Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Cookbook Watch - sweet stuff
I have a lot of new - and some not so new - cookbooks to review, and I thought I'd start off with a trio of really sweet books: all dealing in cakes, cookies and desserts.
First, one in Swedish from pastry princess Mia Öhrn, who has previously written books about candy, semlor, kladdkakor and other delights. This one is titled "Mitt eget kafé" which translates into "My own café" and it's the perfect book for those of you who have ever dreamed about opening your own place. It's also the perfect book for those who have no such dreams, and are just happy to eat café-style food, and wanting to make some goodies at home. I really fell in love with this book. It's not just recipes (but mostly), and Mia has also interviewed several people who do own their own cafés. As it happens, she managed to pick several of my own favorite places, like Cocovaja and Café Lola. I was excited to see that they shared some of their recipes, too! I like that this book doesn't only have baked goods, but also some ideas for tea-time treats and sandwiches. Definitely a keeper!
So is this one. Martha Stewart's Cookies. Oh, my. A whole book. with just cookies. In color. (The photos here are fabulous! They're so lifelike I can almost taste the cookies, wanting to wipe away at crumbs that aren't there on the slick glossy pages.)It has 175 recipes, which seems like pretty much any cookie you could ever want to make. (And yet, there are so many more...) I've tried a few Martha recipes in the past, and I've never been disappointed, so this is definitely a book I'll turn to on many occasions. The chapters are divided by texture, which I think is quite clever. Want crispy, or chewy? Sandy? Rich? Nutty? (Or like me, all of the above, please.)
Third one is not new, but new to me. It's written by Elisabeth Johansson who is one of my favorite authors for dessert books, and it's all about crumbles. It's called "Smulpajer" which is the Swedish word for crumbles, and this book has nothing else. One would think that perhaps crumbles is a bit too narrow a subject to warrant a whole book, but one would be wrong to assume that. Clearly, there are tons of different crumbles to play and experiment with - and Swedes do love their crumbles. So much indeed that two books with this same name came out at virtually the same time - the other one written by Mia Öhrn (see above). (I don't have that one though.)
All three books have one thing in common: I absolutely can not decide what to make first! There are so many delicious goodies in all of them that I feel slightly stunned, and not knowing where to begin. But I promise to tell you when I figure it out...