I was in the mood to cook up a storm today and that was greatly inspired by this gorgeous cookbook that I got in the mail yesterday. I read the thing from cover to cover last night. I've never read a cookbook that is just as entertaining as any novel, but I absolutely loved this book plus it had my mouth watering at all of the gorgeous pictures and descriptions.
As she tells us in the introduction, One Girl Cookies, is the name of Dawn Casale's bakery that she opened with the help of her husband David Crofton in Brooklyn. Their story is a cute one. She wanted to focus of her business to be on the tradition of her italian family with a focus on beautiful presentation of her pastries as well. And if this cookbook is any judge of that, I'd say she's doing an amazing job.
We're lucky to have this book. She shares quite a few amazing recipes for items she sells in her little shop which seems to have a very popular, loyal following. The book is divided into chapters that focus on different types of pastries: Comfort Cookies, Party Girl Cookies, Cakes, Whoopie Pies and Cupcakes, Pies and Tarts, Breakfast, Family Recipes, and then she wraps the book up with some ideas on how to present your baked goodies.
What I loved most about this book is that she gives you a story behind each recipe. Might be a piece of her family history, or of a certain customer who wanted her to make something, or of a wedding they made stuff for. Regardless, the stories just add so much character to the recipe. She also gives plenty of tips along the way..
Of course I had to cook something out of the book right away, and it was a toss between the Orange Butter Drops which have a melt in your mouth orange-y/cream cheese center and are dipped in coconut on top, the olive oil lemon cake who's picture just looked absolutely divine, or her family's traditional "milk pie" which sounds like the perfect custard pie which I've been craving for years! Well I decided on the Olive Oil Lemon Cake because I really wanted cake today. And let me tell you it was a damn good choice!! Though I think anything in this book would be amazing. The cake was perfectly light and rustic looking with a dusting of turbinado sugar on top which gave it a nice crisp top and a hint of sea salt sprinkled a top as well which really complimented the lemon flavor. It's more work than I'm used to normally putting into a cake (AKA, not a box), but I have to say that I LOVED making it!! Here's a pic of how it turned out:
While I was cooking today, I also decided to make these black bean quesidillas from Budget Bytes' website and they were OMG good!!!! The recipe makes 10, so I ate two and froze 8 for future use!!! If you're not following Budget Bytes, you totally should. The wonderful Renay introduced me to her website. Just thought I should share that link with y'all because these things are amazing. Oh and it calls for her own taco seasoning recipe as well and here is the link for that....that is also super easy, money saving and amazing as well ;)