The Vintage Baker – available for pre-order! – will be published by Chronicle Books in May of 2018. It includes over 50 old-fashioned recipes for sweets and treats, from my vintage recipe booklet collection, that have been twisted and tweaked for the 21st century baker. Each headnote includes some history about the dessert and its ingredients, and almost all are accompanied by a vintage image from my collection. Alice Gao took the photos for the book and they are spectacular.
Icebox Cakes is my first book, and I am extremely excited about it – not surprisingly – as I am a huge icebox cake fan. I’m not just expressing my love of icebox cakes because I coauthored a book about them in which I developed the recipes. Instead, I might as well come clean and confess that I have just the tiniest (okay, a smidge bigger than tiny) bit of a white-trash palate when it comes to sweets (okay, all food). I love super-simple, homey desserts (my next book is unlikely to include a recipe for croquembouche), and if such desserts include pudding or whipped cream or graham crackers, I’m basically in heaven.⇓
Working with Matt and Nato continues to be super-fulfilling professionally, extremely fun, and very tasty. For my latest project with them, and in my new role as the head recipe developer for all Baked NYC books, I developed (and tested) many of the recipes for their fourth book, Baked Occasions, including Dolly’s Doughnut (a coconut bundt cake with a chocolate coconut filling), the Ultra Lemon-y Lemon Bundt cake featured in Food & Wine (October 2012), the Cherry Almond Crisp, and the Election Palmiers (spicy mini palmiers), as well as a myriad of others.
So, I met Matt and Nato in 2006 when desperation drove me into their bakery, Baked NYC, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I had stopped practicing law 3 years earlier, and although I was completely consumed by mothering two boys under 3, I was also developing a real obsession with sweets and a need to maybe do-one-thing-a-week that didn’t involve diapers or strollers or sleep training. Not that I hadn’t always been sweets-obsessed, but now, more than eating raw cookie dough from the squishy Pillsbury tube or the double-stuffed Oreos of my childhood, I actually wanted to make my treats from scratch. I loved the Baked Sweet and Salty cake (who doesn’t??) and really all they had on offer (the treats at Baked easily embody all that I love in a simple homey sweet – chocolate whoopee pie, anyone?). ⇓