Better Baking by Genevieve Ko

Genevieve Ko updates our favorite classic baked goods using flavorful whole grains, nuts, flours, fruits, vegetables, and fats in Better Baking: Wholesome Ingredients, Delicious Desserts.

Genevieve has co-authored numerous cookbooks, but this title is her first solo effort. After more than a dozen years developing recipes for food and health magazines and collaborating with noted pastry chefs, the author was determined to create treats that were just as indulgent as their original counterparts without sacrificing flavor. 

After a lifetime of baking and more than a decade of  doing so professionally, she discovered that wholesome ingredients could make desserts more delicious when  the right proportions and proper techniques are utilized. Swaps were made for such ingredients as butter for oil, in whole or in part, at times leaving the beloved ingredient of most bakers in for the milky taste and the tender crumb. She found using oil in some recipes rendered amazing results. Some dairy products like cream and sweet cheeses were traded for butter or oil, resulting in especially soft and flavorful pastries. The swaps continue throughout the book delivering baked goods that are better in both taste, texture and nutrition. The author states that the "better" in the title refers just as much to the foolproof techniques and shortcuts in this book as it does to the tastier treats themselves.

Each and every photograph of the recipes shared here are as decadent as the original versions found elsewhere. The Flourless blueberry muffins are one of my son's favorites and the Buttermilk pecan stick buns are incredible. Numerous other recipes are tagged to make including the Green tea almond raspberry rainbow bars and the New York apple cider crumb cake. I love that I can bake for family and friends using thoughtful ingredients. Genevieve proves that wholesome baking can be rewarding and delicious.

I was fortunate to meet the author at IACP and I mentioned how much I loved her book. Thanks to her publisher, we are able to offer three copies of this book in our promotion below open to US and Canadian members. Be sure to add this scrumptious cookie to your bookshelf to make later. 


Chocolate sunflower-oat lace cookies
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Lace cookies, which are intricate webs of toffee, look more complicated than they are. And these are far easier than many other recipes. Oats don't require the resting that flour does to produce the cookie's signature crispness, and the sunflower seeds in the batter make it spread easily since they're chopped into bits. When these ingredients are cooked in the melted butter, they develop a toasty depth. The only problem with these cookies is how irresistible they are.

Makes about 5 dozen
Gluten-free, no nuts

  • ¼ cup (24 g) old-fashioned rolled gluten-free oats
  • ¼ cup (37 g) raw sunflower seeds
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup (69 g) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a half sheet pan with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. If you have more pans and mats, prepare them too.

2. Pulse the oats and sunflower seeds in a food processor until the oats are finely chopped. Most of the seeds will be chopped too.

3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oat-seed mixture and cook, stirring, until the oats and seeds are a shade closer to golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar almost dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir to cool slightly.

4. Stirring vigorously, add the egg to the pan. (Stir fast: You don't want the egg to scramble.) Stir in the vanilla. Using a ½-teaspoon measure, scoop ½-teaspoons of batter onto the prepared pan, spacing them 2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the batter spreads into flat, lacy golden brown disks, 7 to 9 minutes. So that you can reuse the pans, as each batch comes out, carefully slide the baking mat with the cookies onto a wire rack, run the pan under cold water to cool quickly, and wipe it dry. Then transfer the cookies to the wire rack with a thin spatula to cool completely and place the mat back on the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter.

6. Drizzle the chocolates over the cookies. Let stand until set.


The batter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The cookies will keep for up to 1 week if it's cool and dry. (They become sticky and soft in humid weather.)

Text excerpted from BETTER BAKING © 2016 by Genevieve Ko. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on April 11th, 2018.


  • Kristjudy  on  3/5/2018 at 7:14 PM

    Strawberry sour cream muffins

  • rchesser  on  3/5/2018 at 7:19 PM

    Pistachio lemon chews

  • Joy001  on  3/5/2018 at 7:36 PM

    Purely pumpkin muffins for me!

  • jr0717  on  3/5/2018 at 8:42 PM

    The Rye black forest scones sound so intriguing!

  • JJWong  on  3/5/2018 at 9:56 PM

    Glazed baked apple cider doughnuts!

  • contest718  on  3/6/2018 at 2:56 AM

    Apple harvest zucchini bread muffins. I would really love to win this book!!

