If you’re looking for a gifty little book to present to a baker, you’d be hard pressed to find anything more adorable than “The Secret Lives of Baked Goods,” by CakeSpy blogger Jessie Oleson Moore. It’s got historical, whimsical essays on iconic confections, from the New York cheesecake to the Neiman Marcus cookie. Slender and square-formatted, with a celadon case wrap featuring a crumbly slice of red velvet cake, the book is cute enough to eat. The real question is: How does it bake?
These are classic desserts, and recipes that make no claim to being original. Some are renamed for copyright purposes (”Chocolate Creme-Filled Cookies” for Oreos, “Toaster-Style Pastries” for Pop-Tarts), and most are only approximations of the original, famous treats.