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Brownies to Die For! (Cookbooks to Die For) Hardcover – March 31, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

More than a cookie but not quite a cake, the brownie stands as America's favorite homemade chocolate snack, beloved as much by adults as by children. Shaffer documents just how versatile brownies can be by presenting dozens of recipes for these little squares of sweet delight. Shaffer's brownies range from cakey to fudgy, from plain to fruit laden, from unadorned to frosted, from coffee and liquor spiked to creamy white chocolate versions. Coconut, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and peanuts add texture to these brownies. Other toppings make use of meringue or of marshmallows. One singular recipe wakes up jaded taste buds with its addition of chili powder. Among the many delights of the book is a caramel-sauce recipe that takes time and effort but that yields a rich result. Supplemental recipes include ice creams, sorbets, frozen yogurt, and fruit sauces. Large, full-color photographs ensure that home bakers know exactly what results should emerge from their ovens. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Wow! Just reading about Bev Shaffer's collection of sensational brownies made me uncontrollably hungry and eager to dash into the kitchen and start baking."
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Product Details

  • Series: Cookbooks to Die For
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing (March 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589803825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589803824
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was so excited to get this book--I love to bake and love making homemade brownies. When the book arrived 2 weeks ago, I was not disappointed. Great sounding recipes, very pretty book. I believe I have pasted about 50 sticky-note tabs to the pages of the brownies I wanted to try.

So why two stars? Well, I've now made 4 different batches of brownies, and not one has turned out. The biggest problem seems to be baking time--upwards of 20-25 minutes off the time stated in the book to get them past pure "goo" stage. That would be fine if they turned out ok in the end, but that was not the case. With the extended baking time, the perimeter of the brownies (at least 2 inches in) curled up and was very overbaked before the centers were anywhere close to being ready. I salvaged what I could.

I will use this book for ideas about flavor combinations, but I'll stick with my Cook's Illustrated brownie recipe since it works.
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Format: Hardcover
"Brownies To Die For"? That title was screaming for me to investigate!

I admit, I like my sweets, especially chocolate. But I needed to know...would I die for these brownies like the title indicates I will?

Bev Shaffer, the author, has been baking brownies for years. She appears to be a true master! Her publisher is Pelican, and having seen Pelican's books before, I knew what to expect.

A comprehensive cookbook on everything brownie related! There are SO many recipes here, it is amazing.

I decided to make a batch. With my sons' input, we decided to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. The recipe was easy-to-follow, really quite straight forward. The one hitch, the recipe was supposed to cook for 35 minutes or until only a couple of crumbs are on a wooden toothpick. Well, I cooked mine for 55 minutes, and we never got to that stage. I decided, in the end, to remove the brownies, and be able to sample part of the batch.

When this happened, I had to think...what did I do? I went over the entire recipe. Was my pan size correct? Yes. Did I preheat my oven long enough? How's 45 minutes?! Did I follow the recipe completely? I thought so. Did I measure everything effectively? Yeah! Is my oven really heating up to 350 like it needed to be? Well, I am not sure, BUT I am a food writer, cookbook reviewer and recipe developer. Does that make me infallable? No. But what that does say is I am cooking ALL the time. I am trying new recipes all the time. And I honestly have not had such a discrepancy with the cooking time before this situation. An idea I had later was maybe it was a typo, a keystroke error, perhaps, as 3 and 6 are near each other. Maybe the cooking time is supposed to be 65 minutes!
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Format: Hardcover
I love brownies and was very excited to find this cookboook. I make brownies all of the time, and I make different types, but I'm always looking for new kinds. I tried 2 of the recipes and both turned out awful! The recipes seem to have too little chocolate, too little butter, too many eggs and very long baking times. I wasted some really good chocolate testing these recipes! After reading a few more of the recipes, I just decided to throw it out!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great recipes, but I have a tendency to want to know what the finished product is going to look like, especially on the more complex recipes. Very little pictorial representation is the only drawback that I can find to this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I originally got this book from the library and realized it would be great addition to my own cookbook collection. Since the library frowns on keeping their books forever, I bought it on Amazon. It's in perfect condition, came neatly packed and arrived in a reasonable time. My daughters are trying to borrow it as soon they saw it. It's been a very popular item in my house. I'm a happy customer. Thanks!
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Format: Hardcover
For about the last 20 years when I attended any event where guest brought food, I have always made a hit with my brownies. For all family gatherings, I don't even need to ask what to bring, brownies are requested. Everyone loves them. So I was not sure I would have that much to learn from Brownies to Die For. Little did I know how easy it was to kick the brownies up a notch or two.

Bev Shaffer, author of Brownies to Die For! has created a must have book for brownie lovers.

Long ago, I gave up concentrating on the meat and vegetable dishes. They just do not garner the same level of attention as a fabulous dessert like brownies.

Ms. Shaffer starts by giving a brief history of the brownie. She follows that with a section she calls "Baking Basics". Even though I have been baking for years, I found this section helpful. It reminded me of some ways I had gotten a bit careless in my baking. Finally she gives a good basic introduction to chocolate.

I have never ventured very far from the basic brownie recipe. Ms. Shaffer provides dozens of recipes that will give you the chance to impress your guests and your own taste buds. Each recipe follows a standard format. The "Brownie Base" lists the ingredients on the left and baking instructions on the right. For each recipe there is also a "Bev's Bite" a quick tip that will improve the outcome of your brownies.

Ms. Shaffer provided the basic recipes and many fancy varities, the fudgy brownies, chocolate brownies, fudge brownies, brownies with various frostings, chunky brownies, caramel sauce brownies, rocky road brownies, white chocolate brownies, and the list goes on and on.
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