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What happens when an artist takes to the kitchen? You get beautiful desserts that pop with color and design and delight with flavor and aroma. In short, you get Heather Baird, the genius behind the Sprinkle Bakes food blog. Her debut cookbook, SprinkleBakes, was published in May.
One of the first things you notice when you open SprinkleBakes is the absolutely gorgeous photography. From the completed desserts to the close-up details of specific techniques and ingredients, the pictures invite you to sit a while and dream of your next baking adventure.
Then when you turn to the table of contents, you'll see that the cookbook has a unique format. The chapters are not divided by type of dessert but rather by technique or medium.
What does that mean? Well, for example, the section titled "Blank Canvases" contains recipes for undecorated cookies, cakes, and candies. Other chapters and sections provide recipes for icings and toppings as well as decorating techniques that turn a plain dessert into a work of art. So you could make Baird's simple sugar cookie recipe and then turn to a technique chapter to learn how to use a variety of pigments, food colorings, and icings to create such things as postcard cookies with exquisite line drawings and exotic-looking cookies with intricate designs inspired by henna tattoos.
Here are some of my favorite recipes/techniques:
- Origami cookies
- A book cake
- Individual grasshopper pies
- Beautifully colored free-form lollipops
But now comes a moment of confession. I'd like to think that I'd actually make a stunningly beautiful dessert that required multiple master baker techniques, but the truth is this: I'm pretty much a casual (or should I say lazy?) baker. Don't get me wrong, I like a pretty icing, and I think it's fun to play around when decorating a birthday cake; it's just that I tend to put the bulk of my culinary energy into the meal itself. On the other hand, I can easily picture my artistic niece taking the time to mix the perfect colors to decorate cupcakes to fit a party theme.
If you have an artistic bent or are looking for ways to be more creative in the kitchen, Heather Baird's SprinkleBakes is the cookbook you've been looking for.
Buy SprinkleBakes at an Indie, at Powell's, at Book Depository, or at bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs.
Published by Sterling Publishing / Sterling Epicure, 2012
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)