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.
Inside its pages, 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.)
What I Made: The Dunbar
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.
The end result 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.
While this might be the first recipe I tried, it definitely won't be the last. 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 that Butter is best known for.
The Verdict: Thumbs Up!
As a fan of old-fashioned baked goods, I am absolutely in love with this book. While many of these recipes are variations on tried and true classics, you get a real feel for what Butter is all about.
The trademark look and feel of the bakery is everywhere, from 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 totally the kind of book you want to curl up with on a rainy afternoon to day-dream about all the wonderful things you might want to bake next.
It's also a great choice for newbie bakers who are looking to satisfy a craving for sweet nostalgic treats. Many of the recipes are easy and approachable, and and almost every recipe is accompanied by a photo so you know exactly what the finished product should look like.
And when you're ready to work your way up to the next level, there are detailed step-by-step tutorials to walk you through advanced techniques like frosting a cake, making marshmallows and tempering chocolate.
While more experienced bakers probably won't find anything particularly new or revolutionary, it's still a great addition to your collection if you're a fan of the classics like I am.
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.
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.
Named after Dunbar Ave, where the first location of Butter Baked Goods is located, this old fashioned oatmeal crumble bar is filled with a deliciously sweet combination of chocolate chips, pecans, coconut and dulce de leche.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ¼ 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.
Recipe reprinted from "Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes from a Little Neighbourhood Bakery" by Rosie Daykin with permission from Random House Canada. Copyright © 2013 by Rosie Daykin Photographs copyright © 2013 by Janise Nicolay
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Canadian