on May 18, 2000
The recipes in this book-mile-high cakes and drippy cakes and puddings and cookies-take you back to the good old days when we were bad, hanging out at the diner, insulting each other and flirting and watching the muscle cars in the parking lot. The photos are great black and white shots of diners from across the country. The short-order cooks, the counters, the menus, the cakes under glass. The recipes are well written and work (so far!). I haven't got out of the pudding chapter yet (you have to try the Banana Caramel pudding) but I have my eye on the cakes, especially the Chocolate fudge Layer Cake. This is a really unusual book, and even if you have a big cookbook collection, you won't have anything like this.
on May 11, 2000
As executive pastry chef at the Reno Hilton, I'm always on the lookout for dessert recipes that work great at home and at work. The recipes in Diner Desserts do just that. This cookbook includes the best desserts from every diner you've ever eaten in. At the high end, you get Toasted Almond Crunch cake. At the other end of the scale, the author devotes a whole chapter to puddings. In either case, her detailed and accurate recipes meet the needs of bakers at every level - this is a book that I'll use again and again.
on October 27, 2001
I bought this book from amazon based on reviews.
When it arrived I was delighted by the beautiful design of the book. Through a combination of photography, graphics and printing, it succeeds in conveying the 'feel' of a diner to the reader. For those, like me, who buy cookbooks to read as well as cook from, this one will be a treat.
The recipes are well laid out and detailed, with each receiving a short introduction. The recipes are well-written and complete; after making about ten of the recipes I haven't noticed any missing ingredients or steps.
The difficulty factor changes quite a bit from recipe to recipe. None are difficult to make, but some are more involved and require more time than others. However, everyone will find items suited to their abilities, and may use the book for trying new techniques and more complicated recipes.
My personal favorite in the book is the recipe for 'High and Mighty White Cake'. This recipe produces a beautiful cake suitable for any occasion. I have used this cake, with various frostings, for a number of occasions and it has always gotten complements. Her carrot cake recipe is also excellent. The 'Old Time Peanut Butter Cookies' are also a great option, with just the right balance between sweet and salty. The 'Classic Diner Cheesecake' is nothing unusual, but it does make an excellent cake. As stated in the book, the 'Devil's Food Cake' is intensely chocolate for people into that, and I've had great results with her accompanying white frosting, and with chocolate frosting on it. The 'Lemon Layer Cake' has become another favorite of mine and a hit with those for whom I've baked it, giving plenty of lemon flavor accompanied by a lemon-y frosting.
I haven't tried any of the puddings, etc., because they aren't what I like to make.
This book is an excellent buy for the money. Though softback, the binding and cover are of particularly high quality, with the cover being a heavy plasticized paper. It will make a much-appreciated gift for any bakers on a gift list!
on April 9, 2000
For a diner lover and a baking amateur (me), Diner Desserts has been a big success. I usually get something from a bakery when I have people over. But the last two times, I made desserts from this book (toasted almond cake (unbelievable!) and apple pie with cheddar cheese crust-the best apple pie recipe I've made). My friends were really impressed. The results will remind you of diner desserts, but taste a lot better. I think its because the recipes are so clear. If you're looking for something trendy or fancy, this isn't the right place. In the beginning of the book the author says "Napoleons, profiteroles, and other staples of haute cuisine found on the menus of highbrow restaurants are not diner fare"
on November 3, 2000
You won't find any revelations here, but this has everything you'd want in a book of fairly basic desserts. No skimping on ingredients, and as long as you know basic baking, you don't need to worry about the results. There wasn't anything I tried that I didn't like. The coconut "dream" pie and coconut cake are particularly good. I also liked the lemon cake and the all-chocolate cake very much. The cheesecakes are a little too dense for my taste, but the lemon cheesecake with blueberry topping has a nice flavor. The instructions are very good, and everything I made came out exactly as described (I'm beginning to think this is a rarity among dessert cookbooks).
on September 12, 2000
Even though I am French, I still love American food, especially desserts! There are many American dessert cookbooks available but this one is special. It is a collection of recipes that are American classics, some decades old but are just as loved and popular today as ever. For some Americans, this book might be a trip back to a golden age of American society. For others, and non Americans like me, this is an interesting look at American culture. Thanks to a superb collection of favorites, the trip will not only be interesting, but also delicious!
on August 29, 2000
I first read about this book in the New York Times. I decided to order it as I grew up going to diners and always found the desserts to be my most favorite part! This cook books shares the best of my "favorite part"! There are many delicious options and the recipes are easy to follow and the desserts are all very tasty. If you want to step back in time, just a bit, this is the cookbook for you. ENJOY!
on July 21, 2003
The first recipe I tried was the recipe for the picture on the cover- the chocolate cream pie. I was a bit apprehensive because the last time I tried to make pudding I ended up with chocolate milk, and as I was making this for guests I really didn't want that to happen again. After following the instructions carefully I had perfect chocolate pudding! Not only had the pudding worked, but it was the best I'd ever had. After pairing it with whipped cream and a chocolate crust, it was absolute bliss! The best chocolate cream pie any of us had ever had! The pie also kept well in the refridgerator for several days. The next recipe I tried was the mega oatmeal, walnut, and chocolate chip cookies. They were absolutely fabulous! It made over 40 cookies so I brought them to school. When word got out how delicious they were, they were gone in a matter of seconds. I got many requests to make them again. The other recipe I tried was the Devils food cake. They were moist and delicous and chocolatey. There are still many recipes I want to try. For my birthday I plan on making the chocolate fudge layer cake! It sounds fabulous! There are no pictures in this book, but there is also no need. Anyone could make these recipes perfectly if they just follow her clear and easy instructions. This book is worth the money!
on July 3, 2001
If you love to go to or miss going to diners, especially for the desserts, this is the perfect cookbook for your aching sweet tooth. Not only will you find loads of goodies to make but also you'll enjoy reading through it. From the B&W photos of diner scenes are sprinkled throughout the book to the witty chapter names. Be sure to notice the clever page numbering done in monetary units. For example, the S'more Sundae recipe starts on page $1.64.
Chocolate Cream Pie was absolutely wondrous. You won't be able to eat a lot of it in one sitting because it's so rich but you'll still find yourself making excuses to have another slice whenever you can. The only hiccup I had was during the bubble stage. It's not exactly clear from her instructions what you should look for to know when the chocolate mixture should come off the stove. You are told that when you see bubbles you should cook for another minute then pull the saucepan off the stove. Much later in the instructions she mentions that you should be dealing with pudding at this point. When I reached bubble stage and then stirred for another minute, I still had chocolate milk.
Another recipe that had some problems was with her Chocolate Cheesecake Bars. Though I bake these interesting bars for 70 to 75 minutes at 300 degrees, it was still close to raw mixture. An additional 10 minutes helped stiffen it up but it could have easily gone and extra 20 minutes or so before I think it would be truly ready. The problem is by cooking so long, the cheesecake topping starts to brown just past comfortable. As for taste, I'm not familiar with this dessert so I'm not sure. It was tasty but I was surprised at how less sweet it was compared to the ingredients used.
All in all, I was pleased with the recipes created from this cookbook. If you enjoy making old-fashioned sweets, you'll find plenty to choose from here.
on January 28, 2013
I'm a cookbook hoarder and this little baby is used a lot! The coconut cream pie is to die for. Everything I made so far turns out delicious and beautiful. Don't expect to find anything fancy here; they're diner desserts after all but it is a great buy.