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Review, Part One: Desserts 4 Today

October 6, 2010

When I first heard about Abby Dodge’s new book, Desserts 4 Today, I was skeptical. The 4 means that all of the recipes have only 4 ingredients.  I thought it was just a gimmick, like all those books and shows that promise 30 minutes or less until dinner.  (I did a little exposé on Rachael Ray on my old blog and decided most of her 30 minute meals only really would come together in just 30 minutes if you have a staff of minions in your kitchen.) I figured there were probably a lot of store-bought pre-made things that just got gussied up.  How wrong I was!

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I’d like to echo the sentiments of some of the other bloggers who have reviewed this book and say that this book appeals on two different levels.  First, this is a great book for a cooking and baking newbie.  Only four ingredients means that the recipes aren’t intimidating.  But for those of us who love cooking and baking, this book is a revelation.  Abby uses great, real ingredients and applies them in simple yet ingenious ways.  I loved how fast these recipes came together and how quick and easy the clean up was.  But most importantly, they tasted great!

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I’m a big cookie girl so of course I had to dive into the cookie recipes first.  I was so intrigued – cookies with just four ingredients?  How is that even possible??  I started with the Sparkling Cocoa Drops – just flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and butter.  No eggs, no baking powder or baking soda in very specific and mysterious proportions?  No. None of that.  Weird, huh?  But they work anyway!  And aren’t they pretty?  Sometimes the four ingredients are used more than once in a recipe, like here the sugar is in the dough and then the cookies are also rolled in it.  Clever. 

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Another cool thing about this book is that Abby suggests “switch-ins” for every recipe.  If you don’t have one of the 4 ingredients on hand, maybe you have one of the switch-ins instead.  I did just that with the Toasted Pistachio Crisps which became Toasted Pecan Crisps at my house.  This was one recipe that turned out to be slightly tricky for me.  I, of course, was greedy and impatient for cookies, so instead of refrigerating the dough, I went for the freezer instead.  I am not sure if that was the issue, or maybe one of those environmental/humidity/regional difference things with the flour, but I found it very difficult to cut the dough into slices without it crumbling. 

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I plunged ahead anyway and in some cases just smashed bits of dough together into cookie-like shapes and it all worked out anyway.  These were fantastic – so buttery and rich!  My husband inhaled them at warp speed.  (Okay, maybe I did too!)

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Peanut butter cookies are always a favorite in my house so I had to try Abby’s Peanut Butter Buttons.  I was really skeptical about this one – just peanut butter, butter, an egg, and sugar.  No flour, no dry ingredients really at all. But, sure enough, the dough whipped right up into a scoop-able consistency. 

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They did get really flat when cooking, but look how pretty they are with the nice browned edges!  There was lots of rich, creamy peanut butter flavor and even my gluten-free friends can enjoy this one.

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I’ve made so much from this book and enjoyed all of the recipes so I am making you wait for the rest in a separate post, coming soon.  Look forward to it – I’ll be sharing Abby’s recipe for Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes!  And yes, only 4 ingredients, and yes, ridiculously rich and decadent.

(Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing.  The opinions expressed here are my own and I was not compensated beyond the book itself. )

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    October 6, 2010 11:45 pm

    YUM, YUM, YUM!!! I’m going to have to get a copy of this book. Heather loves to cook, and think how much fun we could have baking while only needing 4 ingredients!!! Thanks for the heads up on the book! Of course, my waistline won’t be as happy…

    • October 8, 2010 12:11 am

      That’s another cool thing about these recipes – most of them make nice small amounts so there’s not as much of an assault on the waistline! 🙂

  2. October 7, 2010 12:34 pm

    Jennifer, one thing I love about D4T is that the recipes for cookies and muffins make smaller batches. Must try the peanut butter buttons soon.

  3. October 7, 2010 3:07 pm

    I love Abby’s new book!!

  4. LeighG permalink
    October 7, 2010 4:52 pm

    Nice!! Is this book available to purchase online?

    • October 8, 2010 12:11 am

      Yes, check out the link at the top of the page – it will bring you to the Amazon page to buy it.

  5. October 7, 2010 5:53 pm

    I am on my way to search amazon now.. this is amazing. Such an easy way to make desserts on the fly right after dinner!

  6. October 7, 2010 10:29 pm

    Those sparkling cocoa drops sounds amazing and only 4 ingredients. I can’t believe it. That recipe would be perfect for some people I know who can’t eat eggs.

  7. Nae permalink
    October 8, 2010 12:43 am

    OK, small batches, I get it now. I was going to ask “over the course of what period of time did you make all these cookies? Do you people LIVE on cookies?” Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    • October 9, 2010 1:56 am

      I could easily live on cookies. I think most of the cookie recipes I made only made about 20 cookies or so, and they were smallish.

  8. October 9, 2010 12:54 am

    Cookie envy here, big time! Any chance of you being a little more specific with a recipe or two? 😉

Trackbacks

  1. Serious Chocolate for Two « Bread & Putter
  2. All Abby Dodge, All The Time « Bread & Putter
  3. All Abby Dodge, All The Time

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