If you are looking to entertain this holiday season and want to make it really special, or you are looking for that perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life, look no further than “Coffee—Scrumptious Drinks and Treats” by Betty Rosbottom.
Betty Rosbottom is the author of several cookbooks including “The Big Book of Backyard Cooking” and also writes a syndicated column called “That’s Entertaining,” for Tribune Media Services. She is a contributing writer to “Bon Appétit” magazine as well.
“Coffee—Scrumptious Drinks and Treats” caught my eye with an inviting cup of cappuccino on the cover, filled to the brim with biscotti on the side looking so good I just wanted to take a sip. You already know I am all about the coffee, so I had to check it out.
Ms. Rosbottom has a lifetime of memories with coffee, beginning when she was a child, as she lets you know in the quick introduction. From drinking “”milk-coffee”—a cup filled with steaming hot milk, a heaping teaspoon of sugar, and just a touch of morning brew,” to chicory-laced coffee and beignets in the New Orleans’ French Quarter and so much more, her love affair with coffee shows throughout.
What follows are the basics, bringing us up to speed on coffee beans, roasting, brewing equipment, along with tips and hints. I guess an author would be remiss in their duties if this were not included in a book about coffee, but I wanted to get right to the important business at hand—drinks and treats—to be precise.
Here she delves right in teaching one to make a perfect Café Macchiato and Café au Lait moving forward to the “Sweet Dreams Nightcaps” which included brandy, White Chocolate Whipped Cream and a bit of cinnamon, and a New Orleans Café Brulot, which included orange and lemon, cloves and brandy. Cold drinks include “The 3 “Cs” Milkshakes, Black Russian and the Espresso Martini, but the Old-Fashioned Coffee Soda was really appealing to me. The recipe instructions are clear and simple, yet the ingredient combinations let you know you are in for something deliciously special.
The last two sections, “Sweet Treats for Dipping or Nibbling with Coffee,” and “Creamy Coffee Confections,” are difficult to read without salivating. The recipes are again simple and do-able and yet, judging from the beautiful photographs throughout the book, inviting to look at as well. Some perfect recipes for the holidays are the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, Hazelnut Stars (cookies), and the Ginger Twists—perfect for dipping in a delicious coffee drink or hot cocoa.
I highly recommend this book , especially if you want to take your holiday entertaining to another level without really trying. This book is available on Amazon.com for only $10.17, your local book store and your local library.