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Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients Paperback – September 7, 2010


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Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients + Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat + The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress-Free Strategies for Busy People
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600852947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600852947
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,504,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's hard not to love Dodge's concept. Everyone is looking to simplify and having four fresh ingredients makes all the beautiful desserts in her book seem approachable. Of course, no chef as talented as Dodge (she previously wrote "The Weekend Baker") can stop with just four of anything. So each recipe includes "Switch-Ins," which suggest different flavor pairings. These also include swap-out ingredients in case you don't have, or don't care for, something in the recipe. She also suggests ways to "Gussy It Up." This is a great book for someone who wants to learn to bake. "--"The Providence Journal"

"First, let's just make this clear: Desserts 4 Today is not the latest Hip Hop group. It's an ingenious new cookbook by former pastry chef and culinary veteran Abigail Johnson Dodge. The book is divided into 5 easy chapters: Cookies, Creamy Desserts, Frozen Desserts, Fruit Desserts, and Pastries (a number of which conveniently rely on quality store-bought products like frozen puff pastry and phyllo dough.) The hook is that each gem of a recipe contains no more than 4 ingredients. Seriously. Okay, each recipe is followed by numerous variations with headings like, Switch-Ins, Gussy It Up; and Change It Up, but there is really no reason to go there unless you feel like taking that extra step. As written, each of the basic recipes is a perfect study in simplicity and creativity. And you can rest assured your grocery cart will not be overloaded with expensive, esoteric ingredients you may never use again." --Project Foodie

"One might expect a cookbook of four-ingredients-max dessert recipes to rely heavily on convenience ingredients or lots of dressed-up shortbread. But in her latest cookbook "Desserts 4 Today" (Taunton Press, $17.95), pastry chef and baking expert Abigail Johnson Dodge delivers a surprising number of cookies and other sweets made simply and with fresh ingredients."" --Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger"

"If you bake frequently, a good number of the recipes wo

"It’s hard not to love Dodge’s concept. Everyone is looking to simplify and having four fresh ingredients makes all the beautiful desserts in her book seem approachable. Of course, no chef as talented as Dodge (she previously wrote “The Weekend Baker”) can stop with just four of anything. So each recipe includes “Switch-Ins,” which suggest different flavor pairings. These also include swap-out ingredients in case you don’t have, or don’t care for, something in the recipe. She also suggests ways to “Gussy It Up.” This is a great book for someone who wants to learn to bake. "--"The Providence Journal"

"First, let's just make this clear: Desserts 4 Today is not the latest Hip Hop group.  It's an ingenious new cookbook by former pastry chef and culinary veteran Abigail Johnson Dodge. The book is divided into 5 easy chapters: Cookies, Creamy Desserts, Frozen Desserts, Fruit Desserts, and Pastries (a number

About the Author

A former pastry chef, Abby Dodge is a widely respected baking expert as well as a popular food writer and instructor. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and is the author of seven cookbooks, including "The Weekend Baker," an IACP Cookbook Award Finalist. Her recipes and articles have appeared in more than three dozen cookbooks, publications and websites. A contributing editor to "Fine Cooking" magazine, she's a regular guest on TV and radio and teaches cooking around the country. Visit Abby's website www.abbydodge.com.


More About the Author

The Short Story
A classically trained pastry chef, Abby Dodge is a widely respected, award wining, international acclaimed baking expert as well as a popular cookbook author, food writer and instructor. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and is the author of nine cookbooks, including Desserts 4 Today, a viral sensation, and The Weekend Baker, an IACP Cookbook Award Finalist. Her recipes and articles have appeared in more than six dozen cookbooks, publications, blogs and websites. A long time contributing editor to Fine Cooking magazine, Abby's recipes have also graced the covers of Bon Appetit magazine. She's a regular guest on TV and radio, including guest hosting duties on Martha Stewart Living Radio and Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen where she shares monthly desserts. Her ninth book, Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets~Delicious Desserts to Pick up and Eat has just been released and is available for order. For more information about Abby, her cookbooks, blog and videos, please visit her website. www.AbbyDodge.com

