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Easy Desserts Anyone Can Make - Book Review


I was scouring the bargain books section of a bookstore in Buffalo recently and found Easy Desserts anyone can make by Cookbook Resources, Inc. I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes to make with my granddaughter, Isabella for her web site, Isabella Cooks, and also some that are especially good to use for my quick cooking site at BellaOnline. At first glance, this book seemed to have what I wanted.

As I read through the book, I was amazed at the number of easy and clever shortcuts that are included in the recipes. I kept saying to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that!”

This book contains around 400 of the easiest and fastest recipes that I have ever seen. Some of them are community cookbook recipes that have made the rounds, but others are fun recipes that make extra good use of convenience foods such as flour tortillas, prepared pie filling, refrigerator cinnamon rolls, prepared pie crusts, cake mixes, sweetened condensed milk, instant pudding, store bought cookies, and of course, frozen whipped topping. Most of the recipes have five or fewer ingredients, and are easy enough for kids to make. In addition to recipes using convenience items, there are several easy recipes made from scratch, some even using real butter and whipping cream, and many using good fresh summer fruit. There are gelatos, sherbets, and ice creams to be made in your timesaving automatic ice cream maker; and even some very fancy gourmet desserts such as Crepes Suzette (made with the prepared crepes found in the produce department of the grocery store) and Cherries Jubilee.

Isabella chose a recipe to make at home called Caramel Treats where you pour a mixture of butter, sugar, and pecans over graham crackers, bake them, and you have caramel cookies. Bella, who is 10, was able to follow and understand the recipe exactly with no adult help. I have seen these cookies at pot lucks and neighborhood dinners where adults have made them, and while they aren’t my favorite (since they come out sugary), Bella’s were exactly right—-just like the adults made. The recipes in this book are not only kid friendly, they use ingredients that many of us already have on our cupboard shelves. The book has a complete index, the layout is excellent, and there is a good variety of desserts, including cakes, pies, puddings, candies, cookies, and desserts such as cobblers. No recipe in the book takes more that 15-20 minutes of hands on time. Actually, the only drawback I can see is that there are no colored pictures; however, there are cute illustrations.

While I wouldn’t consider this a must-have cookbook for everyone, (it doesn’t have the perfect recipe for your next fancy dinner party, and probably isn’t a good pick for a gourmet cook) it is perfect for families with kids who like to help in the kitchen or for all of us who are busy and need very fast dessert recipes. In fact, if you are one who hates to cook, but occasionally are forced to make a good dessert, this just may become your dessert bible!

Purchase Easy Desserts from Amazon.com

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