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Marbled, Swirled, and Layered: 150 Recipes and Variations for Artful Bars, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, and More Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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From the Publisher
Pistachio Butter Swirled Fudge Brownies from Marbled, Swirled, and Layered
Makes 24 small brownies
I know people who swear they could eat an entire jar of peanut butter. But as much as they love peanut butter, when I introduce these folks to pistachio butter, they often go crazy for it! This brownie, which incorporates swirls of homemade pistachio butter, is for all those people who haven’t yet had the pleasure of pistachio butter in their lives. With a deep, fudgy chocolate brownie and a dense, salty pistachio batter married together, this is the showstopper brownie that will have you wondering where pistachio butter has been all your life.
Make the Pistachio Butter Batter
Place the pistachios, salt, and oil in a food processor or blender and process until a smooth paste forms. Add the powdered sugar and process until incorporated.
Make the Brownie Batter
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, with 2 inches of paper overhanging the edge of the pan on two sides. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue to cook in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
Add both sugars to the chocolate mixture and stir with a whisk or fork until incor¬porated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously to incorporate after each. Stir in the vanilla and then the salt and baking soda. Switch to a large spatula and add the flour and cocoa, folding until just absorbed.
Ingredients: Pistachio Butter Batter
- 2-1⁄2 cups (360 g) shelled pistachios
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (80 g) extra-virgin olive oil or pistachio oil
- 1 cup (115 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder (optional)
Scrape half of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly to the edges (it’s okay if it doesn’t cover it completely). Spoon three-quarters of the pistachio butter batter over the brownie batter, then spread the remaining brownie batter on top. Stir the matcha green tea powder, if using, into the remaining pistachio butter batter. Spoon the pistachio batter on top of the brownie batter in dollops and use a butter knife or chopstick to swirl it into the brownie batter.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the brownies by grabbing the parchment paper by the overhang and lifting straight up and out. Transfer the still-warm brownies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Alternative: Peanut Butter Swirled Fudge Brownies
Make the brownie batter as directed. For the peanut butter batter, stir together 3⁄4 cup (225 g) smooth peanut butter (not natural), 6 tablespoons (85 g) melted unsalted butter, 1⁄2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt. Assemble and bake as directed.
Ingredients: Brownie Batter
- 6 ounces (170 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped into 1⁄4-inch pieces
- 14 tablespoons (200 g or 1-3⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1-1⁄4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3⁄4 cup (105 g) all-purpose flour
- 2⁄3 cup (75 g) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
—REE DRUMMOND, New York Times best-selling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks
“Irvin Lin gives home-baked treats a twist, ramping them up with a range of contemporary flavors that are sure to surprise and delight. From beer-battered brownies to smoky butterscotch taking a classic cake to the next level, I can’t wait to mix, stir, and bake my way through Marbled, Swirled, and Layered!”
—DAVID LEBOVITZ, author of My Paris Kitchen
“Leave it to Irvin to hit it out of the park with Marbled, Swirled, and Layered. Every recipe is an inspiration! I want to make, and eat, every. single. one.”
—ELISE BAUER, founder of Simply Recipes
“Irvin is not only an accomplished and creative baker, he is a generous teacher. Home cooks will find all of the tips and techniques necessary to feel supported and comfortable—as well as inspired—in the kitchen. No one should miss the recipe variations! I love the modern versions of traditional recipes, great new flavor combinations, and—of course—the invitation to use flavorful flours other than wheat!”
—ALICE MEDRICH, author of Flavor Flours and Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies
“Irvin Lin is a master at creative baking. I’ve admired his Eat the Love blog for the delicious goodies and lovely storytelling. I’m excited to see desserts with such interesting flavor combinations in his first cookbook. They are truly works of art!”
—LORI LANGE, author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook and founder of RecipeGirl.com
“If the old aphorism ‘Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first’ is true—and I believe it is—then Marbled, Swirled, and Layered should be the cookbook every sweet-loving baker reaches for first. Between its sinfully delicious covers are recipes for some of the most luscious, tempting desserts ever. I dare you not to lick the pages.”
—DAVID LEITE, publisher of the James Beard Award–winning website LeitesCulinaria.com
“Love this book. It’s packed with all the style and brilliance that made Irvin Lin such a must-read food writer online. This book is all about incorporating big flavors into your baking with style: swirling, studding, and supercharging recipes to a magical effect. Cakes are cut to reveal extraordinary fillings or sliced to show beautiful marbling. Cookies and bars offer striking geometric effects. Recipes are easy enough to encourage, but with enough intricacy to keep you interested and, yes, impress friends and family. Five-star baking at its best.”
—DAN LEPARD, food writer and baker
“This book is captivating. The recipes are unique, but more so, they are carefully crafted. The ingredients were chosen to complement each other to create the most magical experience. I found myself smiling as I read this book. The combination of amazing recipes and entertaining words makes it one of my favorites!”
—AMANDA RETTKE, best-selling author
“I couldn’t be more excited for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered. Irvin’s recipes are so unique and his flavor combinations inspire me to be more creative in my own kitchen. This book belongs on the bookshelf of every baker, no matter their level of expertise.”