The Longer Story
What began as a love for baking at a young age, developed into a passionate and successful career for Abby Dodge. A widely respected, award winning, international acclaimed expert in baking and cooking for both kids and adults, as well as a popular food writer, instructor and media personality, Abby has a simple mission: To streamline baking and cooking for home cooks of all ages. Abby's stress-free strategies and simple techniques for busy people have garnered awards, rave reviews, and a loyal following because ".. despite her serious experience, her approach is relaxed and realistic."--Publishers Weekly
Abby began cooking and baking as a young girl at home in New York and Connecticut. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and later worked under superstars Michel Guerard and Guy Savoy, specializing in pastry. She has held editorial posts at Parents and Woman's Day, and has contributed to over six dozen special-interest publications focusing on baking and family cooking. Abby is currently a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, where she has been on the masthead since 1994. She founded the magazine's test kitchen, has written and contributed to over eighty articles to date, and serves as the magazine's guru for all things baking. Her recipes have also graced the covers of Bon Appetit magazine. Abby's practical advice, recipes, and tips continue to be picked up by myriad consumer magazines, websites and, TV and radio programs.

In addition to her regular blog postings, Abby hosts a monthly online baking community on her blog called #baketogether where she encourages an international group of bakers of all skill levels to follow their own inspiration using one of her recipes. She's a regular guest on TV and radio including Guest Hosting on Martha Stewart Living Radio and Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen where she shares monthly desserts. Abby also is an active member of International Association of Culinary Professionals and the American Institute of Wine and Food, and serves on the National Cutco Culinary Advisory Board. She lives in the Connecticut town she grew up in with her husband Chris, and their two children, Alex and Tierney. Abby's ninth book, Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets~Delicious Desserts to Pick up and Eat has just been released and is available for order. For more information about Abby, her cookbooks, blog and videos, please visit her website. www.AbbyDodge.com.

Author of Nine Popular and Award-Winning Cookbooks

Mini Treats & Handheld Treats ~ Delicious Desserts to Pick Up & Eat (September, 2012)
Desserts 4 Today - Flavorful Desserts with just FOUR INGREDIENTS (September, 2010) (a viral & critically acclaimed sensation)
Williams-Sonoma Mini Pies (September, 2010)
Around the World Cookbook, 2008 (Good Morning America Top 10 Cookbooks of 2008; Parents Choice Recommended Award 2008; Cordon d'Or Culinary Academy Award 2008)
The Weekend Baker, 2005, reprinted 2008 (Food + Wine Top Ten Cookbooks of 2004; IACP Cookbook Award Finalist)
Kids Baking, 2003 (Over 347,000 copies in print, translated into Spanish)
Williams-Sonoma Dessert, 2002 (Over 300,000 in print, translated into Spanish)
The Kid's Cookbook, 2000 (Over 368,000 copies in print)
Great Fruit Desserts, 1997 (Translated into six languages)

Abby has contributed or co-authored many cookbooks, including:


Baking Out Loud (Hedy Goldsmith, Clarkson Potter 2012)
B. Smith's Southern A to Z (Scribner, 2008)
The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition, 2006
Savoring America, 2002 (James Beard Award finalist; Ben Franklin Award winner)
Cookies for Christmas, 1999
The All New Joy of Cooking, 1997

Related Media


Customer Reviews

This is a fun book with easy recipes that taste good.
DodieW.
Here's why I love it so much... Approachable, Yet Elegant Recipes - Desserts 4 Today caters to cooks of all skill levels.
Jen Schall (My Kitchen Addiction)
She gives a great introductory section where she talks about ingredients, techniques, equipment and more.
Susan Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan Smith on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I may have to stop reviewing cookbooks from Taunton Press--every single one I have chosen to review thus far I have wanted to own. My personal copy ordered from Amazon is on it's way to me as I type this.

What is it about this one? At first glance, it seems a little gimmicky. About 10 or 12 years ago, there were several cookbooks published that either limited the number of ingredients or number of steps for a recipe. Sometimes they were successful and sometimes less so.

Johnson Dodge has an understanding of ingredients, of chemistry, of baking and cooking, and of today's cook that works like magic here. When you only have four ingredients, they all count, and they all must work together to make the finished product. She gives a great introductory section where she talks about ingredients, techniques, equipment and more. Almost every recipe has suggestions to change it up, or comments on technical things or ways to gussy it up with sauces or glazes or the like. Usually when I review a cookbook, I make two or three dishes to see how they turn out. These recipes were so easy and so good, I found myself making one every time I turned around.

