Butter, Flour, Sugar, Joy: Simple Sweet Desserts for Everyone

Sourcebooks. Nov. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781728278018. $29.99. COOKING
Seattle-based celebrity food star Kartes (Rustic Joyful Food) explains that she comes from a long line of “dump-and-stir” home bakers who improvised ingredients and never precisely measured anything, while still achieving fabulous results. Kartes adapts that relaxed approach to baking in an enticing range of classic all-American dessert recipes. To simplify things, she eliminates the weight measures commonly seen in baking tomes and streamlines ingredient lists. Many of the recipes are made in a single bowl to reduce mess and cleanup. Readers will find plenty of special-occasion options for birthday cakes, summer and holiday pies, popular cookie creations, and indulgent puddings. Although most of the recipes are fairly straightforward, new bakers may miss the presence of step-by-step photos and detailed instructions for the more challenging recipes like pie dough, pastry, and meringue. Kartes also writes openly and often about her Christian faith throughout the book.
VERDICT Kartes offers a refreshing and relaxed approach that is especially suitable for medium-level bakers. Both the decadent recipes and heartfelt stories about their origins will entice fans of Paula Deen and Taste of Home magazine.
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