- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (September 21, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373892411
- ISBN-13: 978-0373892419
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Happy Baker: A Girl's Guide To Emotional Baking Paperback – September 21, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
This concise dessert guide is a delight, simultaneously romancing the reader's funny bone and introducing her to one delicious dessert after another. With baking projects for every culinary skill level (from no-bakes to the "My Eggs Are Not Getting Any Younger Crème Brûlée") and every situation (from the hilariously bad first date to the breakup with "The Big One"), there's something for every girl baker. With desserts like, "Me and My Cookies Are So Over You" and "Bite My Peanut Brittle, Bi-atch," Bolger has a great gambit to draw readers to her scintillating recipes. And if that doesn't do it, the honest, funny stories of her relationship trials and traumas that fall every few pages will win over even the most happily-married wife. Bolger has also art directed the book, and photographs, illustrations, and graphic design are so poppy and playful that readers will have a hard time deciding which of the delicious creations to attempt first. Let's hope Bolger keeps baking after she gets married, because she leaves readers wanting more.
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About the Author
Erin Bolger may have been a late bloomer when it came to dating, but she realized her love of baking early on. And she’s come a long way from the days of making out with long-haired rockers in the middle of a cornfield. She’s had her fair share of dating shenanigans and, yes, even dating hexes, but luckily she has her cute apron, favorite recipes and sense of humor to bake through the stress, heartache and hilarity of it all. Visit her at thehappybakerchick.com.
Top customer reviews
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Bolger breaks down her book into four main parts corresponding to the chronology of her love life: she begins with "The Early Years," which traces her first crush all the way back to kindergarten and includes her fist kiss; moves on to "They Break It, You Bake It," which covers tales of heartache, including a serious long-term relationship; talks about internet dating and more in "The Good, The Bad, & The Fugly"; and finally, wraps things up with "Single & Sassy." Throughout each section, Bolger's style is to present a recipe or two interspersed with her dating vignettes (the text usually runs about 2-4 pages). The stories are accompanied by cute little illustrations--barely more than stick figure drawings--done by Bolger herself.
The recipes, however, are another story. EVERY recipe is given its own gorgeous, full-page, full-color, mouth-watering photo illustration. As Erin states in her Introduction, her recipes really do include easy-to-find ingredients (you probably already have most of the items in your kitchen), and her bulleted instructions are extremely simple to follow. She does have a penchant for using certain ingredients fairly often--for example, coconut, peanut butter, and toffee--so readers may want to make sure they share her tastes before purchasing this book. In addition, although this is a baking cookbook, it leans much more heavily to cookie and candy items (including 4 different versions each of biscotti and candy bark) and much less on cakes (just 2 cakes/2 cheesecakes, although there are also 3 cupcake recipes) and pies (3).
I have finished reading this book, but I haven't yet had a chance to try any of the recipes. However, I have flagged several that I definitely do plan to try in the near future, including Yum Yum Squares (bar cookies with walnuts and coconut), Toffee Maple Shortbread (there are several recipes for shortbread variations included, but this one looked particularly good), and even a version of one of my favorite desserts that looked very doable for home baking, Creme Brulee. I promise to update my review with the results of my efforts, but in the meantime, I definitely recommend this book, if only for entertainment value alone.
I have now made two recipes from this book. The "Almost Paradise" bread was quite tasty, sort of a tropical take on banana bread with the addition of pineapple, mango, and coconut. (Plus, even though Bolger specifically notes that she does not intend any of her recipes to be healthy, I subbed part wheat flour and applesauce for part of the oil in this recipe, and it still turned out well.) I also made "Me and My Cookies Don't Need You," I variation on chocolate chip cookies which included toffee chips and almonds. I liked that these cookies held their shape well in the oven, and while they were good, they weren't quite as flavorful as I had expected.
With colorful recipe titles, such as "Almost Paradise Bread," or "I Forgot to Mention I was Married Blueberry Cheesecake," or even this one, one of my favorites, "Dating Ain't Easy Gingerbread Biscotti," how can one not want to put on the apron and start baking? Not only are the titles colorful, there are lots of tempting photographs throughout this book alongside with the author's stories. The recipes are stated clearly (and not in such small print that one has to find the binoculars to read them) and seem to be easy to make, which is perfect for beginner bakers as well as for harried bakers like me. If you have a sweet tooth, this book is definitely for you! I wish I had gotten this before Christmas because I would have added some of these delicious goodies to my gift baskets.
If you have a budding baker in the family, I highly recommend this book. If you are the one always looking for inspiration in the kitchen, I would also recommend this one too. The stories alongside the recipes are sweet, short and definitely relatable.
This is going to be one of my favorite get-to cookbooks when I need an inspiration in the kitchen. Definitely a keeper.
The recipes themselves have scrumptious photos and are, for the most part, pretty simple to make.
So far, I have made "Maybe It's Destiny, Dream Bars" for a large group and they loved them. They were fudgy, moist and super-quick to make.
"Newly Single, Toffee Chocolate Popcorn" was delish, as well as super-most "Almost Paradise Bread" (mango, pineapple and coconut).
This book contains a nice and successful repetoire of baked goods that is sure to threaten your waistline!