I started with Jammin' Sugar Cookie Thumbprints (p. 22) and Toasted Pistachio Crisps (p. 19). I am lazy, so I almost never get out my mixer. On the thumbprints, I filled them with raspberry preserves. They were rich, buttery, crispy and the raspberry was a perfect contrast. There were several suggestions for switch-ins and anyone with a little imagination could come up with more. I was not able to slice the dough for the crisps, it kept crumbling. (Possibly my fault for either mixing by hand or not chopping my nuts finely enough).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kim Foster on October 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't love to bake and the truth is, with a couple of small kids, I don't have time to do things I don't enjoy. Abby Dodge's book has changed all that. She's made it possible for me to easily and quickly pull together desserts with minimal ingredients and effort and have them come out beautifully each time.

Don't get me wrong, this book isn't just for baking beginners. The recipes are innovative, imaginative and sophisticated. That is the genius of Desserts 4 Today - it's not your typical "made-easy" book, with simple steps but lack-luster, mediocre results. These desserts work for meals with the family, or for an elegant dinner party.

And really.... four ingredients? Want to make Chocolate Bourbon balls? Chocolate, butter, bourbon, vanilla wafer cookies. Ladyfingers? Eggs, sugar, lemon zest, flour. Nutella Fudge Brownies? Nutella, egg, flour, hazelnuts. See what I mean? No stress. No need for a scale or a pantry so stocked Martha Stewart would be envious.

It really is a book written just for me, and for anyone who wants to make an impressive, tasty dessert without having it turn the whole affair into an agonizing marathon. I've had the book a little over a month and we've made eight desserts out of it. All wonderful and imminently do-able, beautifully designed for someone who gets that she can't do it all, but wants to be completely awesome anyway.

Thanks Abby, this is a book I'll have on my shelf for years!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marlene Greenberg on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
For years I have been praised for my amazing desserts and baked goods, but the credit is largely due to Ms. Johnson Dodge and her perfect recipes. In her articles for Fine Cooking and in The Weekend Baker I have never been disappointed. I was so thrilled to receive Desserts 4 Today for Christmas and eagerly flipped through the pages to see how this amazing chef could create a book full of miracles with only four ingredients each. Alas, the answer is by using ingredients such as "one pound cake", or "8 ginger cookies" and by including recipes which layer three flavors of ice cream or freeze four different juices on a stick. I'm sure I will use some recipes and my children will enjoy making some, but anyone who has successfully baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies should move along to one of her other books.

I have been pleased to see earlier books (not this one) by Ms. Johnson Dodge include cup measurements as well as weight and volume measurements. Please return to that in future books!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amber N. Bracegirdle on September 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are so many adjectives that could accurately describe this book: simple, easy, approachable, delectable, delicious, AMAZING.

Hello - 4 ingredient brownies? I've personally made the Nutella brownies. They took 15 minutes from bowl to cooling rack and tasted like heaven in a mini cupcake liner.

What I love about this book more than anything is how approachable the recipes are. I guarantee you have the ingredients for half the book hiding in your pantry right now. So when you're feeling that sweet tooth tug, Abby's got you covered in a multitude of ways.

What I also love is that the recipes make fairly small portions, so if you commit to a recipe, you don't commit to a week's worth of thigh busting cookies or parfaits, just a night's worth.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eliana on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-buy for all bakers. Novice bakers will get simple desserts without complex techniques that will result in maximum flavors. Seasoned bakers will get a break with easy peasy desserts they can put together in a flash. I bake on a regular basis and loved that the Nutella Fudge Brownies took 15 minutes TOTAL to make - from the time I started to measure the ingredients til I took the out of the oven. And to boot - when you chef up any of the recipes in the book, you won't be left with a huge layer cake or 2 dozen cupcakes. So for those of you who like to bake but also watch your waistline - this one's for you.

The recipes in this book are simple, easy, approachable but don't skimp of flavor. Do yourself a favor - buy this book - you won't be disappointed.
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