—TORI AVEY, PBS food columnist and creator of ToriAvey.com
"This debut cookbook's no-frills title belies a wealth of thoughtfully composed and marvelously complex desserts, such as jumbo Arnold Palmer cookies, Seville orange bars with salted shortbread and gin meringue, and pumpkin and ginger swirl ice cream pie with pecan-maple crust. In chapters for cookies, brownies and bars, cakes, breakfast goods, and more, food writer Lin competently explains baking basics and shares supplementary information on ingredients, techniques, and food science. Most recipes include two to three flavor variations, and many can be made gluten-free using flour blends and conversion tips appearing in an introductory section. VERDICT Lin's outstanding first book can help all home bakers to expand their repertoire and think more creatively about flavor combinations."—Library Journal (starred review)
"The pastry chef’s skills range wide, calling upon training in physics, chemistry, and culinary technique to produce artful and tasty desserts appealing to the widest possible audience. San Franciscan Lin has mastered his craft, and he shares his deep knowledge to educate others. The cookies and cakes Lin has imagined here go far beyond the commonplace. Some of the recipes will challenge even the chef’s professional peers, but a few will prove attractive and intriguing to the everyday home baker. The sharply defined pinwheel effect of his cinnamon honey bun cookies can be duplicated with some practice and patience. Lin’s sense of humor extends to a cake that duplicates commercial cream-filled chocolate cupcakes. Every recipe has one or two variations that transform flavors from the basic version. For those who need to avoid gluten, Lin has developed wheat flour substitutions that perform perfectly. Culinary students can glean much from Lin."
“Lin…takes risks in nearly every one of the 150 elaborate recipes in his book. He doesn’t just paint the lily; he bejewels and shellacs it, too. You can almost see his mind buzzing as he adds mesquite powder and teff flour to malt chocolate-chip cookies, and roasts white chocolate until it caramelizes to make extra-gooey blondies with strawberry-balsamic jam. At times the recipes sound over the top (Rosemary Caramel and Dark Chocolate-Potato Chip Tart, for one), but in the end they were artfully balanced.”
—The New York Times
"Before you devour Lin’s bars and pies, be sure to pause and admire his artful frosting and beautifully scattered crumbles.”
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Top Customer Reviews
And yet impressed I am, VERY, by "Twirled, Swirled And Layered. From the first read, I have become author Irvin Win's cookbook groupie who wants to join his fan club, ensuring I am first to know when he releases his next book. ( hint, hint, Irvin!)
Right off the bat Irvin has taught me a few new things. Usually the kitchen tools section is something I quickly skim past. Not so fast! You are sure to pick up a few handy tips no matter how experienced you are as a baker. It made me feel like Irvin was personally sharing his insider knowledge. The same goes for the ingredients and the gluten-free conversion sections. In other words, this is a cookbook worth reading.
Onto the recipes...
Categories are: Cookies; Bars; pies, Tarts, Cobblers, and Crisps; Muffins, Breads, and Breakfast Goods; and A Little Bit More.
What is "A Liitle Bit More"? I will let Irvin explain:
"From cheesecakes to parfaits, from ice cream to eclairs, here are a few extra recipes that are unexpected in their flavors or execution. Think of this as my own twist ending, but a little sweeter and a lot less expensive than anything Apple would announce."
Can I volunteer to be a recipe tester? A baking elf on the shelf in his kitchen? I love this book and want more. Be sure to check out his blog. I did after purchasing his cookbook.
Do you like photos? This book has yummy full-page pics for some recipes. One look and photographer Linda Xiao has made me want to rush to get out the mixing bowls---until I realize it is after midnight on a workday, lol. I do wish there was a photo for each recipe but will take more recipes over more photos if forced to make that Sophie's Cookbook Choice.
But it is the actual recipes that earn this tome a place in my cookbook hall of fame and prompted me to write this review.
The recipes are original in a good, not weird, way. And most recipes have unique variations included, adding extra value. The alternative recipes are worthy in their own right, not just minor tweaks on original recipes where an author swaps out a single ingredient.
For example, I randomly flipped open the book to:
Honey Lavendar Cheescake Bars (a lovely light purple swirled delight). The alternative variation is:
Slow-Roastes Balsamic Strawberry Cheescake Bars.
Or how about: Dark Chocolate Whoppie Pies with Raspberry Marshmellow Filling? Oh yeah, baby! Alternative variations: Classic Whoppie Pies with Vanilla Bean Marshmellow Filling; Sweet Potato Whoppie Pies with Triple Ginger Marshmellow Filling, and Butterscotch Whoppie Pies With Apple-Cream Cheese Filling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am supposed to say Doris Greenspan's new book on cookies is my favorite buy of the holiday season. And don't get me wrong, that IS an awesome cookbook. But we're all friends here, right? Got to say THIS is the one I am grabbing if my house catches fire during a late-night, sleep-deprived bake in 2017.
I made the Jumbo Arnold Palmer cookies last night. Such a cool idea-one mixture is the 'lemonade' side and the other is 'iced tea' flavor. Following all the instructions produced a cookie exactly like the photo. A+ taste and visually attractive-nice enough for gifting. If you are a baker yourself, know a baker or just like beautiful books, I highly recommend. And that cover photo is only the beginning. ;-)
I look forward to making more items! And enjoying the gorgeous photography!
I will say this book isnt necessarily geared towards beginner bakers, but even if you are a beginner, Irvin has made even the more complicated recipes very accessible, with tips and hints throughout that will help relieve any anxiety you feel about attempting new things (like making your own caramel or laminated dough).
I'd say I'm somewhere between a beginner and intermediate level baker, and this book is a great balance of recipes I'll feel pretty comfortable making, and recipes that will challenge me and help me grow. I already made the salted caramel cheesecake brownies and they are AMAZING.
If I have one criticism of the book, it's that I wish it had more photos. The photos are beautiful and they really helped me picture some of the recipes, and I like a visual guide sometimes. All in all, I highly recommend this book (would make a great gift for anyone who loves or even dabbles in baking).