When a craving hits, it hits hard. You need chocolate now. Or caramel. Or maybe just a really big spoonful of peanut butter. Paging through Baked Elements felt like a whirlwind tour of every craving I've ever had. Since the book is organized around ten of the most crave-inducing ingredients in a baker's pantry, I'm thinking that's the whole point.
• Who wrote it: Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, authors of Baked and Baked Expectations
• Who published it: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
• Number of recipes: 75 recipes
• Recipes for right now: Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Bread, Turtle Thumbprint Cookies, S'more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding, Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
• Other highlights: The "elements" referred to in the title are none other than the authors' 10 favorite ingredients: peanut butter, lemon and lime, caramel, booze, pumpkin, malted milk powder, cinnamon, cheese, chocolate, and banana. What do you know, those are some of our favorite ingredients, too!
With each chapter focused on a different core ingredient, we end up with a remarkably diverse collection of recipes that will serve us quite nicely when the next craving strikes. Most of these recipes are recognizable American classics—brownies, buns, cookies, and cakes—that have been tweaked and prodded to new heights of dessert glory.
• Who would enjoy this book? Bakers looking for new inspiration, particularly for the upcoming holidays; anyone who found themselves nodding along as they read the list of the authors' "elemental ingredients"!
→ Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Baked Elements: Our Ten Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
• Visit the authors' website: Baked NYC
(Images: Emma Christensen)