individuals back home if they had brought "store-bought" baked goods to a gathering.

The stories and church-lady bios make for pleasant reading, and the recipes in this book are great to have on hand the next time you're asked to bring dessert to a social gathering. Whether you need a tasty and tart fresh lime pie or a chocolate brownie recipe that requires more effort than just adding water, The Church Ladies' Divine Desserts is a welcome and comforting resource, full of rich flavor as well as history. --Teresa Simanton ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good one...
I liked the pictures and the author's comments. The recipes are plain and simple. This is an interesting and easy to follow cookbook. Good price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feel Good All Over...
Even though this is a cookbook, it is too cute for words! I love, love, love the concept! I have finished the book already and haven't cooked a thing! Must have in any library! Just makes you feel good all over.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yummy!
Brenda Rhodes Miller's The Church Ladies' Divine Desserts: Heavenly Recipes and Sweet Recollections is an excellent cookbook and a beautiful tribute to the wonderful ladies who keep our churches going. The cakes are out of this world delicious! I've been working my way through it much to the delight of my hungry friends and family.

Kimberley Lindsay Wilson, author of 11 Things Mama Should Have Told You About Men

5-0 out of 5 stars The Church Ladies Divine Deserts makes our spirits soar
The Church Ladies Divine Deserts is an indispensable combination of great recipes and hearty doses of oral history and advice. There is a long tradition of "church ladies" involvement in every facet of the secular and sacred traditions of their faith based institutions. One of the most important is that of nourishing the palate with the delectable deserts that grace the tables of the church dinners and the dining room tables in their homes. Brenda Miller, the wife of a minister, has collected the recipes and the stories behind them from the "church ladies" all over the country. Every cook should buy it. Every reader who wants to know more about some of our country's best traditions should also read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Reading cookBook, an entirely new experience.
This cookbook is a great resource for people planning parties. All of the recipes are desserts that are very easy to make and fun to eat. The best part is that they are very impressive looking. I especially love the heartfelt stories and the interesting originations of the recipies. You can make 2 or 3 different desserts for a party, then discuss the story 'reflections' as you get fat eating them. Brenda Rhodes Miller writes clear instructions and also gives suggestions for desserts that taste great together. The results are delicious! Definatly a keeper. ... Read more

24. Hey There, Cupcake! : 35 Yummy Fun Cupcake Recipes For All Occasions
by Clare Crespo
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971793565
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Melcher Media
Sales Rank: 3694
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Book Description

Cupcakes have captivated the nation, and Clare Crespo makes them like no one else.In Hey There, Cupcake! 35 Yummy Fun Cupcake Recipes For All Occasions, Crespo bakes up tropme l'oeil cupcakes for every occasion, proving they can look like balls of yarn, fried eggs, or peppermint candies-and taste just as fantastic as they look. Cute, accessible, and colorful, this cookbook contains 35 wildly inventive recipes, including: · Cupcake Burgers: Chocolate and yellow cupcakes sliced and frosted to look like a burger topped with lettuce and tomato on a sesame seed bun. · Cubcakes: Caramel cupcakes frosted to look like koala, panda, and grizzly bears. · Pollination Cupcakes: Honey-flavored cupcakes frosted to look like flowers, topped with candy bees. · Six-Pack Cupcakes: Cola-flavored cupcakes stacked and iced to look like a six-pack of soda.In her acclaimed debut title, The Secret Life of Food, Crespo created recipes that rallied families to approach birthdays, holidays, and picnics with devilish creativity.Enthusiasm for Crespo and her food creations landed the irrepressible author on Today, Good Morning America, and a raft of cable shows, including the Food Network's Extreme Cuisine, Top 5, and Roker on the Road; HGTV's Smart Solutions; and the Style Network's You're Invited.The book also garnered high praise in publications as diverse as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, among others. ... Read more

25. The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook
by King Arthur Flour
list price: $29.95
our price: $17.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881506591
Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
Publisher: Countryman Press
Sales Rank: 305
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Americans spend over $550 million annually on Oreos, some indication of our cookie infatuation. Meeting that passion head-on, The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion offers 400-plus recipes for almost every cookie under the sun--from traditional favorites like oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies (13 recipes including the soft and crisp kinds, plus 11 variations, such a Orange-Pistachio Milk Chocolate Chippers); to global treats like shortbread, tuiles, springerle, and biscotti; to all kinds of bars and soft bites such as brownies, Whoopie Pies, and Hot and Sweet Ginger Squares.

The Cookie Companion is in the King Arthur tradition, which means that it's a teaching cookbook--one overflowing with tips, pointers, lore, and other compelling information. Thus, for example, the introduction to Special Roll-Out Sugar Cookies informs readers that thorough dough-rolling creates thin, snapping-crisp cookies, but roll the dough a bit thicker, and "you’ve got crunchy." Their no-detail-too-small introductory basics are greatly aided by the tour-de-force illustrations of Laura Hartman Maestro. For example, a box on bar-cookie cutting shows readers the five basic size configurations, depending on pan dimensions. Bakers who have routinely paused, knife in hand, before a pan of just-baked brownies, trying to decide how to end up with, say, 24 large squares, won't, following the illustrations, do so again. A section on cookie decoration is equally definitive, as is a final chapter on ingredients, which offers, for example, a full discussion of sugars, plus asides like "Is Splenda the Answer to Low-Calorie Baking" (maybe) and "Can I Substitute a Liquid Sweetener for a Dry One to Make My Cookies Sifter?" (sometimes, but never measurement for measurement).

With "Create-a-Cookie," a section that focuses on manipulating basic dough mixtures to make checkerboard and pinwheel cookies among others; recipes for glazes, icings, dips and finishes; illustrated equipment profiles; plus color photos that depict the cookies in all their edible glory, the book is, simply, a must-have for cookie bakers everywhere. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more

26. The Whimsical Bakehouse : Fun-to-Make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look!
list price: $27.50
our price: $17.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609608967
Catlog: Book (2002-08-20)
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Sales Rank: 12477
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Three neon-bright layers of cake, tilted at a jaunty angle and adorned with edible chocolate candles; a Jackson Pollock–inspired cheesecake spattered with chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter icing; and a swarm of plump bees perched atop a rainbow of candy-colored cupcakes—these are only a few examples of the unfettered creativity at work at the Riviera Bakehouse. There, mother-daughter bakers Kaye and Liv Hansen turn out some of the most charming, refreshingly eccentric cakes ever to grace a birthday or wedding celebration.

Kaye and Liv believe that a cake should taste as good as it looks, so they skip esoteric (and inedible) decorations in favor of simple buttercream, flavored whipped cream, and tinted candymaker’s chocolate, covering their luscious cakes with amusing designs and gorgeous color that are easy to make and delicious to eat. The cakes themselves are no less enticing, pairing old-fashioned favorites like Banana Cake and Spice Cake with sumptuous fillings such as French Custard and Chocolate Mousse. Simple step-by-step lessons, illustrated with photographs, explain how to re-create Liv’s charming chocolate designs, from the bright polka dots that shine against dark chocolate glaze to the shimmering stars that adorn the enchanting “Starry Night.” Templates for the delightful designs allow you to adapt these techniques to create your own unique decorations.

