Newest Review: ... into the following sections; -Introduction -Cute cupcakes and buns -Crowd-pleasing cookies and biscuits -Blissful brownies and bars -Morei... more
1001 temptations to increase your waistline!
1001 Cupcakes, Cookies and Other Tempting Treats - Suzanna Tee
Member Name: redhead78
1001 Cupcakes, Cookies and Other Tempting Treats - Suzanna Tee
Advantages: Huge amount of recipes to choose from, good variations, easy to follow methods
Disadvantages: Often don't get the quantity stated in the recipe
I love cooking and baking and am pretty much addicted to cookbooks but I realised a while ago that most of them are exactly that...cookbooks rather than baking books, so I was excited to get this and try some new ideas in the baking department rather than sticking with my tried and tested 6 or 7 reliable recipes.
The books has been updated since the photo shown above, but if you search for the title on dooyoo it will show you the newer version too. It's a bright, attractive blue colour with the title of the book in bold cream and bright pink contrasting colours. The front cover is divided into 6 sections each showing beautifully arranged examples of the cupcakes and cookies recipes you'll find inside. The back cover is all about information and gives a tempting description of the kinds of recipes inside and what they can be used for (mid-morning coffee, afternoon tea, children's part etc). It tells us that it includes recipes for cupcakes, cakes and buns, cookies and biscuits, brownies, blondies and bars, muffins and pastries, tarts and other treats and ranges from "jam doughnuts and chocolate chip cookies to chorizo muffins and chocolate courgette cupcakes".
As it is a hardbacked book, and quite a large A4 sized one at that, it is quite a heavy book and it also has one of those annoying dust jackets which looks exactly the same as the actual front cover of the book but just insists on slipping off all the time and actually ends up getting much more dog-eared and tattered than the actual cover of books without them end up getting. I always take these off and throw them away because I just don't see the point in them.
Inside the book is broken up into the following sections;
-Cute cupcakes and buns
-Crowd-pleasing cookies and biscuits
-Blissful brownies and bars
I quite like the way the book is laid out as it is easy to find which section you want. Normally when I bake I already know what kind of item I'm going to make, whether it be a cake, some cookies or a tray of brownies, and am usually looking for inspiration within that category, so having it lset out like this is useful for me. On the odd occasion that I'm just looking for, say, a chocolate recipe, the index at the back makes it easy to find any recipes which include chocolate, so whichever way you're looking for a recipe they're generally easy to find.
The introduction section is a bit superfluous to my needs as I've been baking for many years, but if you're a beginner or not very confident then it would be quite useful I imagine. It is full of information about ingredients, equipment you might need, different techniques you can use, tips on making sure your attemp is a success, how to store your baking, presentation and lots of recipes for different kinds of icing and frosting.
Once you get into the main section of the book where all the recipes are it is slightly different to normal cookbooks and takes a while to get used to it if I'm honest. Rather than having one recipe per page with a photograph, it tends to have two main recipes per page with two or three alternatives to that recipe and the picture refers to any one of those recipes. So you have the main recipes with its ingredients list, method and how many you'll get out of it and then the alternatives tell you to add something instead of something else eg add shredded coconut instead of cinnamon.
One example is on one page the top half is Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese icing and then has two variations; White Chocolate Cupcakes and Cupcakes with Chocolate Mascarpone icing and the photo provided is of the chocolate cupcakes. The bottom half of the page is Lemon Butterfly Cakes with two alternatives of Orange Butterfly Cakes and Vanilla Butterfly Cakes. There is also a picture of some butterfly cakes provided but you can't tell which of the variations it is in this case.
I did at first think this was a bit of a cheat in calling the book 1001 recipes as this one page contains recipes numbers 46-51 and they're not all different recipes, they're just slight variations on the same recipe. But as I've used the book more I've actually found it quite helpful having these slightly altered recipes and it makes it much easier to make your baking more varied and interesting rather than just making the same old recipe all the time.
There are a few recipes I probably would never attempt, simply because they involce what I would call "fussyness" like dipping things in melted chocolate and fancy decorations whereas I'm more of a plonk-it-on-a-plate kind of girl, but I have post-it'd probably about 50 pages in the book now and since buying the book in the summer I've used probably a dozen different recipes. I find it handy as the vast majority of the recipes inside are for smaller bits and pieces and I always like to have a cake tin full of cookies or brownies or something in case anyone happens to pop by and this book is full of ideas for things like this.
All the recipes that I've tried so far have turned out nicely and they've all been tasty. Most of them I would definitely make again and, indeed, some of them I have already made more than once. The only slight negative about the recipes is that they never make the quantity stated. I admit that i do have a tendency to be a bit haphazard when it comes to following recipes and will happily tweak them if I feel the need or desire to, which annoys my husband no end. But when I'm trying a new baking recipe for the first time I always stick to it because quantities tend to be more important in baking than in cooking. So all of these recipes I've stuck to word for word and followed religiously but the quantities are never right.
For example, when I made the buttery fork cookies (the mother-in-law was due round for coffee!) the recipe states that it will make 25 but I only got 18 out of it. Now, I'm no expert but these were small cookies anyway, so to get 25 our of the dough would have meant they were about the size of a ten pence piece! The same thing happened with some chocolate cupcakes when I got 13 out of a recipe meant to make 18. It's not really a big deal but in that case was slightly annoying as it meant using a whole other bun tin for just one cupcake. It would also be annoying if you were baking a specific number for a certain event (a children's party or something) because it's happened so frequently now with this book that I would never trust the number it gives. Luckily for me it's not important and I'm happy to accept that I get as many as come out of the bowl, but in an ideal world I would be able to trust the recipes!
One thing I love about the book is that it also includes savoury baking recipes, particularly muffins, and whilst I'm yet to try any of them they all look tempting. There are things such as Brie and Redcurrant (which I'm definitely going to be trying over the festive period at some point), Caramelized Onion, Chicken and Sweetcorn, Italian Pesto, Spicy Chorizo and Asparagus and Soured Cream. I love the idea of these as light lunches that you can just throw in a lunch box, or also as an alternative to bread with some soup. So now it's winter I'm definitely going to be experimenting more with the savoury bakes too.
Overall, though, I've been very happy with this recipe book (thanks GeoDougal for your great review which made me want it in the first place!). Whilst it doesn't exactly have 1001 recipes in it it does have that many ideas and variations and there really is something for everyone in here. If you bake a lot for cake sales or children I think this would be ideas as the vast majority of recipes are smaller, individual items and there are also different ideas for decoration them and making them look more attractive/sellable. It is set out for easy navigation and the recipes have reaildy available ingredients and easy to follow methods. Whether you like sweet or savoury, sensational looking delights or just something to go with your afternoon cuppa, there are definitely enough ideas in here to keep you going for years!
Summary: A useful book to have on your kitchen shelf, you'll never run out of inspiration again!
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