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Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sherry Yard, the executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck's restaurants, has cast her Desserts by The Yard as a culinary autobiography, organizing its recipes in chapters like "Brooklyn Inspirations" and "London Interlude." This novel approach may frustrate readers seeking, say, cakes all in one place, but helps make the book the fresh and compelling success it is.

The recipes do the rest. Yard has included a wide range of sweets that either polish old favorites--see her Black-and-White Cookies (from Brooklyn days) and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meringue Topping (a London creation)--or that invent in ways both enticing and doable. Formulas like Buttermilk Cheesecake; Rhubarb, Apple, and Fennel Crumble; or Concord Grape Soufflés give some idea of her imaginative range, which is, however, always tethered to practicality and good taste. New and seasoned cooks alike will also appreciate her technical niceties (for example, to help soufflés rise, smear butter upwards when greasing mold sides), as well as Sherri's Secrets (for pithless citrus segments, dip them first in cold water then scrape with the back of a knife). With a tempting-in-itself section on basics like Creamy Caramel Sauce, and dozens of color photos, this is a special baking book in every way. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Brooklyn-born Yard worked her way up to reign as Hollywood and Beverly Hills queen of sweet. Executive pastry chef of Puck's Spago empire, she annually creates 1,700 or so perfect desserts for the Governors Ball following the Oscars, such as mousse-filled chocolate boxes on power-painted red carpets the year Julia Roberts won for Erin Brockovich. But Yard hasn't forgotten the rapturous tastes of her childhood; along with celeb-studded, look-at-me tales of her lofty successes, she offers tender memories and recipes for such favorites as Italian bakery Rainbow Cookies. Yard actually delivers what every cookbook promises: news for the professional and foolproof secrets for the avid amateur. From her finger-stirred sugar–water–corn syrup caramel to her assembly-line masterpieces, every ingredient is necessary and every direction makes sense. Fruit desserts, her special passion, transport the reader to Eden. Comprehensive, well-organized and meaningfully illustrated, Yard's book may be the new dessert bible. Color photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618515224
  • ASIN: B005Q5T7TO
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,506,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`Desserts by the Yard' is by Sherry Yard, possibly the most prominent pastry chef in the United States today, as the Executive Pastry Chef to all of Wolfgang Puck's many restaurants, a winner of the best pastry chef award from the James Beard Foundation, and the author of the James Beard Award winning first book, `The Secrets of Baking'. When I reviewed her first book, I considered it one of the finest books on baking technique I have read. Since that time, I've seen several others which may be as good and even one from another restaurant pastry chef, Kate Zuckerman's `The Sweet Life'. But it is still a major achievement for someone responsible for so many restaurant responsibilities.
This book is much different. It is also much different from almost any other book of restaurant dessert recipes I've seen. The heart of the difference is that it reflects Ms. Yard's own career, beginning with her early experiences growing up in Brooklyn through her Academy Award banquet and `Iron Chef' appearances. In following this course, Ms. Yard has succeeded again in giving us one of the best restaurant baking books I have seen to date.
I am fully aware that this book's strong appeal for me lies in the large number of recipes which fit my particular interest and ethnic background (Austro-Hungarian). Strongly influenced by Herr Puck, with whom Sherry has been working for over twelve (12) years, her Spago era recipes contain many famous Austrian influenced desserts. What is so remarkable about the Puck - Yard collaboration is that Mademoiselle Sherry often disagrees vigorously with her boss, and usually wins. For his part, Puck is more than happy to go along with his pastry wonder woman, as the strong respect seems totally mutual.
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Format: Hardcover
"Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever," by Sherry Yard, is a combination baking book and memoir. Each recipe is accompanied by an excerpt from the author's life, from the `A&P Strawberry Sodas' inspired by her grandmother to the `Banded Layer Cakes' she created for the 67th Oscars. The book introduced me to Yard's recipes, though I was familiar with her work beforehand because I saw her on an episode of "Iron Chef" as one of Wolfgang Puck's sous chefs. She was in charge of making the various sweets and pastries that would be presented to the judges, and when she decorated the dishes with spun sugar watching her hands form the ethereally golden strands was breathtaking to say the least.

"Desserts by the Yard" contains an impressive collection of tempting recipes, some of my favorites including `Gingersnap Toaster-Oven Tarts with Peach Filling' (think high-end pop tarts), `Chocolate-Covered Chocolate-Mint Cookies,' `Apfelstudel' (Apple Strudel) and `Pistachio Gelato.' The `Ring of Saturn Peach "Doughnuts"` were also a hit, combining delicious ingredients like anise biscotti and macerated peaches into a treat that's dusted with confectioner's sugar, then served with vanilla ice cream. Recipes range in skill-level from basic to advanced and I appreciated how several of them allowed me to stretch my culinary knowledge. I had to make the `Fig Bars,' which are essentially homemade fig newtons, a few times before the texture was just right, for instance. Yet the treats I found myself making over and over again happened to be the ones that satisfied my simpler tastes: `President Clinton's Oatmeal Cookies' and `Soft Pretzels.
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Format: Hardcover
"Desserts by the Yard" is more then a "cookbook"
Each receipe has a story of the author's life and what part of the world she created the easy to bake with a photograpy that makes you want to lick the pages.....
Sherry's receipe for her cover photo of Charlotte russe was my favorite dessert when I was growing up in New York
and now I can share this with my children & grandchildren
My college granddaughter is reading this book as a Biography and loving Sherry's story.
I strongly recomend this book as a gift and get one for yourself to enjoy the read and the "eat" of this wonderful book.
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Format: Hardcover
Sherry Yard, the executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, has created a mouthwatering, memorable dessert bible in Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills-Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever. Beginning with some vintage photographs, there is a glowing foreword by Wolfgang Puck, an introduction by Sherry, and helpfully enough, notes on ingredients and equipment at the front, rather than the back, of the book.

The cookbook is divided chronologically, beginning with Sherry's childhood in Brooklyn. Her introductions are nostalgic, and she includes updates of her childhood favorites such as rainbow cookies, frozen chocolate-coconut bars, charlotte russe, chocolate-dipped frozen custard cones, and mom's cuisinart chocolate mousse. Nostalgic in origin, Sherry has turned these into elegant creations, but her clear writing and step-by-step instructions make the recipes easy enough to follow, and most call for common ingredients.

The next section, New York City, chronicles her experiences working in the Rainbow Room, and includes showier (and more difficult) desserts such as chocolate souffles, baked Alaska, chocolate velvet, chocolate truffle cakes, and chocolate devil's food cake with chocolate filling. Chocoholics will find this section the most rewarding, although many recipes are time-consuming.
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