With time-tested tips and complete information on everything from mixing colors to adjusting pan sizes, the Hansens explain all you need to know to get started. Whether you’re dreaming of an elegant Chocolate Apricot Pecan Torte or a three-tiered butter cake filled with spiked mocha cream and embellished with fantastical spring flowers, The Whimsical Bakehouse is the ultimate guide to creating delicious, showstopping confections that are completely original.
... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best birthday cake ever...!
After my last feeble attempt at decorating my daughter's birthday cake, I decided that maybe I should take a class. But then I visited a friend who had just made her son one of the Whimsical Bakehouse's cakes. It was breathtaking! I ordered the book right then, and this weekend, made the Winter Wonderland cake. The cake itself was rich, delicious, and very easy to make. The buttercream icing, which is typically not my favorite, was equally heavenly, as was the raspberry mousse filling. But the real fun was in the decorating. Kaye Hansen is clearly an artist in the world's most delicious medium. Her instructions are easy to follow and written for average non-professional baker-types (like me). Armed with the decorating essentials they recommend in the introduction, I created a candy snowman, a small forest of trees, and a few dozen polka dots. The results were unbelievable -- the 3-D effect of the candy is difficult to describe, but it makes the cake come to life. I followed the recipes and candy-making instructions to a T, but next time, I hope to get more creative with the design. The book offers a range of projects that encompasses basic occasions (birthday, baby shower, wedding, seasonal, and of course, whimsical), but it really strives to teach techniques that send you on your own decorating adventures. I'm already contemplating my next trip! Well worth every penny, and a joy to explore -- buy this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!
I purchased this book because I enjoy baking birthday cakes for my children, but, I'm a novice cake baker/decorator and am in need of some guidance. The simple instructions and wonderful pictures are an asset and the recipes alone are worth the price of the book. Some decorating techniques are currently beyond my capabilities but they are inspiring and with each cake I'm improving my decorating skills. I was truly pleased by ALL the recipes I have tried. Each was as good, if not superior to the 'better' bakeshops in my city. I have made the house buttercream, cookies and cream filling, pinwheel cake, and vanilla cupcakes. Plus, by following their instructions, I made my first 3-tiered cake that didn't tilt to one side!

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
I bought this book because I was looking for fresh ideas on decorating cakes. I was absolutely amazed by the beautiful chocolate run-out designs shown here, (though the colors of the cakes themselves are a bit bright and tacky for my taste). I was a bit disappointed that the basic confectioners chocolate and candy colors are not available in my country but was more than compensated for that by the sumptuous recipes this book includes! I have tried several already and they are fabulous. This is absolutely the most original cake-decorating book I've ever seen. Go ahead and order!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for Cake Bakers
This book is filled with beautiful workd of art. Each and every cake has its own individual charm. All the recipes that I have made have been a huge hit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Tasty!
The cake and frosting recipes are delicious! You really can make a fun, decorative cake that catches attention -- but tastes fantastic too! I've done a lot of decorating that I was proud of the look, but almost embarrassed for people to eat. Not with this book! Even if you don't want/need to create a decorative cake, buy this book just for the recipes!

That being said, I only gave the book 4 stars because it is certainly not intended for the beginner. And I don't just mean the beginner decorator, but even the beginner baker. While the recipes are easier than they first appear, they do still require a pretty well-equipped kitchen. For instance, I was very glad to have a stand mixer when making Kaye's butter cream recipe which requires 15+ minutes of mixing!

Also, it seems that most of the decorating involves making things with melted chocolate wafers and adding it to the cake, rather than what I consider "traditional" cake decorating like borders, flowers, etc. But still worth it! ... Read more

27. Colette's Cakes : The Art of Cake Decorating
by Colette Peters
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316702056
Catlog: Book (1991-10-07)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 20987
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring cakes
This is the second book i have by Colette Peters,i like this one better.I like this one better because there are more cakes in buttercream & for beginners.Every one of her books are works of art & very inspiring.You will want to be able to make each & every cake in all of her books.I cant say enough about her talent & anyone else talent who can do these creations.For me personally,i found this book to be more useful.I dont like to work with fondant & i dont know anyone that thinks it taste well.So that reason & the fact that this book has more buttercream cakes,cakes for the beginner to the more advanced, makes this a better one for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and inspiring!
I love this book! It contains beautiful photographs of Colette's amazing cakes, and easy to understand instructions for creating them. It helps if you already know something about cake decorating, but her explanations are clear even if you are a novice. Throw away any preconceived notions you may have about what cakes are "supposed" to look like -- these are like nothing you have ever seen before. Certainly, these are not everyday creations, but for a very special occasion they would be worth the effort

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for the beginner ready to delve into cake deco!
I would have to say that this book may not be nearly as good as Colette's Christmas book, but it still gets a well deserved 5 stars!!!! The cakes are realistic for someone to make with a little skill in cake decorating and a willingness to "get over themselves" on whether or not they're able to do it. Even if one has never worked with fondant before, the books explanations are easy to follow. I especially like the incorporation of tools from around the house that can be used for cake decorating. This book is very good for the beginner ready to delve into cake decorating because it covers basic techniques in a simple to use format.

5-0 out of 5 stars Edible works of art!
Being a long time cake decorator I am always on the lookout for exciting new cake decorating books. I had checked out Colette's Cakes: The Art of Cake Decorating so many times from our local library that my daughter gave me a copy as a present. Since then my daughter has given me all of Colette's other books too! Colette has the most original creative ideas and decorates cakes like a true artist using cake and icing for her medium. I have made the cactus cake more times than I can count and people are always amazed that it is a cake and actually tastes good! This book is definately worth purchasing and so are all of her other ones too!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
The cakes made in this book are those that would be made once in a life time. Not for the everyday decorator looking for something different. These cakes are too different. ... Read more

28. Baking With Julia: Based on the Pbs Series Hosted by Julia Child
by Dorie Greenspan
list price: $40.00
our price: $25.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688146570
Catlog: Book (1996-11-01)
Publisher: Morrow Cookbooks
Sales Rank: 3807
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Television cooking shows are occasionally moderately entertaining to watch, but as sources for usable recipes and good cooking ideas, they are hit or miss at best. Cookbooks based on cooking shows are even less likely to be useful in the kitchen. One shining exception is Julia Child's "Master Chef" series. One of the best cooking shows ever produced, it also yielded some wonderful cookbooks, including Cooking With Master Chefs. The latest is Baking With Julia, which features the creations of 26 top bakers. All are artists with flour, eggs, butter, and the other ingredients of their craft. Writer Dorie Greenspan is a master at her craft as well. The paste for eclairs, she writes, is transformed from "ordinary-looking batter" into "a puffed pastry that appears to be threatening flight." It's all definitely good enough to eat. ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Atlas for Baking Techniques
As other reviewers have said, this volume is one of the most frequently consulted books in my library of over 250 cookbooks. I began baking from it just because it was my latest book on baking. Then, I began toing to it when the results of baking recipies found in other books did not pan out as well as I expected. It was also directly responsible for my acquiring a heavy duty KitchenAid stand mixer, although I was able to quite successfully do recipes involving some heavy duty dough even without the mixer. But, the mixer did make it easier.

One of the primary lessons I learned from my comparing recipes in this book to other books is that these recipes are fully up to professional bakers' standards. No dumbing down here. My best evidence is when I tried making cinnamon buns using two other recipies and the results were simply inferior to what one could buy from Entenmens at the supermarket I then made the same product using the Child recipe and I produced definitely superior results.

Please be aware that these recipes were not developed by Julia Child and Julia Child did not write the book. This does not detract from the quality of the book, just the quality of the credit. The writer, Dorrie Greenspan, has done several other books on baking, all with a very high quality. Julia's collaborators, all major talents in baking, include such stars as Nick Malgieri, do nothing but increase the value of the volume.

