Initial Impressions: I've always wondered about books from East Coast bakeries that are distributed worldwide. Are people outside of the East Coast really familiar with these places? But this book was endorsed by Martha Stewart and it looks gorgeous. Recipes include savory and sweet and vary in skill level. Almost every recipe is lushly photographed, so it's a good book to gawk at too.
Results: I've tried several recipes so far, and each have turned out delicious. Here are a few of the ones I have made:
Strawberry Thumbprint Corn Muffins (p. 28-9):
A basic corn muffin recipe with a twist. These were pretty simple to make; the recipe only had six steps and followed logically. They turned out pretty good, not too sweet. Definitely better served hot.
The Best Lemon Squares (p. 88-9):
I didn't exactly follow this recipe, which called for a 1/3 of a cup of wheat germ. Who wants to buy a whole jar for a lousy third of a cup? I just added 1/3 of a cup extra of flour to make up the difference. These were probably the easiest lemon bars I've made. They are tart and sweet, and the strawberries pair well with them.
Cheddar Chive Scones (p. 36):
I would make these again in a second! The scones are very simple and quick to assemble (it took me about 10 minutes). The cheddar flavor really stands out. This is a really easy, delicious addition to dinner.
SoNo Cheesecake (p. 198-201):
You can't tell by my photograph, but this has a pistachio crust that looks green and very elegant in person. The berries on top are raspberries. I used frozen because they are out of season and very expensive right now. Blackberries would be a good substitute too. This is probably the most difficult item from the book that I've made, but even a novice baker like myself could handle it. The directions are clear and easy to follow. It takes more time than the other recipes, but it's definitely worth it. This is a fantastic cheesecake recipe. It is incredibly creamy and rich, the raspberries and pistachios are a delightful touch. I'd make this again for a special occasion.
I also have tried the Raspberry Linzer Bars (p.90-91) and Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (p. 60), both of which received rave reviews from friends. I was especially fond of the Linzer bars, though instead of hazelnuts (which the recipe called for), I used the more traditional almonds. Overall this is an excellent cookbook to look at and use. I highly recommend it!
Find it in the catalog.