  • ravensfan  on  3/6/2018 at 7:10 AM

    Strawberry-sour cream coffee cake muffins

  • vickster  on  3/6/2018 at 7:16 AM

    Hazlenut Fig Moons

  • lgroom  on  3/6/2018 at 9:41 AM

    cinnamon raison apirals

  • kmn4  on  3/6/2018 at 11:43 AM

    Lemon rosemary-corn mini muffins

  • janv  on  3/6/2018 at 12:28 PM

    Toasted walnut and grape clafoutis

  • kitchenclimbers  on  3/6/2018 at 1:41 PM

    Strawberry-sour cream coffee cake muffins

  • sarahawker  on  3/6/2018 at 2:39 PM

    Raisin bran-applesauce cookies

  • dbielick  on  3/6/2018 at 3:15 PM

    Lemon rosemary-corn mini muffins

  • Steben  on  3/6/2018 at 4:51 PM

    Pomegranate-olive oil almond tuiles

  • BakerMN86  on  3/6/2018 at 9:45 PM

    Currant spelt scones — I’m curious to try alternative flours.

  • cheftina888  on  3/6/2018 at 11:00 PM

    Strawberry-sour cream coffee cake muffins

  • Luly  on  3/7/2018 at 4:14 AM

    Lemon rosemary-corn mini muffins

  • mvdavies  on  3/7/2018 at 5:54 AM

    Flourless Blueberry Muffins!

  • LaraM  on  3/7/2018 at 11:37 AM

    Buttermilk pecan sticky buns. I do love good sticky buns! 😋

  • lpatterson412  on  3/7/2018 at 12:57 PM

    Strawberry shortcake with yogurt cream!!!!

  • antpantsii  on  3/7/2018 at 1:26 PM

    Chocolate sunflower-oat lace cookies look amazzing!

  • PollySBA  on  3/7/2018 at 2:42 PM

    I'm all about healthy substitutions for baking.

  • Jenamarie  on  3/8/2018 at 9:12 AM

    Cranberry-quinoa mini muffins

  • EmilyR  on  3/9/2018 at 8:42 AM

    Pistachio lemon chews

  • Nancith  on  3/9/2018 at 11:18 AM

    Rye Black Forest scones sound heavenly.

  • daniellespinato1  on  3/9/2018 at 11:20 AM

    Oat soda bread tea scones.

  • amandajoy  on  3/9/2018 at 5:12 PM

    I've had my eye on this one for a while. I'd like to try all the fabulous things

  • Scotsman61  on  3/9/2018 at 9:17 PM

    The Rye black forest scones

  • matag  on  3/9/2018 at 9:47 PM

    Melting walnut snowballs

  • LaurenE  on  3/9/2018 at 10:40 PM

    Hazlenut Fig Moons

  • robynnemellor  on  3/11/2018 at 3:50 PM

    rye black forest scones

  • kbennall  on  3/12/2018 at 1:39 AM

    Baked apple cider donuts!

  • mpdeb98  on  3/12/2018 at 1:56 PM

    Currant spelt whipped cream scones

  • Siegal  on  3/12/2018 at 10:03 PM

    I want to make the oat soda bread scones

  • Laura1  on  3/13/2018 at 7:31 AM

    Lemon rosemary-corn mini muffins

  • AnnaZed  on  3/13/2018 at 12:24 PM

    Apple harvest zucchini bread muffins

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  3/14/2018 at 2:21 PM

    I want to make Mediterranean morning glory muffins.

  • BridgetL  on  3/16/2018 at 6:37 PM

    Apricot Pine Nut Granola Bars

  • Ziggy7  on  3/17/2018 at 10:21 AM

    Berry scones with dark chocolate

  • sgump  on  3/19/2018 at 9:14 AM

    Rhubarb-lemon bars with pistachio crust: yum!

  • mkcorban  on  3/21/2018 at 11:42 PM

    Blueberry nectarine lattice pie

  • sipa  on  3/23/2018 at 4:33 PM

    Rye black forest scones

  • Lafauvette  on  3/23/2018 at 7:56 PM

    sweet potato drop biscuits

  • OzarkChef  on  3/23/2018 at 8:02 PM

    Lemon rosemary corn muffins intrigue me. I've been exploring cornbread recipes. I

  • lisambb  on  3/23/2018 at 8:14 PM

    Definitely a muffin. Too many to choose from.

  • Kimgarceau  on  3/23/2018 at 8:34 PM

    Rye black forest scones, sooooo intriging!

  • Puguppy  on  3/23/2018 at 9:40 PM

    Apricot crostata

  • bcarpenter  on  3/23/2018 at 10:03 PM

    fennel currant cornbread; sounds like an unusual cornbread

  • trudys_person  on  3/23/2018 at 10:48 PM

    PB & B Muffins, for sure!