This book is at it's best as an introduction to all the different types of baking for a person who has time to deal with the finer points of baking things like artisnal breads and sticky buns. Yes, a stand mixer is recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not for the Novice
I have made everything in this book except the wedding cake. I believe a good deal of the recipes have been demonstrated on television on the "Cooking with Julia" series. The reason I am thinking this book is not for the novice is that the recipes are rather complicated and have an assumption that the baker knows what "normal" looks like. For instance, they admonish the baker not to freak when the brioche dough takes a turn for the worst while combining. Well, if you have never baked a loaf of bread you would not be looking for the hallmarks of a good loaf. I have also found that their recipes are more complicated than necessary. I have made naan for years and the recipe is incredibly simple. Theirs, on the other hand, is pretty complex and, frankly, not quite as good. Ditto for the fougasse. Get your hands on a Betty Crocker cookbook if you are not an avid baker. If you are a bread fanatic, I heartily recommend "Whole Grain Breads By Machine or Hand". The author of this book is a contributer to Julia's baking book. This book is tops for bread making and is easy as... pie!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Reliable Baking Book
I am skeptical of most of the cookbooks that are based on PBS TV cooking shows, plus some of Julia Child's early cookbooks had many recipes that were involved and difficult for the casual home cook to do. This book, however, is a reliable resource that you can depend on for baked goods in your home oven.

The most important feature of this book is that all of the recipes are written by professional bakers (of whom there are some 2 dozen or so, some you will recognize, all are seasoned bakers from various commercial settings), and the recipes are scaled-down versions of reliable production recipes. The instructions are exemplary in their detail and completeness. All things considered, this is also an excellent learning tool for the beginner. When I need to learn something new (such as rugelach or naan), this is one of the first books I reach for.

The first chapter has an extensive section on basic techniques and words that you do not usually get in even a good baking book. It has some basic recipes that must be mastered before you go on to the recipes in the rest of the book, like genoise or meringue. It also has chapters on bread (Daily; Artisanal, Flatbreads), breakfast goods and quick breads, cakes (Everyday, Showstoppers, Wedding Cake, Cookies), and pastries (Pies, Grand, Savory). It has a good selection of all the major categories you are likely to want to do at home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I just want to say for the bad reviews in here, that I've made some things in here 2x, and one time they came out perfect, another not. Indeed, some of the techniques are so specific that if your oven temperature is 10 degrees off or the dough rises an extra 1/2 hour, it makes all the difference in the end result. Anyway, I love cookbooks where the chefs tell the truth and don't give bogus recipes -- this is one of them! I would make changes to suit my own taste of course, but this is a reliable book.

5-0 out of 5 stars baking enthusiast
What a wonderful book! I received this book as a gift 2 years ago and since then have refered to it repeatedly when I want to learn to make an authentic recipe from well-known bakers from across the country. The book covers all the basics: artisan breads, sweet breads, pies, etc. - and from there you learn to master and build a strong foundation for future recipes. The bagel recipe is so easy and delicious I now have friends requesting me to save some when I make them! While some of the recipes are definately time consuming, they are definately worth it should you find a few extra hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you are serious about becoming a better baker at home this book definately delivers! ... Read more

29. The Wedding Cake Book
by DedeWilson
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0028612345
Catlog: Book (1997-04-14)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 123646
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Although the wedding cake is usually one of the last details engaged couples settle on before the big day, it's just as important for setting the tone and style of the celebration as the flowers or the invitations. An elegant, towering Croquembouche studded with golden almonds and wrapped in clouds of spun sugar sends a different message than a rich-looking Gianduja Truffle Cake decorated with fresh fruit and dusted with gold powder or a White Chocolate Satin Apricot Cake adorned with flowers (click to see photos). Chef Dede Wilson believes that wedding cakes should be aesthetically pleasing, but above all should "reflect the tastes, beliefs, and desires of the bridal couple." With the aim of creating cakes that taste as good as they look, Wilson lends her expertise and creative spirit to the marvelous constructions in The Wedding Cake Book.

As much a cookbook as a source of inspiration, The Wedding Cake Book takes bakers--novices and experts alike--step by step through the process of conceptualizing, baking, assembling, and decorating wedding cakes of all levels of difficulty. Each recipe page includes the components needed to make the pictured cake (layers, fillings, decorating accouterments, equipment); the number of servings; the level of difficulty (easier, moderate, or complex); and the recipe and preparation instructions. Other chapters cover finishing touches, cake accompaniments such as sauces and fillings, equipment, and resources for special ingredients or professional equipment. Bakers looking for detailed instructions and delicious recipes and brides seeking ideas for the perfect cake for their postnuptial celebration will find what they're after in The Wedding Cake Book. ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Philosopy on Cakes
The first thing I noticed about this book was the beautiful photography (which always helps in making a recipe look appetizing) but the next thing was Ms Wilson's great philosophy on wedding cakes - that they should be beeautiful, but also taste great! Not only are there excellent recipes, but helpful information on how many people you can feed with what size cake and how much batter, icing, etc. you will need for any size layer. This is a book for the amateur as well as the professional.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must have
This book is a must have for anyone interested in baking cakes for weddings or any occasion! I am not a "professional" baker but I am a self-taught baker and many people order cakes, cookies, etc from me for weddings and special occasions. I found this book to be very detailed and easy to understand for anyone at any level of baking knowledge. Dede Wilson's explanations, tips and resource section are exceptional and not to mention the fabulous recipes. I particularly like how she has divided the recipes into cake sizes so that they are easily adaptable especially if you want to use the recipe for a simple party rather than a wedding. She also provides tidbits of knowledge on some flavors or methods that she has tried and have found not to be as successful as others and these insights can be very helpful down the road. I'd suggest this book to anyone and everyone, even if I wasn't already an avid baker this book would make me want to run out to the grocery store and straight back into the kitchen!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference Book For Recipes
This book is a good reference book for cake recipes. I have not yet attempted to make any cakes as some ingredients are hard to come by or never heard of before eg cake flour, chantilly cream. All the cakes look delicious though but most are royal iced or butter cream iced cakes, not many sugar paste or fondant iced cakes. This book has basic and few instructions on piping and making sugar flowers as most of the cakes in her book are decorated with just cream, berries or fresh flowers. If you are a cake decorator and are tired of making fruit cake, mud cake or madeira and wish to increase your recipe library, this book is perfect for you as long as you know where to get the ingredients.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent How To!
If you want to make a wedding cake, or just want to know how they are made, this is the book to get!

The author generously shares her expertise in planning, making, transporting, and storing wedding cakes in a very friendly and interesting format. After reading this book, I felt like I'm ready to be a pro. :-) Also the book has many, many recipes of creams and fillings. I didn't know a wedding cake could come in so many different flavor!

If you're looking for design ideas, however, this book is probably a bit outdated. I think Martha Stewart Weddings and The Perfect Wedding Cake have beautiful and elegant designs.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one wedding cake book ....
I am not a professional wedding cake baker. I work in the food industry though, and have baked wedding cakes and groom cakes (from this book) from family and friends. The family friend who made our wedding cake, used a recipe straight from this book as well- and went out to buy her own copy of the book afterwards. She has baked cakes professionally for quite a few years.

