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Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! Paperback – January 31, 2012

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About the Author

Called “the cake whisperer” by Gourmet, KAREN TACK is a cooking teacher and food stylist. Her work can be seen on the covers of Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart Living, Parents, Real Simple, Nick Jr., and many others.

Fellow creator ALAN RICHARDSON has photographed dozens of best-selling cookbooks, and his work appears in many leading food and women’s magazines. He is the coauthor of The Breath of a Wok, which won two coveted awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Original edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780547662428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547662428
  • ASIN: 0547662424
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tiger VINE VOICE on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to admit, that I love the authors other books. I dont always have the motivation to do the more difficult ones, but just looking at the pictures makes me smile. This book is just as interesting and wonderful. The advantage of this book is that she uses desserts other than cupcakes (although cupcakes are still heavily used). This allows for a lot more creativity. There are some really novel ideas here, like high heeled cupcakes that really look like shoes! And a pie topped with marshmallow pigs under a blanket. However, this book is not necessarily all about the pictures...it gives great guidance on techniques. It is loaded with step by step how to pictures. I think it really helps give the reader more confidence if they are cautious about trying a recipe. You get to see things almost every step of the way. I also like that there are a good mix to projects including many holiday themed ones. I cant wait to get started!
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45 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Rowan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a terrifically clever book filled with wonderful ideas for making baked goods that delight the eye. The projects range from the lovely (The Whiteout Cake) to the hilarious (The Spider Bite) with some truly inspired designs such as the Social Network Cake and the cupcakes made into high heels, which is sure to delight anyone who loves pretty shoes. The instructions seem very straightforward, and if these are not easy or quick projects, they're ones which will garner a lot of "oooohs" and "aaahhhhs" from your guests, and some good laughs, too.

But here's my problem with the book -- and I freely admit that your mileage may vary on this one -- a great many of the recipes make my teeth hurt even to think about. When the emphasis of a baked item is on style, you have to be willing to use a lot of sugar to produce decorations which many adults (like me) won't eat. And since the point of baking is, for me at least, to produce something that delights the palate, many of these projects, adorable as they are, seem fairly unappetizing.

If you're baking for children who will eat anything sugary, if you're baking for an event where you don't really care if people eat your baked goods, then this is the book for you because it demystifies a good deal of the process of turning out awe-inspiring cakes, cookies, pies and so forth. You can be the hit of your child's kindergarten class, create hilarious Halloween treats, and be that person, the one who always shows up with the show-stopping dessert.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I consider this more of an idea and decorating book than a cookbook. There are only a few recipes in the book, but lots of adorable ideas for decorating.

The authors make use of things like pound cake, convenience mixes, candies and other things to create some very cute desserts that are sure to impress at children's birthday parties or at casual parties with adult friends.

My favorite ideas in here are the ones that don't look like desserts at all, like the toast and jam which uses gelatin, fruit, whipped cream and a loaf cake to create a fairly realistic "breakfast". I also really love the Waterlily cupcakes. I'm not crazy about the idea of putting them in blue gelatin, but the waterlilies themselves are just lovely.

Instructions for made up animals, fashion items, miniature cake slices on forks are all easy to follow. The authors use doctored convenience foods for a better flavor, like changing a cake mix recipe, or using cakes from the frozen food aisle of your grocery store.

If you're looking for fun, easy to assemble ideas for cakes and other treats, this is a great starting point. I love the clever use of candies and decorating techniques like flood filling.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By DAVERAT VINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First off, I want to adress the concern that people have expressed in past books such as the NY Time Besteller, Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make, their first book. I bought that book and was imediately hooked on their stylish but accessible approach to making awe-inspiring desserts. All their books and their website now feature indices that list many online sources for all the items and/or basic candy Clay or dough recipes that they use to create their adorable Fluffy Lambs, Gnome Sweet Gnomes, or High-Heeled cupcakes. In truth, most of those special sugars and candy melts which you can't make can be purchased right here on Amazon! Also, as stated above, this book and most of their others contain ALL the basic recipes for their basic Candy Clay, Quick Doughs and Perfect Cake Mixes which are ALL made with normal household items plus or minus an ingredient here or there. The photos in the books and videos on the website are also a terrific help. Even a basic cook can learn how to make these Centerpiece Desserts with a single trial run. If you've never baked a cake or iced one though, you might need to start with a one of their simpler creations first.

That said, let me point out that I received the Advanced Reader's Copy so there were some page numbers missing when they referred to these basic Candy Doughs but all I had to do was pencil them in. No fuss at all! The book contained all the templates needed and the instructions were easy to follow.
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