A longtime, passionate baker offers a collection of sweet treats and a bevy of instructions.
Ferreiro’s debut cookbook includes tips and recipes that were developed in her small home kitchen, resulting in easily accessible desserts. Recipes range from the classics (Chocolate Chip Cookies) to more unusual fare, such as Hummingbird Cake with Jamaican Roots. The Triple Cheesecake sounds divine and indulgent, featuring a blend of three rich cheeses, while the Berry Fruit Salad, delivering a sweet-tart combination, would be a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day. In addition to over 100 recipes, the author includes pages of baking tips and information on preparing pans, freezing and storing baked goods, and testing for doneness. The end of the cookbook provides notes on ingredients, kitchen equipment, measurements, and a helpful checklist for any baker’s pantry. The indexes at the back of the volume group recipes into different sections like “No Baking Required” or “Kids Can Help.” There’s an additional index that lists recipes by what’s in season. Though the material is well-intentioned, simple icons next to each recipe indicating various categories would have been a cleaner approach. Ferreiro’s recipes are alluring and well-selected. She takes great pains to ensure they are comprehensive and clearly spelled out. Beginning bakers should appreciate the plethora of tips tucked into each one. But many new cooks may also find themselves intimidated by the vast quantity of words. And there are a lot of them. Blank space is at a premium on each page, and the amount of information found in this work, while instructional, becomes overwhelming. A compounding factor is a lack of large, enticing photographs. Though printed in full color, the photos here are small and do not truly showcase the recipes. The cover, for example, displays simple text and desperately needs an image—perhaps a large glossy photo of the vibrant yellow Lemon Tart or a Clafoutis bursting with juicy Bing cherries. Ultimately, the book works better as a reference guide than a resource to casually peruse for a quick fix for a sweet tooth.
Appealing dessert recipes in a labor of love become overshadowed by an unattractive layout.