Dede wrote the book well, with detailed descriptions of how to go about making the cakes and the frostings described. I think an amateur could easily use this cookbook to create a cake that they would love -- and I think that 'experts' can learn something from the book, as well. Too many wedding cakes today could just as easily be made of frosting and styrofoam for all the flavor (or personality) which they have. White, shortening-based frosting towers of mediocrity seem to dominate the cakes used at weddings -- if that's what you're looking for, don't bother to look at this book.

If you want something which *might* be unusual (there are some cakes which could satisfy the more 'basic' wedding cake desires some might have) -- if what you want is a cake with actual flavor, not out of a box, and with potentially even, some personality to reflect the interests/backgrounds of the bride and groom -- this is a good place to look.

The Chocolate Raspberry Truffle recipe is divine, and simple. I've given the recipe out many times! I've used several recipes from this cookbook, for special occasions and also just to see what they tasted like. To be honest, one of the things that attracted me to the book is that it focuses on the multiple uses that the cakes could have -- and the fact that for someone who *is not* into frosting details, it isn't intimidating. If you want to create an elaborate frosted cake, you can easily do so (some are elaborate) -- but you can also create a more simple and elegant version if you want to. The cakes and frostings have enough personality to be able to stand without the fancy frostings, if you don't want an elaborate design.

The information about ingredients and where to get them etc. is also good - the author does talk about pesticide concerns with flowers etc., if people pay attention to what's written in her introduction/ingredient area and in the index as well.

I would recommend, though, that for people who aren't used to making things like divinity etc., it would be a good idea to have someone in the kitchen helping you the first time or two that you attempt the Italian Buttercream frosting. It helps to coordinate so that the various steps are ready at the same time, and makes it easier to make when you're first figuring out how it works.

Also one detail not mentioned -- the syrup-based frostings used, may need to be adjusted for altitude, if you try to make them based on temperature. Your boiling temperature etc. will change with altitude, so unless you're comfortable using the old-fashioned "hard ball" "soft ball" etc. stages, you'll want to contact your local Extension office to find out how you might need to adjust the recipes for your elevation. ... Read more

30. Splendid Soups : Recipes and Master Techniques for Making the World's Best Soups
by JamesPeterson
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471391360
Catlog: Book (2000-09-22)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 9505
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Everyone loves soup, the world's most versatile dish. James Peterson's Splendid Soups, first published in 1993 and now updated, celebrates that fact with stunning comprehensiveness. Offering almost 300 tantalizing recipes ranging from the most pristine consommés to the heartiest peasant stews, the book also provides extensive technical information, tips, and serving suggestions that make it a true soup tutorial. The book's "ultimate goal," says Peterson, "is to give the reader the tools with which to invent,"an aim he realizes with clarity, warmth, and precision. It's hard to imagine a cook who wouldn't embrace this authoritative yet companionable work.

The recipe range is vast. In 10 chapters that cover all the soup bases, including yogurt, bread, and fruit mixtures, Peterson offers an encyclopedic dish array. Among the entries new to this edition are Roast Garlic and Acorn Squash Soup, Thai-Style Hot and Sour Blue Crab Soup, and Dried Fruit Soup, a traditional Swedish specialty. Especially noteworthy is Peterson'sintroductory section on ethnic soups; a section offering strategies for reducing a soup's fat content (don't let meat broths boil, which homogenizes fat and liquid); and advice on what to drink with soup. With 40 color photos taken by the author, an equipment guide, and a useful chart for soup improvisation, the book is better than ever and a must-have for any kitchen library. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book, but not for beginners
I am a self-described soup addict. I make soups at least once a week year round, even when the weather in my hometown is well above 100 degrees! This book is an excellent book, great for someone who has spent a lot of time making soups and is willing to put the time and effort into getting the ingredients, and doing the chopping and cooking that is required. It has nearly every soup imaginable in it and is great for coming up with great ideas for your own new recipes. However, the reason I can't give it 5 stars is that, as others have mentioned before, it does not go into intimate detail in the instructions, it includes some hard-to-find or largely unfamiliar ingredients, and some of the recipes are difficult. If you are a beginner, you should probably stay away from this book. If you are soup obsessed like me, this book is well worth buying and will become an invaluable source of information for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Guide to Cold Weather Meals
If the cold weather has you thinking of good simple hot dishes, then this is the book for you. Just about any soup you ever thought about making is here, along with some exotics you've probably never heard of. But they are all great taste treats! And as if the recipes themselves aren't enough, it also has histories of many of the soups, which will give you both an insight into why they are made the way they are, and also ideas for possible variations. The perfect gift for anyone who loves the simple hot soup on a cold blustery morning.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
great book. i tend to use it as a base for creating soups (e.g., a turkey soup that was based on 3 different veggy soup recipes). i've bought a copy for a buddy and for my brother-in-law and they both love the book (for some reason, men in my family do the cooking!!)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Last Book on Soup You Will Ever Need
This book is great. I bought it for the Senegalese Peanut soup recipe and it was a stunning winner. When the weather turns colder and darker I make a lot of soups and this is the best book I have seen on the subject.
I have been reading some of the other reviews and I am somewhat amazed. I guess the net of all of these remarks is that this book is not a step-by-step for beginners. It assumes you know something about cooking. It does not give exact instructions. It gives outlines with options for branching out. This is exactly the way I like to cook, so it is perfect for my style.

5-0 out of 5 stars Making Stock
After checking this book out of the library, and cooking my first presentable soups. I ended up getting the book for my library. My friends and family ended up buying the book for me after eating a few of the soups from this book. Mr Peterson includes alternate finishes as well as ideas on what to do with the leftovers. I've been using this book for a few months now and good soup is part of my weekly ritual now. As an amateur cook I found the book easy to follow and enjoyably elegant to have around. I end up reading it on the couch figuring out what I'm going to eat for supper. I've also found it an easy book to improvise with I've converted the avocado soup into dip for parties, and used the roasted garlic and acorn squash soup as a sauce. I'm looking forward to reading his sauce and vegetable books as well. Mr. Peterson I thank you for the good food... ... Read more

31. Semi-Homemade Desserts: Easy Delicious Desserts and Nothing is Made from Scratch
by Mary Hart, Sandra Lee
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401359272
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Major
Sales Rank: 1095
Average Customer Review: 3.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Sandra Lee—author of the New York Times bestseller Semi-Homemade Cooking—returns with over 100 quick and delicious recipes for everyone's favorite course—dessert.

Sandra Lee shares her Semi-Homemade technique of combining fresh ingredients with specially selected store-bought items—from cake mixes to Cool Whip. You can now create desserts that are as simple to make as they are sensational to eat. Each Semi-Homemade treat tastes as if it were made 100% from scratch—but is created in a fraction of the time.

Semi-Homemade Desserts even includes a chapter with fun-to-make recipes from your favorite celebrities as well as a bonus chapter to help you host the most incredibly creative gatherings for your friends and family. The best part is you can do it all in minutes, with products right from your cupboard. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mary Hart was right. These desserts are beautiful!
I bought this book after seeing it on Entertainment Tonight. Mary Hart raved about it, so I thought I would check it out and see. I didn't buy Sandra Lee's first book, so while the whole concept of quick cooking is familiar to me, this particular author wasn't. I have to tell you, I'm impressed! The main reason I bought the book was that I was having a birthday party for a good friend and I wanted to bake a special cake, instead of picking one up at the bakery. I was looking for creative ideas that haven't been done a million times and don't take a pastry chef to create. Well, that's exactly what I got! I narrowed it down to about 4 recipes and finally chose Sharon Stone's recipe for Sexy Sweet Chocolate Layer Cake. (There is a special section with recipes from TV and movie stars, which is fun to browse through.) The cake looked like something you would order in an expensive restaurant, which was just what I was looking for. My friends couldn't believe that I actually made it myself! It looked that good. It only took about an hour and I have never made a torte cake before. Everybody loved it and now they all think I am this great cook, which couldn't be further from the truth!

