Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

One Girl Cookies by Dawn Casale & David Crofton: Chef Jeff Reviews

One Girl Cookies: Recipes for Cakes, Cupcakes, Whoopie Pies, and Cookies from Brooklyn's Beloved Bakery
by Dawn Casale & David Crofton
Clarkson Potter (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-307-72048-1
Cooking Skill: Intermediate to experienced
Buy From Indigo

Description: Tucked away on a quiet, tree-lined street in Brooklyn, New York, is One Girl Cookies: a charming bakery and cafГ© whose owners have created what they call an Urban Mayberry. Little do most people know that this dessert destinationfamous for its gorgeous bite-sized cookies, amazingly moist cakes, seasonal pies and tarts, and dangerously addictive whoopie piesstarted simply, with one girl baking cookies out of a tiny apartment. One Girl Cookies shares the recipes for the shops sought-after treats, as well as the sweet story behind its beginnings.

To open One Girl Cookies, Dawn Casale looked to her family for inspiration, digging into a treasure trove of heirloom recipes and photos that she uses in her unique packaging designs. She often names her cookies for people special to her: Lucia (Espresso Caramel Squares with White and Dark Chocolate Swirl) is in honor of Dawns beloved grandmother, and Lana (Bittersweet Chocolate Sandwiches Filled with Raspberry Preserves) was created for her favorite teacher, who was a little bit bitter but mostly sweet. Dawns family life and the shop are so inseparable that it is only fitting that when she hired David Crofton, a professional baker, to expand the business, it turned out that she had found the love of her life.

From simple old-fashioned confections such as Lemon Bars and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Spiced Oat Crumble to modern treats like Orange Butter Drops with Shredded Coconut and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Spiced Filling, the recipes featured here will impress and delight anyone lucky enough to get a taste. With beautiful color photos and tips for wrapping and gift-giving, One Girl Cookies will become a cherished addition to every passionate bakers kitchen.
The Good Stuff
  • Recipes are delicious -- the whoopie pies were shared with neighbors and co-workers and EVERYONE (well except for Jake that is) loved them - Wife actually made them too -- its my favorite thing she has made so far
  • Good variety of baked goods to make
  • Introduction is a little long winded for people like me who don't like to read, but book addict wife enjoyed the story.  Wife really enjoyed this one so much that when she goes to New York in June she is going to visit the bakery (and she better bring back lots for me since I will be watching the kids by myself)
  • The directions in the recipe make sense and are easy to follow
  • The pictures of the finished product are simple, yet elegant and make you want to make them 
  • Nice introduction to each of the recipes
  • I want to make quite a few of the recipes from this one. We actually bought the ingredients this weekend to make 3 more of the recipes.  I will add the pictures as we make them. Tonight we are making the healthy Multigrain Muffin recipe that actually looks like it tastes good
  • Packaging ideas is a nice added bonus
  • There is a recipe for homemade butter (Which I have actually done by accident)
The Not So Good Stuff
  • More pictures would have been nice (that's for the wife --she LOVES to read, but gets all cranky if there aren't enough pictures in a recipe book -- hmm really makes sense doesn't it)
  • Many of the recipes are time consuming and use a lot of ingredients which may turn off more basic bakers
  • Do you have any idea how hard it is to find Dulce De Leche, Hawaiian Sea Salt and Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder in Bolton -- trust me I spent a lot of money on gas going from store to store
Favorite Recipes

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salty Dulce de Leche & Hazelnut Brittle - Pg 73

Multigrain Muffins - Pg 125
Pineapple Upside Down Cake - Pg 58

Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons - Pg 20
Almond Spirals - Pg 41
Banana Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche Filling - Pg 80
Homemade Butter - Pg 129

Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • More for the intermediate to advanced baker
  • With patience a beginner baker could make, but wouldn't recommend it
Pictures (More to come too)

4.5 Dewey's 

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review -- I will make you something nice from this for the OLA (Not the whoopie cookies though -- would be too hard to transport)

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