From Publishers Weekly
An award-winning pastry chef, Barkerâ"coauthor (with her husband) of Not Afraid of Flavor, a cookbook from their restaurant, Magnolia Grill, in Durham, N.C.â"presents a diverse and balanced selection of her favorite American desserts. She enthusiastically introduces home cooks to the basics of pies, fruit desserts, custards, ice cream, cookies, cakes, waffles and other breakfastlike desserts with clear, unintimidating directions and copious suggestions for variations. Every recipe includes a personal introduction, succinct directions, elaborate baker's notes with additional hints and advice, and serving suggestions that sometimes refer to other recipes in the book. By altering just a few ingredients or adding an unusual spice, Barker creates out-of-the-ordinary twists on classics, such as Apple Rhubarb Cardamom Crumb Pie, Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Custard Pie and Coffee Anise Creme Caramel, as well as more obscure tastes like Blackberry Slump with Sweet Potato Dumplings or Peanut Butter Cheesecake. Full-page photographs illustrate the dishes in mouth-watering detail. Although the book will satisfy any sweet tooth, lovers of fruit desserts will especially appreciate the abundance of recipes for pies, cobblers, crumbles, crunches, crisps, buckles, grunts, slumps and betties, as well as Barker's tutorial on how to tell the difference between them.
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"Try Barker's chocolate shortcake. . . . Oh, man, it's good." -- Candy Sagan, Washington Post, June 2004
"Unpretentious, deceptively simple-sounding, unfailingly delectable desserts." -- New York Times, May 23, 2004
Clear and concise recipes that are also mouthwateringly tempting. . . . This lovely book [has] . . . a warm, friendly tone. -- Cookbook Digest, February 2005
Karen Barker is one of the country's best working bakers. -- The New York Times Food Review, December 5, 2004
This new collection of [Barker's] delicious desserts is sure to bring joy to any home baker. . . . For all baking collections. -- Library Journal, March 15, 2004