What I like best about this book is that most cookbooks, especially dessert books, seem to rehash the same old ideas, but this book really does offer some good ideas that I haven't seen before. And it offers lots of different ways to decorate plain desserts so they look special. So many times, a dessert might taste wonderful, but it just looks like a plain chocolate cake on a plain white plate. Sandra Lee clearly has an eye for presentation. She finds a way to make the desserts look as amazing as they taste. That alone is worth the price of the book. Personally, I love having her recommend brands in each recipe. I don't always know the best brands and if I prefer a different brand or can't find the one she suggests, I figure I can just swap it out. To me, it is just an extra service that the author provides that the reader can choose to use or not use.

Looking through this book is a treat. The book is thoughtfully organized, with separate chapters for different kinds of desserts, like chocolate or kids desserts, and different kinds of occasions, like holidays or birthdays. You don't have to be a good or even experienced cook to turn out special desserts. I found myself dogearing pages of all the desserts I want to try. None of them look all that difficult and they all look gorgeous. You will definitely get your money's worth with this book, especially with the holidays coming up.

1-0 out of 5 stars Did she write this on a dare?
I think somebody must have dared her to use as many brand name products as possible. I've got nothing against using mixes, but she takes it to extremes - in less time than it takes to thaw Cool Whip, you can toss cream and sugar into a mixer and have real whipped cream; if you have a stand mixer, you don't even have to pay much attention to it. And if you don't have a stand mixer, you should - that's something that really saves time and money. If you make desserts often, "from scratch" (generally just sugar, eggs, and flavoring) is cheaper than Cool Whip and frosting cans, even when you include the cost of the mixer.

Save your money - look on the sides of your cake mixes, they generally have ideas just as good as hers.

1-0 out of 5 stars Run! Don't Walk away from this book
Amazon really needs to let you give a negative rating. I've seen the "author" on Food Network and was amazed at what a horrible show she has. When I saw her book I had to check it out. It's just as bad. If you really don't have time to cook do yourself and your family a favor and find a good local bakery, or at least choose Sara Lee over Sandra Lee.

P.S. If you think that Katie Couric really does her own cooking I have a some beachfront property in Oklahoma I'd love to sell you.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is so bad, it is funny
I don't know why this was published because in my opinion, this is not a good book at all. I saw only a few recipes that might be worth making and one of them wasn't even hers. There is nothing else I can write about that is a positive in regards to this work.
Why didn't I like it? Well, for starters, the recipes seem very juvenille-like her kids made them up or something. The photos have the same look...they don't look professional. I have seen so much better in other books. She should of skipped the pictures altogether if she couldn't hire a decent food stylist.I know that her gimmick is semi-made dishes but that concept seems to carry over in the making of this book. I have never seen such sloppy work in a cookbook. For example, the blue frosting on her hanukkah cake appears to be loaded with tiny lumps-evidently the icing was not mixed completely. The naming of the white chocolate log was not accurate since this was not a white chocolate dessert as one might assume; rather, it was a rolled cake with a plain white frosting. Some of the recipe ideas were really lame. An example of this was the chocolate box with mousse. Who in their right mind is going to consume 1 1/2 large-sized chocolate bars for a dessert? This is how much chocolate was needed to construct a chocolate box to be filled with mousse for one person.The romantic recipes were so stupid that it is not even worth writing about them and there is this recipe for chocolate covered cherries that suggest serving them in a wine glass with the juice from the marachino cherry jar. Huh? The most obvious clunker in this disaster of a book was the crown cake. A cake was made and circled with a chocolate crown. It was a nice idea, but why did she have to have the crown made with the chocolate brushed-side outwards? Professional chefs always brush melted chocolate on molds so that the solid side will be shown to the viewer.
This whole book looked like something published for a church social-strictly amateur. Actually, I have seen local community cookbooks that looked better than this one.
I was very irritated with this book as readers will find obvious. The idea of semi-homeade recipes is a good one, but there were only 3 decent ones in the book that truly fit this profile. Of course, it is a matter of opinion but to me, it appears that there were more personal photos of the author, than good reliable recipes. This author seems to be a "Martha Stewart Wannabee".
I just have to stab at this monster of a book one more time. There are photos of elaborate room displays...again, nice addition but totally useless. The displays were overladen with stuff. No one could actually eat off a table with all the decorative accents put on them, never mind all the stringy things (crystals, beaded cords and the like) hanging from the ceiling all over the place.
I noted that this author even has her own magazine (just like you-know-who). I can't imagine... I recommend an excellent alternative publication if readers are looking for good recipes using boxed ingredients. Try "Taste of Home".

1-0 out of 5 stars I wish there was a rating lower than 1...
if I could use negative number I would. This woman and her way of not cooking is meant to encourage a distain for cooking. Too many people already avoid cooking and feed their families a steady diet of bad food, takeout and foods filled with fat, sugar and preservatives.

Please, if you love your family, don't buy this book. It belongs in the garbage right beside Sandra Lee's food. ... Read more

32. Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook
by Betty Crocker
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764566350
Catlog: Book (2002-09-03)
Publisher: Betty Crocker
Sales Rank: 7615
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The complete guide to creative baking with cake mix–new from Betty Crocker

No one knows cake mix–and how to make it look and taste great–like Betty Crocker! This easy cookbook and guide helps home bakers use cake mixes to make 150 tempting cakes, cookies, crisps, crumbles, and other delicious dessert treats. There are recipes and instructions for Bake & Take Cakes (cakes that travel well for busy cooks-on-the-go), Holiday Cakes (perfect for year-round festivities from Valentine’s Day to Halloween to Christmas), and even a Fabulous Frosting and Glazes chapter (with easy decorating and frosting ideas and illustrated how-to’s). From simple bar cookies and cheesecakes to showstoppers like a Ballet Slippers Cake, a White Wedding Cake, and even a Gingerbread Cake Cottage, there are recipes to satisfy the culinary cravings of both beginning and seasoned bakers. More than seventy full-page, four-color photographs–plus step-by-step line illustrations–make this book very visual and user-friendly, while the book’s concealed wire binding, which allows it to open flat, is perfect for convenient cooking. The result? Proof positive that great desserts really are a piece of cake–with Betty Crocker. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars From now on....It's dessert every day!
I love baking cakes & making sweets. But being a mother of two little ones I don't have enough time (or energy) to make cakes from scratch. This book is a treat for me, because I don't need a lot of planning ahead nor to spend too much time in the kitchen!!

A few days ago I made the Peanut Butter Cake & it looked impressive and was delicious!! I felt like a million dollars presenting it.

The book is full of appetizing pictures for nearly all the recipes, easy to use & follow directions, and has lots of tips & ideas. It also tells you how many calories are in a slice (for all you gals who want to know, although my advise is to skip that particular line).

In the book you will find all kinds of recipes for cakes, trifles, cupcakes, cookies & more.
Indulge yourself & your family.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun and delicious!
Every recipe in this outstanding cookbook is easy to make and delicious to eat! This book is in colour with lots of pictures, so you can decide what to bake based on how the cake looks as well as how the recipe sounds.