  • Julia  on  3/23/2018 at 10:49 PM

    Pineapple orange sunshine muffins

  • sequoia55  on  3/24/2018 at 1:54 AM

    Currant spelt scones

  • BMeyer  on  3/24/2018 at 7:26 AM

    pineapple orange sunshine muffins

  • PeavineBlues  on  3/24/2018 at 7:52 AM

    Coffee cake muffins

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  3/24/2018 at 9:55 AM

    have never done so, but have been interested in using sweet potato when baking, so would like to try the sweet potato drop biscuits found on page 65!

  • sallansd  on  3/24/2018 at 12:43 PM

    Berry scones with dark chocolate sounds yummy!

  • RickPearson54  on  3/24/2018 at 1:58 PM

    coffee cake muffins

  • choppergirl  on  3/25/2018 at 7:03 AM

    Blueberry yogurt scones

  • threefourpfeif  on  3/25/2018 at 12:05 PM

    Mediterranean morning glory muffins

  • Karla123  on  3/25/2018 at 3:58 PM

    Caramelized pear-date kind of dessert!

  • RSW  on  3/25/2018 at 7:18 PM

    Gingered plum-corn muffins

  • Uhmandanicole  on  3/26/2018 at 4:43 AM

    Lemon rosemary-corn mini muffins

  • ket06e  on  3/26/2018 at 7:13 AM

    Buttermilk pecan sticky buns!

  • Sfgordon  on  3/26/2018 at 8:14 AM

    Berry and dark chocolate scones!

  • tararr  on  3/26/2018 at 7:28 PM

    Hazelnut Fig Moons

  • Jostlori  on  3/28/2018 at 11:41 PM

    Raspberry Pistachio Cakelets

  • t.t  on  3/29/2018 at 4:25 AM

    Blueberry yogurt scones

  • TheCookbookCook  on  3/29/2018 at 6:39 PM

    Lemon rosemary mini corn muffins

  • Dannausc  on  3/30/2018 at 6:26 PM

    PB&B muffins

  • Julia  on  3/31/2018 at 6:42 PM

    Spiced honey rye bread

  • HelenB  on  3/31/2018 at 10:17 PM

    Pear pecan buckwheat tea cakes

  • Shelley.b  on  4/1/2018 at 2:54 PM

    Rye black forrest scones

  • artthecat  on  4/2/2018 at 11:14 AM

    Pear-hazelnut coffee cake

  • sdg8trgrl  on  4/2/2018 at 5:21 PM

    Olive oil-brown sugar pumpkin bundt cake

  • Mariarosa  on  4/2/2018 at 10:17 PM

    Buttermilk pecan sticky buns

  • amferrer  on  4/3/2018 at 12:14 PM

    Apple harvest zucchini bread muffins

  • KarenDel  on  4/3/2018 at 12:47 PM

    I would try the Blueberry yogurt scones

  • Teruska  on  4/3/2018 at 3:26 PM

    I think I would try the Oat soda bread tea scones for Wilderstein Historic Site's Daffodil Tea in a few weeks.

  • Debcancook  on  4/4/2018 at 9:50 AM

    I am so looking forward to the first strawberries of spring! Strawberry-sour cream coffee cake muffins have my undivided attention. Besides, I'm always ready for "Better Baking"!

  • RoseMGenuine  on  4/4/2018 at 12:14 PM

    Rye Black Forest scones

  • FireRunner2379  on  4/4/2018 at 3:18 PM

    I want to try the Banana blueberry flax muffins!

  • ebs  on  4/4/2018 at 8:28 PM

    Blackberry buttermilk pie

  • jenmacgregor18  on  4/5/2018 at 10:38 AM

    lemony almond olive oil cake

  • auntietina  on  4/7/2018 at 4:06 PM

    Berry Scones with Dark Chocolate.

  • jc214a  on  4/8/2018 at 8:36 AM

    Rye Black Forest Scones.

  • RSW  on  4/8/2018 at 9:56 AM

    Lemon rosemary-corn mini muffins

  • orchidlady01  on  4/9/2018 at 2:25 AM

    Buttermilk pecan sticky buns

  • JoanneJ  on  4/9/2018 at 12:17 PM

    Raisin Bran Applesauce cookies sound soooo good!

  • lebarron2001  on  4/9/2018 at 1:19 PM

    Blueberry yogurt scones

  • lauriesk  on  4/9/2018 at 2:21 PM

    I would try the Banana-oatmeal chocolate chippers.

  • Vintage_Kitschen  on  4/9/2018 at 2:23 PM

    I would love to try the New York apple cider crumb cake <3

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