So, you'vre ridden out the cupcake, cake pop, and whoopee pie crazes. You've eaten fennel-scented artisan bread pudding out of little mason jars. Whatever the next big dessert trend may be, the library has you covered. (Well, mostly, since we do not have books about cronuts . . . yet.) The following are some of the contenders on how to make extra special marshmallows, doughuts, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, Jello, and mug cakes.
This book contains thorough explanations of ingredients, equipment, storage, and troubleshooting for ice cream sandwiches made from homemade ice cream and cookies. There are recipes for popular ice cream flavors such as French Vanilla and also unusual flavors such as red wine, carrot cake and many more. As for the cookie part of the sandwich, there are again conventional and unconventional flavors for a variety of cookies with detailed assembly and decorating instructions. The author comes up with some clever combinations such as the Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich using raspberry ice cream and flourless peanut butter cookies and a Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich for the holidays using pumpkin spice ice cream and gingerbread men.
The author seeks to reinvent Jello for sophisticated adults with functioning teeth who are not in the hospital. The book shares tips and tricks about chilling, molding and unmolding. Some of the fruity gelatin recipes in this book remind us too much of cafeterias of old, but the “boozy molds” chapter got our attention. The Sparkling Champagne and Strawberries recipe with bubbles fixed in the Jello looks very appealing and the Pear and Lychee recipe, that includes a half cup of cold vodka, served in martini glasses is an idea we can really get behind.
Kaldunski promises new flavors for refined, grown-up palates and organizes the recipes into the categories: fruity, chocolate, creamy, and new-flavored. The author emphasizes high quality ingredients and cautions that flavors can dull with freezing. Ice pop molds are recommended for some of the recipes, while for others, an ice tray or other kinds of molds will do. The book also has creative ideas for using alternatives to wooden sticks, such as cinnamon sticks and pretzel rods. The instructions are mercifully simple. Some of the tempting recipes include Blueberry-Lemon Verbena, Mexican Chocolate, and Cucumber Lime-Mint
Many of the recipes in this book start from a basic vanilla marshmallow recipe that can be made at home from scratch. The author adds tantalizing ingredients like coconut, cardamom, or rosewater to the basic recipe, or substitutes the requisite ice water with flat champagne or apple juice. This inventive book also offers recipes for vegan marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, brownies and special s’mores.
The author admits that the idea of a microwaved cake in a mug is not going to help the reader “gain a spot on the Culinary Olympic team.” However, this book should win some kind of award for fun. We tried the “Moon Pie Mug Cake” recipe and were pleasantly surprised at the speediness and tastiness of the results. Some of the less standard cake recipes in the book are Green Tea, Victorian Rose, Mexican Chocolate, and Sesame Ginger. Because no one wants to take the time to split a raw egg in half, the recipes in this book are actually written for two mugs.
There is more to flavored popcorn than Cracker Jack apparently. This book begins with a brief history of popcorn and explains the popcorn types and methods of popping. The author asserts that popcorn, like wine, “picks up some of its characteristics from the terroir – a mix of the soil and climate where it is grown” and advises sampling many varieties. Many of the recipes in this book are for simple, flavored popcorn, both sweet and savory, that result in high fiber, low calorie treats. Evans-Hylton’s recipes mix popcorn with ingredient such as lemon juice, black pepper, paprika, and rosemary. There are also some intriguing, slightly more complicated recipes such as Popcorn and Pine Nut Brittle and Hawaiian Luau Bars.
The authors make 75 million doughnuts per year, many of them distributed to Starbucks coffee shops and Whole Foods stores in the Pacific Northwest. However, the doughnuts in this book can be made at home with a deep fryer or large heavy bottomed pan. There are recipes for traditional cake doughnuts, yeast-raised doughnuts and old-fashioned doughnuts with conventional flavors (maple, chocolate, coconut) and unconventional flavors (spiced Chai, pumpkin, peppermint, lavender).