From quick "bake-and-take" cakes for church potlucks, to elaborately designed masterpieces for parties and weddings, to brunch cakes, this book has it all! Why no try the decadent Tres Leches Cake, or the fun Chocolate-Chip Cookie Surprise Cake, or maybe you want a cake in the shape of a train. This book has it all!

5-0 out of 5 stars Added Features Make This A Best of Class Cake Mix Cookbook
This cookbook comes in a handy spiral-bound edition, so there is no propping pages open with bags of flour or pounds of butter (as I have been caught doing in the past). The book is also completely printed in full-color, so the pictures are bright and glossy. About 80% of the recipes include a picture of the finished product.

There is an intriguing introduction where the authors take you on a journey through the mystical world of cake mixes. They begin in 1943 in the Betty Crocker labs and kitchens, and move from there through the trends of the 1960's and into the future of cake mixes in the 21st century. The pictures and magazine ads they reproduce in this book are historical and fun. Before the recipes begin, there is a how-to section on preparing your pans, servings per cake, how to cool and split (torte) a cake, frosting and glazing cakes, and even high-altitude baking. Page 15 features a "Customer Q&A" about the SuperMoist cake mixes.

The recipes are divided into chapters: Bake-and-Take, Wonderfully Indulgent, Special Celebrations, Heavenly Holidays, Come for Brunch, Scrumptious Desserts, Easy Cookies and Bars, and Fabulous frostings and Glazes. The cookbook also adds sections on Helpful Nutrition and Cooking Information, and an alphabetical Index.

The Heavenly Holidays sections features cakes for beginning cake decorators. These cakes require no previous cake decorating experience, and look beautiful. There are chocolate heart cakes for Valentine's Day (no heart pan needed!), an adorable Easter Bunny, a Flag Day cake made with fresh fruit, a Jack O' Lantern cake (no 3-D cake pan needed), and even Rudolph Cupcakes which can be made with children.

My favorite recipe from this cookbook is on page 18, Chocolate Turtle Cake. If you like the combination of nuts with chocolate, this recipe is for you! The recipe has a full-color picture, a tip for serving, and nutritional information. All of the recipes in this cookbook feature nutritional information. The turtle cake recipe calls for a devil's food cake mix, water, oil, eggs, caramels, evaporated milk, pecans, and chocolate chips. The recipe requires a bit of planning as caramels are not a staple item that I keep on hand. The final product, however, is well worth the planning. The cake is moist, gooey, and a favorite for entertaining, especially when served warm.

The Chocolate Graham Streusel Cake on page 20 is a classic recipe from the 1970's. The recipe features an advertisement that was used in the 1970's, a tip for glazing the cake, nutritional information, and a yellow graham variation. The recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, devil's food cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and a recipe of glaze (provided on page 242). This recipe was a heavier, denser cake than normal, and as such, it was a little dry. It's a good recipe for a morning brunch or family coffee-style cake.

Even without a picture for every single recipe, this cookbook is an excellent value. The recipes are tried-and-true winners, and are family-friendly. The nutritional information for each recipe and the dietary guidelines in the back are an added bonus, it is a feature that most cake mix cookbooks prefer to gloss over. The full-color printing, alphabetical index, and spiral binding make this cookbook easy to use. A winner!

5-0 out of 5 stars No need to know how to bake...
I am not a baker nor a cook for that matter and was quite nervous when my sister asked me if i could host my nephew's playgroup last saturday at my house. Rather than just buy cupcakes from my local bakery I decided to be daring and try to make glad to have found this book...I made the cookies & cream torte and no one could believe it came from a box was incredible and not only the kids loved it but the parents did too!! (I can't wait to make this again just for me!!)

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST Cake Mix Ideas!
There are so many great ideas in this book I can't wait to try! I just got this book and already made the Rocky Road brownies since their so easy. Everyone loved them (and no one could tell it was from a mix either). I brought them to a dinner and there are lots of other ideas for Bake-and-Take cakes that will be perfect to bring to the office or to other friends. What I really like about this book is all the photos as well as the easy instructions. ... Read more

33. Williams-Sonoma Collection: Ice Cream (Williams Sonoma Collection)
by Mary Goodbody
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743243676
Catlog: Book (2003-05-12)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 9882
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, coffee: Everyone has a favorite flavor of ice cream. As a simple treat on a hot summer afternoon or an elegant finish to a special meal, ice cream is a versatile dessert that is delightfully easy to make at home.

Williams-Sonoma Collection Ice Cream offers more than 40 recipes for rich ice creams, tangy sorbets, and flavorful granitas. When delicious combinations of ingredients -- fresh cream, fruit at its peak of ripeness, fine-quality chocolate -- are combined and frozen in an ice-cream maker, the results are always sublime. From the crunch of ice creams made with candy, cookies, or nuts to those as smooth as caramel, there are plenty of irresistible choices inside these pages. In addition, an entire chapter devoted to more elaborate ice cream dishes will inspire you to use your favorite flavors to make impressive frozen desserts.

Tempting, full-color photographs of each ice cream make it easy to decide which one to prepare, and photographic side notes highlight essential ingredients and techniques, making Ice Cream more than just a fine collection of recipes. A comprehensive basics section and a detailed glossary will also provide you with everything you need to know to make delicious homemade ice cream your new favorite dessert.

From a scoop of creamy, old-fashioned ice cream to a dish of sweet sorbet or a spoonful of rich gelato -- iced desserts are a refreshing way to enjoy an infinite array of wonderful, sweet flavors.

Williams-Sonoma Collection Ice Cream offers more than 40 easy-to-follow recipes that allow you to make all-time favorites as well as delicious new flavors. Whether you crave an irresistibly rich chocolate-hazelnut gelato, a light and tangy lemon sorbet, or the best vanilla ice cream you have ever tasted, the recipes inside will inspire you to serve ice cream for any occasion. This vividly photographed, full-color recipe collection promises to become an essential addition to your kitchen bookshelf.

"Once you have sampled the flavors inside, you will realize that homemade ice cream is simply the best there is!" ... Read more

Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars For photography, 10. For recipes, 2. Not the best book!
I bought a Krups ice cream machine two summers ago at Williams Sonoma along with The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein. This year, I purchased this book in the Williams Sonoma series and it's just not as complete as Weinstein's book. Williams Sonoma did a wonderful job on the photography and Ms Goodbody's recipes are fine, but for my money, The Ultimate Ice Cream Book has this one beat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Ice Cream
I bought an electric ice cream maker by GE at the store and had nothing but disasterous experiences with the recipes that came with it. In an attempt to try to get some use out of my investment I bought this book. Unlike the standard ice cream books it has many fruit recipes . My favorite, the one for blueberry ice cream, is always a hit because it has such an intense flavor and vibrant color.

I also especially like the fact that the book includes a recipe for peppermint ice cream since that recipe has been hard for me to find.

Overall the recipes work very well, the pictures are beautiful, and the instructions are easy to read. There is quite a selection of recipes in terms of time too. Many of the quick recipes do not involve egg (they involve milk and half&half instead) so they are faster than the others without the potential risk of tasting like scrambled egg if you do them wrong.

