One of my favourite things about blogging is the opportunity to check out fabulous new cookbooks, particularly when they’re as beautiful and covetable as Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Bakery by Rosie Daykin.
Much like the Vancouver bakery it’s named after, this cookbook is a pastel-hued confection crammed full of delicious old-fashioned sweet treats. You’ll find soft snickerdoodle cookies, Morning Glory muffins, plump cinnamon buns, meringue-topped pies, chewy blondies, frosted layer cakes, and yes, even those famous gourmet marshmallows.
In other words, just the kind of nostalgic recipes you’d expect to find in your grandmother’s recipe box.
(Well, someone’s grandmother, anyways… my Avo Maria is far better known for her arroz doce than for her chocolate chip cookies, while my Grandmaman Alice’s idea of “making dessert” usually involved cracking open a package of Hostess cupcakes.)
Even the original recipes have a decidedly nostalgic feel – like this recipe for the Dunbar, an old-school oatmeal crumble bar filled with pecans, coconut, chocolate chips and dulce de leche. It tastes kind of like a Hello Dolly bar and an oatmeal crumble bar had a sweet, sweet baby together. It’s ridiculously buttery and high-calorie, and most definitely not gluten-free. And it’s delicious.
All the other recipes in the book look equally appealing. I’ve already got my eye on the Lemon Oatmeal Bars, the Homemade You-Know-Whats (aka. knockoff Oreos), and of course, those fabulous marshmallows.
I’d definitely recommend this book for newbie bakers, who will appreciate the detailed introductory section covering basic baking techniques, as well as the step-by-step tutorials on frosting a cake, making marshmallows and tempering chocolate. There are also plenty of easy recipes to help you work up to the fancier stuff, and almost every recipe is accompanied by a photo so you know exactly what the finished product should look like.
And while more experienced bakers probably won’t find anything particularly new or revolutionary, they’re sure to enjoy the many pretty touches throughout the book – the cabbage-rose endpapers, the airy pastel palette of pale pink and pistachio, Janis Nicolay’s beautiful photography, and even the pale green page marker made from the same ribbon the bakery uses to package up its goodies. It’s the kind of book you just want to curl up with.
In fact, the only complaint I have with this book is the fact that I’ll probably through a metric ton of butter and sugar and flour making the rest of the recipes I’ve got bookmarked, and will probably pack on a few extra pounds as a consequence. But oh my, will it ever be worth it.
But wait… there’s more!
I just happen to have an extra copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader, just in time for the holiday. And even better, it’s autographed!
Head on down to the bottom of the post to get more details on how to enter.
(Pssst… if you want to double your chances, my friend Mardi at eat.live.travel.write is also giving away a copy on her blog, and is also sharing that famous marshmallow recipe. Go check it out!)
Disclosure: Random House Canada provided me with a complimentary copy of Butter Baked Goods for my own use, plus one additional giveaway copy in exchange for this cookbook review. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own. Recipe reprinted with permission.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1¼ large-flake rolled oats
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup pecans, lightly chopped
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¾ cup dulce de leche
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter and line a 9 x 9 inch panwith parchment paper.
- Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and oats, and mix until well combined.
- Divide the dough into two and press half into the prepared pan firmly and evenly. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with the dulce de leche and pipe it over the chocolate chips, pecans and coconut. Use your hands to break the remaining dough into small chunks and sprinkle over the dulce de leche.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 mins or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow the slab to cool in the pan. Run a small knife along the two edges of the pan that do not have parchment handles. Carefully remove the slab from the pan and cut into approximately 2 x 3 inch bars. Make sure to use at least a 10-inch knife to avoid cutting and dragging the knife across the bars.
One lucky readers will win an autographed copy of Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.
How to Enter:
Leave a comment with your favourite old-fashioned dessert – is it a big chocolate chip cookie, still warm from the oven? A triple-layer carrot cake with swirls of cream cheese icing? Gooey brownies dotted with crisp walnuts?
Remember: You should leave one comment for each additional bonus entry, so that I can count them separately. Please also make sure you provide a valid email address with each comment so that I can contact you if you win.
Eligibility and Deadlines:
This contest is open to Canadian and American readers only (apologies, overseas friends, mailing fees are just too expensive).
Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm on December 9th, at which time a winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries received before the deadline.