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One Girl Cookies: Recipes for Cakes, Cupcakes, Whoopie Pies, and Cookies from Brooklyn's Beloved Bakery Hardcover – 20 Feb 2012
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About the Author
DAWN CASALE and DAVID CROFTON are the owners of One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn, New York, which has been featured in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Real Simple, among other publications. They live in Brooklyn with their son, Nate. Visit them at www.onegirlcookies.com
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
1.) from the reviews, this is clearly an easy book for experienced bakers to follow. But it is most certainly not an introduction to baking, or a book with a lot of recipes that you can crank out in a few minutes. The blueberry muffins, for example, require several bowls and some fairly careful mixing and prep work. Again, if you're experienced I'm sure this is no problem, but customers looking for quick and easy recipes should look elsewhere.
2.) This is no-compromise-on-the sugar-and-butter cookbook. Very very few recipes here are health or weight conscious. Even the multi-grain muffins (which are mentioned as healthy) have a stick of butter and three-quarters cup of sour cream. Nearly everything comes with a scoop of extra sugar on top, or a thick layer of butter and cream cheese icing. Not a problem for occasional treats perhaps, but know what you're getting into. If you don't like very sweet things, or you're cooking with a kid in the house, you're going to have to make some serious adjustments. We've had good results using half the sugar suggested, and leaving off the sugar toppings and heavy icings. If you know the restaurant, and have the tiny carefully balanced portions served there in mind, you will be surprised by this book.
3.) The book makes few compromises to help you along if you're having trouble. Most recipes, for example, assume you have a standing mixer and there is no suggestions for how to cope if you don't. Also, there are some instances where recipes that are just plain hard could use some photos of the cooking process--I'm thinking especially of the butter milk biscuits which have never risen properly for me. The photos are beautiful and mouthwatering, but mainly serve to advertise the wonderful store since they are so professionally produced that I wouldn't ever expect to be able to recreate such a thing. Again, this is a book pitched towards more experienced folk, so this might not bother you.
As I said above, we've had some great recipes out of this book, and tried some things that were tasty and interesting. The olive oil cake stands out--although I can't get the lumps out. I've made some of the cake layers and left off the icing, and the fig tart was wonderful once we cut the amount of honey and halved the volume of filling.
The book contains intriguing and special recipes, i.e. Buttermilk Tea Cookies, Sicilian Frozen Trifle, etc., as well as American recipes both "common" (apple pie) and "uncommon" (whoopie pies), and also Italian desserts like a delightful Lemon Olive Oil cake (quick and easy to make). The book does not contain some of the more complex and laborious French recipes such as brioche and croissants, but there are other good bakery cookbooks (Flour and Tartine) for those recipes. I was skeptical about the claim of "the best" chocolate cupcake but it really is the best. The crumb is moist and delicate. The taste is divine. (Used Valhrona Dutch cocoa powder with Trader Joes's chocolate chips and Fage Greek yogurt.) Both the chocolate lover and non-chocolate lover thought the cupcakes were superb. And, the cupcakes were all eaten before any got frosted.
My one complaint concerns ingredient measurements. No weights are given for ingredients, and the method for flour measurement (lightly spooned or dip and sweep) is not specified, so one cannot convert cups to weight. At first, I used the dip and sweep method but my biscuits came out extremely dry. (1 cup bleached all-purpose flour equals 145 grams for dip and sweep vs 121 grams for lightly spooned. This 20% extra flour makes quite a difference in the final product.) Later, I converted my weight to the spoon and sweep method and had consistently good results for the Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes, Lemon Oil Cake, Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and Apple Pie. The author, David Crofton, confirmed via telephone message that the spoon and sweep method should be used.
I did modify one recipe. Pre-baked the bottom crust for the apple pie, and added some flour to the apple filling to avoid soggy bottom for the second day. And although side by side, the apple pie made from the recipe in Flour won, it was a very close call. Still, the One Girl apple pie recipe was top-notch.
This is a lovely book with good tasting (along with the fantastic Chocolate Cupcakes) home baked recipes accompanied with many photographs. The book even shows and encourages you to prettily package and present the final product.
You will be happy with this book.
Recommendation: For everyone, but especially for non-bakers, hesitant bakers, and occasional bakers. A good no-fuss, go-to book.
PS. Have made the crust for the pumpkin pie and will write up the results.
Update: 6 June 2012
The Pumpkin Pie was a good variation, where the pepitas added a nice crunch, but the pie was just as tasty without them.
Have also made the Buttermilk Tea Cookies, Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Filling, and the Rich Chocolate Cake. Again, everything was delicious and easy to make. Instead of making the Chocolate Cake in a 10 inch cake pan, divided it into two 7 inch cake pans. Cut both cakes in half horizontally and filled them with apricot jam and coffee buttercream (Chang's Flour cookbook) on the first and third layer and espresso ganache (Desaulniers's Death by Chocolate cookbook) on the second layer. Then, coated the top and sides with the espresso ganache, refrigerated for ½ hour and then covered the sides with buttercream and piped stars along the top and bottom edges. The cake, as with most layered and filled cakes, tasted the best the day after assembly. A big hit. (See picture above.) Would absolutely use this chocolate cake with other fillings and frostings.
Without hesitation, would still recommend this book.
Update: 10 June 2012
Tried the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Spice Oat Crumble. Although, my household really likes ginger in both sweet and savory dishes, the ginger in the Spice Oat Crumble met with strong disapproval. In fact, ended up taking the crumble off the pie. Would make the pie again but without the ground ginger and crystallized ginger.