5-0 out of 5 stars Creamy Goodness
120 pages of rich colorful vibrant jump-off-the-page mouth-watering ice cream. Also including, but not limited to traditional sherbets, shakes and sorbet. Contains all the reliable recipes you'll ever need with simple step-by-step directions (complete with inventive options to please anyone's individual taste buds). From the standards like chocolate and mint chip, to peach and vanilla with all kinds of incredible mix-ins. Got a slightly "off" batch of cookies - throw it in your homemade ice cream and see what happens. This book proves that you don't have to be a pro to make some good old fashioned ice cream... make any dessert occasion just a little bit sweeter. Williams-Sonoma has a great collection of cook books (Breads, Salads, Pastas, Desserts, Soups, Vegatable, etc) - all are equally impressive with wonderful photography and easy instructions. A beautiful book. ... Read more

34. Grand Finales : The Art of the Plated Dessert (Grand Finales)
by TishBoyle, TimothyMoriarty
list price: $55.00
our price: $34.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471287695
Catlog: Book (1996-10-08)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 48940
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"A visually stunning and groundbreaking new book. Grand Finales: The Art of The Plated Dessert explores the intimate connection between flavor and presentation with recipes that are truly extraordinary. Thanks to the magnificent efforts of the pastry chefs in this book, the language of desserts will never be the same." -Jacques Torres, Le Cirque, New York A Gallery for the New Century A New Way to See, Taste, and Appreciate Neo-Classicism Echoes a classic dessert in form, preparation, or ingredients. Minimalism A single, primitive form supported by spare garnish. Illusionism Resembles a person, object, or scene. Architecturalism Features a prominent vertical component. Impressionism Communicates a theme or mood. Modernism Abstract forms with bold colors and a satirical edge. Performance Art Displays action at the touch of fork or spoon. Eclecticism Combines elements from other schools found herein. Fusionism Includes an ingredient or seasoning outside the European and American dessert tradition. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I'm a pastry student in Peru and I just can tell all the people that love pastry that this the best book I ever seen and I recommend a lot

5-0 out of 5 stars tough, but fun
A very, very awesome book. You have to be hard core to want this book. It took about 5 hours for me and some friends to make one of the desserts, but we had a blast. It measures everything out with wait, so you don't have to worry if you bought the jumbo eggs when the recipee assumes you are using large. If you like cooking, buy this book. If you don't like cooking, I still say buy this book.

The sorbets alone are worth the price of the book

5-0 out of 5 stars Grand Finales is a Grand book
The book "Grand Finales" is a book for all people who are interested in pastry and cooking. It is very discriptive and has many recipies with fondations so you can make mank differnet dishes.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic
First there is the beautiful photography that displays these creations marvelously. Just seeing these desserts can inspire an individual. You don't have to copy the dessert to a tee but pick and chose your garnishes to suit your own individual style and ability. The book is also loaded with recipes. Recipes that work. The use of weight to measure is much more accurate than cups and for those who only use cups and spoons, you can convert the recipes easily. Any cookbook has charts in it to help you. The book is well worth the price. Although it may seem intimidating many recipes are very do-able

4-0 out of 5 stars heavy on elaborate presentation
This book is great for presentation ideas, but really is only for accomplished pastry chefs. The recipes are given only in weight, and the presentations are so elaborate that they are really unpractical, even for most restaurants. Other books give more specific directions for some of the garnishing techniques. The biographies of the pastry chefs are interesting. A nice picture book. ... Read more

35. Icebox Desserts : 100 Cool Recipes for Icebox Cakes, Pies, Parfaits, Mousses, Puddings, and More
by Lauren Chattman
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155832271X
Catlog: Book (2005-05-25)
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Sales Rank: 69741
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Book Description

These incredibly easy-to-put together do-ahead desserts are made with wholesome ingredients and creative flavor combinations.Eye-popping full-color photos, clear easy-to- follow instructions. ... Read more

36. The Perfect Wedding Cake
by Kate Manchester
list price: $22.50
our price: $15.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584790849
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 117955
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Perfect Wedding Cake is an inspirational guide for the bride and groom on how to choose a wedding cake that reflects the style of their wedding. It covers everything they need to know, including how to select a cake design and baker, when to cut and serve the cake, and how to choose delicious flavor combinations and a cake to complement the season. For thosewho want to bake their cake at home, the book includes basic but delicious cake and frosting recipes created by a leading pastry chef that can be executed in a home kitchen.

Thirty-five full-color photographs of gorgeous wedding cakes showcase a wide variety of inspirational styles and types-from traditional tiered cakes to contemporary alternatives such as jewel-like single-serving cakes-created by some of the most respected chefs working today, including Sylvia Weinstock, FranÁois Payard, Gail Watson, and Ron Ben-Israel. An extensive resource guide of the top wedding cake bakers in the United States completes the book. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book...
As a wedding planner, I can attest that anyone who says this book is 'disappointing' has simply never gone through the wedding cake books currently on the market. Most of the cakes in those books look dated and uncontemporary. This is, without a doubt, the prettiest book on wedding cakes. The cakes themselves are stylish, very today, and simply the most beautiful we have ever seen. Bravo Ms. Manchester et al. on a fabulous job!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE FOR EVERY BRIDE
This enchanting book is packed with all the information a bride needs about selecting, serving, and preserving a wedding cake.

Yummy photos of great cakes. A couple of recipes for the intrepid. Tips about choosing a baker. Wedding cake etiquette (you wouldn't want to smash one of these cakes in the groom's face). A great resource guide that covers the entire U.S. and locations overseas.

All this and the history of wedding cakes, too.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
Sadly, I was extremely underwhelmed by this book. It is just a collection of some above-average cake decorating. There are no instructions on how to make the sugar paste flowers or decorations. A better book would be Margaret Braun's Cakewalk. This book, however, is great for beginners or clueless brides. For us pastry folks, I recommend you pass on it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Book
Nice coffee table book for wedding planners and cake decorators.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't judge this book by its cover
The only cake I actually considered from this book was the one on the cover. I was not pleased with many of the other selections on the inside. If you are looking for something traditional, which I am, then this book is probably not for you. Even if you were to find something you liked, I must caution you that this book lacks the instructions needed to be provided to a baker/designer in order to accomplish the re-creation of many of these cakes. There are some impressive masterpieces in this book but none that I haven't already seen displayed in various bridal magazines that I have previously purchased. Also, the cakes in this book carry a heavty price tag so be prepared to go over budget if you decide to set your heart on one of them. ... Read more

37. Chocolate : A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865476357
Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
Publisher: North Point Press
Sales Rank: 528560
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Book Description

A delectable journey into the world of chocolate--from manufacturing to marketing, French boutiques to American multinationals--by the award-winning author of Olives.

Science, over recent years, has confirmed what chocolate lovers have always known: the stuff is actually good for you. It's the Valentine's Day drug of choice, has more antioxidants than red wine, and triggers the same brain responses as falling in love. Nothing, in the end, can stand up to chocolate as a basic fundament to human life.

In this scintillating narrative, acclaimed foodie Mort Rosenblum delves into the complex world of chocolate. From the mole poblano--chile-laced chicken with chocolate--of ancient Mexico to the contemporary French chocolatiers who produce the palets d'or--bite-sized, gold-flecked bricks of dark chocolate--to the vast empires of Hershey, Godiva, and Valrhona, Rosenblum follows the chocolate trail the world over. He visits cacao plantations, meets with growers, buyers, makers, and tasters, and investigates the dark side of the chocolate trade as well as the enduring appeal of its product.

