Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Something Sweet: Desserts, Baked Goods, and Treats for Every Occasion

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review - Something Sweet: Desserts, Baked Goods, and Treats for Every Occasion

Something Sweet: Desserts, Baked Goods, and Treats for Every Occasion

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About the Book
Four years ago, Miriam Pascal started her food blog,, as a creative hobby. Her passion for food and recipes catapulted her to success as she rapidly garnered a large and avid following of eager home cooks who appreciate her blend of approachable creativity. Miriam’s blog is viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each month, and her dessert column in a leading kosher magazine has helped Miriam earn a reputation as “the queen of kosher desserts.”

Through frequent interaction with readers, Miriam has gained a unique understanding of what home cooks look for in recipes, and she has incorporated this knowledge into her debut cookbook, creating a masterpiece that has clearly been created with a focus on the user experience. Something Sweet is Miriam’s first cookbook, in which she shares her passion for delectable desserts with home cooks everywhere. The book is filled with user-friendly features such as detailed “plan ahead” and freezer instructions, helpful variations and substitutions, and a comprehensive holiday guide. The author also thoughtfully incorporated reader requests, such as dairy-free recipes, health- and allergy-conscious recipes, recipes using easy-to-find ingredients, and recipes that are quick-and-easy to create.

With the High Holidays and Hanukkah just around the corner, Something Sweet has something for every occasion and every craving. As you plan your holiday dinners add a bit of sweetness with recipes such as:
  • Neapolitan Trifles
  • Chocolate Chunk Honey Cookies
  • Pecan Pie Cigars
  • Bakery Style Cake Donuts
  • Pomegranate Cupcake

Pascal also supplies recipes for basic staples, including Fudgy Brownies, No-Fail Flaky Pie Crust, and Chocolate Chunk Chocolate Cookies. Children will love the kid-friendly goodies such as Chocolate Pretzel Cookies and Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes.
Cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, candy, even drinks…Something Sweet has it all. Featuring:
  • Desserts and treats for every occasion
  • Accessible ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions
  • Detailed “Plan Ahead” instructions for every recipe
  • Dairy and nondairy options for most recipes
  • Baking, Holiday, and Party Guides
  • Every recipe is accompanied by a mouthwatering, full-color photo

Something Sweet was created to become THE dessert resource for anyone who loves dessert, with recipes to sweeten any occasion.

About the Author:
Miriam Pascal is the founder of, one of the world’s leading destinations for kosher recipes, with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. A self-taught cook and baker, Miriam shares her passion for recipes, food, and photography on her website, as well as in her monthly food column in Ami Magazine’s Whisk. Miriam has garnered a large and loyal following of home cooks who appreciate her expertise and experience in creating simple, family-friendly recipes that fit the lifestyles of busy cooks who want to feed their families nutritious and delicious meals. Through her immensely popular sweet recipes, Miriam has also gained a reputation as “the queen of kosher desserts.” Miriam’s work has been featured by The Today Show, The Huffington Post, and numerous other national magazines and other media.

Hot Gooey Caramel Pie
Dairy or Pareve Yield 2 pies, each 8-10 servings

In the years that I’ve been developing and writing recipes, I’ve made a number that have been really popular, some of which you can find in this book. None, however, have been as iconic and popular as my Hot Gooey Caramel Pie. When trying to figure out why this recipe took off so well, I thought about how different this dessert is. While other recipes are exciting takes on familiar ideas and flavors, this one was so unusual and different that I didn’t even know what I was making at first. It started with some ingredients in my pantry that I wanted to use up, and ended with a dessert that I could barely even name — but that everyone raved about.

This pie has been made in numerous countries all over the world, graced many special-occasion tables, and enhanced many meals. And over and over again, fans have raved, “It’s just SO good.”

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter or trans-fat-free margarine
  • 8 oz cream cheese or soy cream cheese
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 cup caramel chips
  • 2 ready-made graham cracker pie crusts
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional
  • Caramel Sauce for serving, optional

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add brown sugar and corn syrup; beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla, beating to combine after each addition.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low; add flour. Beat until combined. Stir in caramel chips.
  5. Divide batter between pie crusts. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set (it will still be jiggly).
  6. Serve warm with ice cream and caramel sauce (optional).
  7. Note As the name suggests, the pie is gooey— and it doesn’t cut into the neatest slices when warm. 

For a fancier presentation, make mini pies (see Variation) or serve it closer to room temperature, when it won’t be as gooey.

Variation For neater serving, bake in mini graham cracker crusts or ramekins for 22-24 minutes.
Plan Ahead This pie freezes well in an airtight container. Defrost and reheat before serving.

Pomegranate Cupcake
Pareve | Yield 1 dozen

Pomegranates are beautiful fruits, loaded with health benefits and delicious flavors, so it’s a shame they aren’t used more in baking! These easy-to-make and unusual cupcakes have a delicate fruity flavor and pretty pink appearance, thanks to the glaze.

  • ½ cup oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice

  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons pomegranate juice, divided
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard (12-cup) cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat together oil and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add vanilla, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and eggs. Beat until combined.
  4. Alternately add half the flour and half the pomegranate juice, beating after each addition until incorporated.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling each cup about three-quarters full.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the tops are set. Remove from oven; cool completely before glazing.
  7. Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice; mix until smooth. Gradually add an additional 1-3 teaspoons juice if needed to form a thick but spreadable glaze.
  8. Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the glaze, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, if desired.

Variation The flavors of pomegranate and chocolate go really well together, so you can frost these with Chocolate Fudge Frosting (page 188).

Plan Ahead These cupcakes freeze well in an airtight container. For best results, freeze them without the glaze and add it just before serving, but you can glaze them before freezing if necessary. Be sure to let the glaze set before you cover the cupcakes.

My Take on the Book
This a beautiful cookbook. The recipes range from cookies and cakes, to muffins and pastries, and candy. You will find many recipes for frosting and toppings. There are recipes for drinks and frozen treats. The color photographs which accompany the recipes will entice you to begin preparing one of the delectable treats immediately.

Miriam Pascal provides the reader with more than a recipe. She has a plan ahead section which will assist you in preparing a recipe prior to the occasion. She provides information about ingredients, substitutions, how to melt chocolate, and more. Each main topic has specific helpful tips for the recipes in that section. I am sure you will learn some new and valuable facts.l am also confident you will decide to add this cookbook to your kitchen library.

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1 comment:

Miriam (overtimecook) said...

Thanks for the great review of my cookbooK! I am so glad that you enjoyed it!