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Salty Sweets: Delectable Desserts and Tempting Treats With a Sublime Kiss of Salt Hardcover – September 17, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (September 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558324151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558324152
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Salty Sweets made me want to run into the kitchen and try some of these delicious-sounding treats. With Matheson's enthusiasm and careful guidance, anyone can make her amazing desserts, which range from quick and simple sweets to more sophisticated creations. --Joanne Chang, pastry chef/owner, Flour Bakery + Café

Christie Matheson has done us all a great favor by demonstrating how salt brings out the best in all kinds of sweets. Her recipes will not only excite your palate but make you want to explore the world of salt as a superb flavor enhancer for desserts. --Carole Bloom, author of Bite-Size Desserts, The Essential Baker, and Truffles, Candies, & Confections

Salty Sweets is full of mouthwatering recipes that highlight the delicious alchemy between sweet and savory flavors. One taste of Matheson's homemade caramels with fleur de sel, truly addictive Sweet and Salty Pecans, or Nantucket Sea Salt Ice Cream, and you'll be hooked. --Jill O'Connor, author of Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth

About the Author

Christie Matheson is the author of Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style and the coauthor of Wine Mondays, The Confetti Cakes Cookbook, Confetti Cakes for Kids, Tea Party, and Vineyard Harvest. She is a regular contributor to publications including The Boston Globe Magazine, Cooking Light, Boston, Yankee, Body + Soul, Yoga Journal, Continental, San Francisco, and For two years she hosted a weekly television segment called "Trend Tracker" on the UPN Morning Show, and she is a frequent guest on the television show Chronicle as well as on Martha Stewart Radio. Matheson lives in San Francisco, California, and Boston, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

The recipes are easy to follow, well laid out and the book is done very nicely.
Salty and sweet have always been a nice combination and this book showcases some nice, fairly simple to make recipes for your sweet tooth.
Menthol Rum
If considering this as a gift for an experienced baker or cook, skip it because it has little substance and they will be disappointed.
M. Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Oh, how I wanted to love this cookbook. I awaited its arrival and was anxious to dive in and get baking. I would have happily gushed about the results and the wonderful treats in store for anyone lucky enough to have this book. Instead what I found, like another reviewer, is a book produced to capitalize on the current salty/sweet trend and provide little of value or substance to the reader. The book only contains 70 recipes and except for the addition of a variety of coarse salts, the vast majority are basic, common recipes found in any general cookbook. I compared the basic recipes and these should bake up just fine, but that isn't enough to give the book a higher rating -- that is the bare minimum -- it is what is expected. We deserve more.

There is little inspiration included in this book. Basic chocolate chip cookies with an extra bit of coarse salt sound fine, and I'm sure I'll try it the next time I make a batch, but I've already been experimenting with that -- it isn't rocket science. I took a basic banana walnut muffin recipe and added bittersweet chocolate chunks and topped each with a tiny pinch of coarse sea salt. They were delicious. Should I write a cookbook? There rests the problem in looking at a grouping of largely basic recipes and finding the main change is a pinch of salt. It just isn't enough -- the recipes need to be fresh new creations, not old standbys.

Do we need another recipe for Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Fudge or Hot Cocoa? Well, actually we do if there is a fabulous twist that brings new life to an old favorite, but that takes more than a pinch of salt, and you won't find that in this book. Naming a few more of the inspirational recipes -- S'Mores, yes, they are included, along with Kettle Corn and Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By OrchidSlayer VINE VOICE on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This cookbook is suitable for a novice cook as well as those with more experience. None of the recipes rely on complicated procedures and the author explains every step of the recipes. It covers many types of salted sweets, from cocoa to candy to a pound cake. The recipes I have tried have been very good. They are the kind people actually make, not the outlandish ones you sometime see that call for ingredients you have never heard of before. Most are similar to those in other cookbooks but with more salt, which is often sprinkled on top. The author describes the different types of salt available, but curiously does not mention kosher salt. The kinds that the recipes call for (usually sea salt or fleur de sel) can be found at decent supermarkets.

It is a very chatty cookbook, with copious annotations about the author's life and her favorites, as well of those of her friends and family. This may not be to everyone's taste.

This is the perfect cookbook to reach for when making desserts for people who prefer salty snacks. It would also make a nice gift for someone whose cooking skills are not well developed but who wants to make something that seems to be a step above basic Betty Crocker recipes.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Manley VINE VOICE on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For the last couple of years I have seen pairings of salt and sweet in finer restaurants. At first I thought, you must be crazy, why would I want a salty dessert. I can assure you, they go well together. In fact, they go so well together you will be wondering why you didn't think of this before. I find that the salt brings out flavors other than the sweetness in a particular dish, and it also takes away the shockingly sweet ways desserts can taste. With that being said, let's look at this book.

Christie Matheson puts together a collection of recipes that are well written, along with beautiful photography. Want a book that has a picture of every recipe? You want this book. I like her primer on salt, for afterall there is more than table salt that we all see in salt shakers everywhere. These different salts really do taste differently, and have different applications. For example, Fleur de Sel is hand harvested salt from France that goes well with fish.

The recipes include many wonderful basic recipes where the use of salt is fantastic. Salted caramels, are heavenly, in fact, I can hardly think of them without salt any longer. Chocolate chip cookies with a light dusting of sea salt along with semi sweet chocolate chips should have been done years ago. The Decadent Hot Chocolate, was decadent. A critism of this book may be that none of these recipes are completely new, but rather this is a collection of good recipes with salt sprinkled in, but it is sprinkled in brilliantly. If you are looking for a new way to do desserts I would definately consider picking up this book and trying this one out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By k8inut on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so excited to get this book! I absolutely love salty/sweet foods, and I wasn't disappointed by this cookbook. I was a little apprehensive given some of the other reviews, but I'm so glad I bought it.

There are recipes for all sorts of desserts: candy (salted caramels), dessert sauces (milk chocolate sauce), cakes (carrot cake), cookies (nantucket cookies), and other desserts (ice creams, fruit desserts).

The only recipe that I was a little disappointed with was the chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you're looking for a great salty/sweet chocolate chip cookie recipe, I would suggest the NY Times chocolate chip cookie recipe instead.
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