Delicious Homemade Treats

By Nora Vasconcelos

9781612431215.02I know from my own experience that it’s often hard to resist the temptation when it comes to snacks, both sweet and salty. I also know that once you’ve got the bag or package of chips or cookies the idea of going back to light food appears.

For Casey Barber the solution was to develop the popular snack recipes on her own in order to produce delicious homemade, preservative-free, treats that are similar to the popular commercial ones, like cream cookies; chocolate or orange spongy little cakes filled with cream; tasty, kind of salty, sometimes cheesy or spicy crackers, and most of those common treats that go so well with the Sunday brunch or during the movie marathons.

“There’s a ‘mad scientists’ feel to reverse-engineering these treats, dissecting each layer of an oatmeal crème pie or licking the life out of a barbecue potato chip to analyze the exact spice blend”, says Barber in her book Classic Snacks Made from Scratch, where she includes 70 homemade versions of popular brand-name snacks.

Each one of her recipes explains in a very detailed way how this snacks can be made at home, either to enjoy them on your own or to treat your love ones with them. The only difficult thing here is to decide which recipe to prepare first!

To help you out with this decision, the book, published by Ulysses Press, is divided in sections that cover Cookies, Cakey treats, Cheese snacks, Salty snacks, Ice Cream treats and Sweets and Candies.

Then, when all the treats are ready, it’s time to enjoy them, share them, and if you’re strong enough as not to finish all of them at once, storage them for a few minutes or a week, whatever the recipe advises… or your appetite decides.

*All photos courtesy of Ulysses Press/Judi Swinks Photography

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I'm part of Post A Week 2014

The irresistible joy of cookie books

Text by Nora Vasconcelos

Photo by Anna Langova
Photo by Anna Langova

It’s funny how I can’t never get tired of cookie books. Whenever I’m wandering around a bookstore I can’t resist the temptation of buying a new book with all sort of recipes to prepare cookies.

Most of the time I restrain myself, but, from time to time I just surrender to the wonders of this unique pieces of happiness and enjoyment.

Of course I enjoy making cookies, but most of the joy comes just from browsing the books, reading the recipes, imagining how the ingredients combine and leaving in my mouth the sweet idea of how any given cookie should taste as soon as it’s out of the oven.

Among my favorite cookie books, these take priority on my bookcase: Holiday Cookies and Treats; Perfect Cookies: Delicious, easy and fun to make; 500 Cookies: The only cookie compendium; The Great Big Cookie Book, and Swiss cookies: Biscuits for Christmas and all year round.

From these, 500 Cookies gave me an immense source of happiness as I got the calendar version, so I was able to go through each one of the recipes day by day, making my mornings both enjoyable and delicious. Although, it’s worth saying that they aren’t in fact 500 different recipes, but three different versions of each cookie. Anyways, it’s something I really like.

The Great Big Cookie Book and Perfect cookies are amazing books to go through and it’s hard no to feel hungry after turning several pages of them.

Of course, baking cookies is always a big challenge, there are so many variations to take into consideration that some times it’s an interesting task to prepare the perfect cookie, but it sure is fun to try! And to try with a good deal of success, Holiday Cookies and Treats is a friendly book that presents in an easy way all sort of Christmas cookies, from shortbread to brownies.

The Swiss Cookies book is my most recent acquisition, and I like that it really puts me in the right mood to feel as if I were walking around one of those busy streets of Zurich, enjoying myself with the sight of the cookies and the treats shown in the window displays, waiting for me to seat down and rest for a moment, while enjoying the traditional recipes of this country.

And now, it’s cookie time! Enjoy 😀

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