Engaging, entertaining, and revealing, Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light is a fascinating foray into this "food of the gods."
... Read more

38. Cupcakes
by Elinor Klivans
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811845451
Catlog: Book (2005-08-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 521423
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39. Family Fun Birthday Cakes : 50 Cute And Easy Party Treats
by FamilyFun Magazine, Deanna F. Cook
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786853980
Catlog: Book (2003-07-30)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 20925
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous..and a must have cookbook
This book is terrific. It has wonderful cakes to make for
children's parties. I already had several basic cake
decorating books but this one had ideas that I had never seen before and which were easy but didn't look it. I made the under the sea cake for my daughters 6th birthday and it was a huge hit. It is my number one go to book when I am about to make a cake for a child's party. A definite must have for every family with children. ... Read more

40. The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes
by Robin Davis, Frankie Frankeny
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811821846
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 8387
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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"Consider, young Jedi: Why bake a plain old cookie when you can bake a super-Chewie Wookiee Cookie?" So begins the delightful Star Wars Cookbook. Aimed at young cooks, but fun for all ages, the cookbook provides recipes for treats such as Princess Leia Danish Dos, Twin Sun Toast, Tusken Raider Taters, Sandtrooper Sandies, and the house favorite, Boba Fett-uccine. (What better way to get young Jedi knights to eat their broccoli?) Author Robin Davis's directions are extremely thorough and safety oriented (as she notes, "the calm and perceptive mind of a Jedi warrior will enable you to prevent most mishaps in the kitchen"), and perfect for kids who are new to cooking. The spiral-bound pages are lightly plasticoated, so if you spill some milk while concocting C-3PO Pancakes, it's easily wiped off. The highlights of the book are Frankie Frankeny's terrific photographs of Star Wars action figures posing with the food--R2-D2 encounters giant frozen R2-D2 Treats that look remarkably similar to him, while Darth Vader raises his fist at Bossk the bounty hunter atop a wall of Bossk Brownies as Darth's henchmen look on. And who could resist a shot of Jabba Jiggle? There's Jabba the Hutt positioned on a pile of oozing lime Jell-O®. Whether you're a Star Wars fan or just looking for a way to get the kids to feel the Force in the kitchen, The Star Wars Cookbook is great fun, and tasty, too! --Rebecca A. Staffel ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars chew on this!
If you feel like doing the jabba jiggle, or having some ca-razy cantina chili then this book is for you. I bought this book for a friend who loved star wars & was into amateur cooking. But when I got the book I knew I needed one for myself! For you may be able to resist the dark side... but you sure can't resist any of the dark side salsa. Explore the recipes of this delighful book which includes Yoda soda, bossk brownies, jabba jello, boba fett-ucine, & lots more.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must buy for the true Star Wars fan.
This beautifully illustrated, spiral-bound, hardcover book is a must buy for any serious Star Wars fan who wants to add a touch of The Force to his or her life with the delicious recipes featured in it.
The book is divided into five sections for easy reference: Breakfasts, Beverages, Snacks and Sides, Main Courses and Desserts. Each Star Wars themed recipe is fully and clearly explained (ingredient measurements and preparation instructions) for easy understanding. The book also comes with a few foil stickers for storage and gift labeling and an introduction that contains practical advise on cooking safety and a guide of the cooking tools you'll need. As an added bonus, the pages of the book are laminated for easy, stain-free cleaning.
You will love all the recipes, and will probably recreate, the wonderfully photographed serving suggestions given in the book like the Han-Burgers, Crazy Cantina Chili and the Jabba Jiggle, which are decorated with the action figures of known characters of the original Star Wars movie trilogy. Other recipes' presentations feature enjoyable visual puns like the TIE Fighter Ties, the Twin Sun Toast and the R2-D2 Treats. Some are even very basic, but really tasty, recipes that have been given clever Star Wars-sounding names like Oola-la French Toast, Hoth Chocolate, Yoda Soda and Boba Fett-uccine.
Buy this book, share the joy of cooking and your love of everything Star Wars with family (kids and adults) and friends, and May The Force Be With You.
I would also recommend buying the Star Wars Cookbook II and The Star Wars Party Book along with this one as they all make a complete, excellent and fun idea source book for everyday cooking and Star Wars themed parties.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a good cookbook
THIS IS THE BEST KIDS COOKBOOK! I like this very much. When I
were going to Science Fiction Bookshop in Sweden, I was anxiously awaiting to get this. I have the Cookbook 2 too, but this is better!

The recipes are nothing but fancy. There is Dark Side Salsa, a nacho sauce for tortilla chips, Jabba Jiggle named treaty thing with Jello and fruit. Only Tusken Raider Taters are odd: I dont understand that recipe. BUT THE BEST IS WOOKIEE COOKIEES! I LOVE THEM! That recipe is so nice, like Han-Burgers. My cousin could like Obi Wan Kebabs and Death Star Popcorn Balls. And my favourite drink is Jawa Jive Milkshakes!

I like this

5-0 out of 5 stars Time for a Little Fun in the Kitchen, Young Jedi!
The first of several great cookbooks, aimed mostly for young readers, but die hard STAR WARS fans are guaranteed not to be disappointed.

There are delicacies aplenty for all of the special occasions and pertaining to all of the original trilogy films. Need a good boost for breakfast? Nothing like a Mos Eisley Morsel, Twin Sunset Toast, or C-3PO Pancakes to start your day. Hungry for a lunch? Dark Side Salsa, Tusken Raider Taters, or Ewok Eats are sure to fire up your taste buds. Need a hearty supper? Greedo's Burritos, Ohi-Wan Kebabs, or TIE-Fighter Ties are yummies to name a few.

Great book! So long as you're looking into purchasing it, goes great with STAR WARS: EPISODE 2 COOKBOOK and STAR WARS PARTY BOOK! MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great ideas for your next Star Wars themed party
A friend of mine gave me this book for my birthday. I'm not into cookies, but I am definitely a Star Wars fan. The book was published in 1998, so there are no references to the prequel trilogy.

The book has a deceptive flat spine on the outside, but the inside is spiral bound so the book can lay flat on your counter - a must in any cookbook.

The book only has 29 recipes, but it is presented well. It has lots of full color photos revealing the final product - what your food should look like when you're done, and peppered in with various Star Wars action figures.

Despite its title, this is not a cookbook for just desserts - there are only 7 dessert recipes in the book. Some recipies are basic, where only the names are clever... such as "Hoth Chocolate" (which is just hot chocolate) and "Han Burgers" (which are juts plain ol' hamburgers) with a few visual puns such as the "Twin Sun Toast" and the "R2-D2 Treats."

For finicky kids who like Star Wars but typically just poke at their food, having an official Star Wars recipe may be just the thing to convince them to eat. The clever names will make you sound like a genius when you whip up some snacks to bring to work or have a party for other Star Wars fans.

The last page has some foil stickers for you to put on packages you may prepare for family or friends with such clever lines as "Use the Fork, Luke" and "Give in to your dark cravings," these are a cute addition.

It would have been nice for the author to have included either physical or web addresses for places to get Star Wars themed party supplies. Everything to R2-D2 cookie-cutters to paper table cloths, etc. I have seen these items and know they exist. Having a supply list like that would have been a nice addition to the book, as would have been stickers on a surface that is easier to write on. The foil/metalic stickers do not hold ink very well and smudge - and there are only a few stickers to begin with.

Overall, it's a fun book and a conversation starter to be sure. A good edition to add to your kitchen's reference shelf, or even as a coffee table book, this cookbook adds some creative flair to ordinary recipes. ... Read more

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