Thursday, December 14, 2006

Review: Buttercup Bakes at Home


Buttercup Bakes at Home: More Than 75 New Recipes from Manhattan's Premier Bake Shop for Tempting Homemade Sweets by Jennifer Appel looks like it has promise and maybe it does-just not for me. I was underwhelmed by the first Buttercup Bake Shop cookbook and it doesn't seem like this one is much better. The recipes aren't bad, they are just sort of boring. The same brownies and cakes we have seen again and again but with the added bonus of calling for an inordinate amount of butter; most cakes (even those with just two layers) call for 3 or more sticks of butter. And that isn't including what goes into the icing. I can't say I am too surprised, I have been both to the Magnolia Bakery and the Buttercup Bake Shop in Manhattan (Appel was the co-owner of the Magnolia but parted ways and opened up the Buttercup) and wasn't too impressed with either of them, the icing on their famous cupcakes tastes like solid butter with a hint of sugar. So maybe I shouldn't be surprised that her cakes call for so much butter, but I can't help but wonder if they come out greasy. I know even adding a extra couple of tablespoons of butter to a cupcake recipe can result in greasy cupcakes, so I can only wonder what a ratio of 3 sticks of butter (a cup and half) to two cups of flour would have on a cake. Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars do sound interesting: brownies with crisped rice and chocolate but I am not sure if I am comfortable enough with her recipes to bother making them.