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BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chopped chocolate chip cookies

    • jzanger on August 28, 2017

      These are perfect, and the payoff for the small amount of time spent is impressive. No need to refrigerate overnight for deep flavor, but paying attention to the details written into the recipe results in an AWESOME chocolate chip cookie. If you have slightly less than the 14 oz of chocolate called for you won't have to worry about your cookies being chocolate-y enough. Do be sure to follow her instruction in regard to the brand of kosher salt she uses, which results in the perfect amount of salt. Also, the temp of the butter and the cold egg really do keep the dough manageably cool. Adding a chunk or two to the top of the dough ball before baking makes them pretty enough for a bakery.

    • Jane on September 06, 2017

      These were good but I'm not sure they replace 'The best homemade chocolate chip cookies in the entire world' by Debbie Koenig in my affections. The positives were that they did not need overnight refrigeration to develop the flavors (though I prefer the flavor of Debbie's cookies); the Diamond Crystal kosher salt sprinkled on top was good; I liked the big hits of chocolate from being chopped rather than using chips; and finally I liked that there was dark, milk and white chocolate. Just a minute difference in baking time can make a huge difference in the end result. I'd do a couple of tests first. I like my cookies fudgey rather than crisp so for that have them just turning golden around the edges and still softish in center.

    • Jenny on September 19, 2017

      We absolutely loved these cookies - the salt was perfect on top. Highly recommend taking them out between 11 and 12 minutes or else they are far too hard - two days later we have a few left and they still are holding up - had I let them go to 15 minutes - here in the mountains they would be too hard to eat. Love them.

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      Like others, I found that the published cooking time was too long. When I baked the cookies for the full amount of time, they turned out dry and crumbly; when I pulled them out a few minutes early, they were divine.

    • anya_sf on February 02, 2019

      These cookies are quick to make; the dough does not need to be made ahead. I was cleaning out my pantry, so I used a combination of chopped chocolate bars (72% dark, semisweet, milk) and chips (60% dark, white), reserving a dark chip for the top of each cookie. I made the large cookies; yield and baking time were spot on. Although I did not flatten the cookies, they spread beautifully, developing crinkly tops. The texture was soft and chewy. I found the white chocolate to be too sweet for the quite-sweet dough, but otherwise enjoyed these, especially the sprinkle of salt. I would definitely make these again, but with just dark chocolate.

    • StoicLoofah on October 07, 2018

      Delicious. In my oven, I didn't get the crinkly top that she did, but the texture at 15 minutes was still good.

    • Frances17 on October 12, 2017

      Under no circumstances use chips, but do use Maldon salt to sprinkle on top. 13 minutes with a heaping 1.5 tbs spoon.

  • Triple-oatmeal cookies

    • anya_sf on November 15, 2017

      I really liked these, and appreciated the whole-grain goodness of the oat flour and steel-cut oats. I omitted the nuts, as my family doesn't care for them in cookies, so they probably spread a bit more as a result. My cookies were slightly larger, so I got 26 total. Still, the baking time of 12 minutes seemed just right, and they turned out soft and chewy, not crispy at all - just the way I like them. I enjoyed the dried cranberries, but raisins would also be good. I think I'd actually prefer them with pecans, for more textural variety.

    • Sheli on July 25, 2018

      I really like this cookie. I enjoy the flavor of the oats and it's the perfect amount of cinnamon. I've made them with dates and raisins and with dried blueberries and they're always wonderful.

  • Apricot-white chocolate oatmeal cookies

    • amandabeck on April 06, 2018

      The combination is a bit unusual for a cookie. These were delicious! Great oat-y flavor, chewy texture with a slight crunch. I didn't have steel cut oats, so I just used extra regular oats...still turned out great, can't wait to try them as they were intended!

    • e_ballad on May 27, 2018

      So my hubby proceeded to eat 5x, then begged for me to hide them as “I can’t stop!” They are quite a crisp biscuit, rather than chewy (the latter being my personal preference), but they were delicious nonetheless.

  • Snickerdoodles

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      This recipe is worth the price of the entire cookbook. The final product is beyond excellent; however, I found that the cookies benefited from a brief stint in the fridge before heading into the oven. Otherwise, the dough was too warm and the cookies spread too much. I highly recommend using virgin coconut oil, as the faint flavor really adds to the cookie.....though tastes differ, of course.

  • Banana bread snickerdoodles

    • Lsblackburn1 on August 20, 2018

      I couldn’t find oat flour, but it didn’t seem to matter. These are awesome! Like the best part of banana bread - the crunchy top when it’s fresh!

  • Honey-roasted peanut butter cookies

    • Sheli on July 25, 2018

      These are so good! They're soft, with crisp edges, and so much peanut butter flavor.

    • anya_sf on December 21, 2017

      These were truly the best peanut butter cookies I've ever eaten. I followed the directions exactly, but found they were done after 14 minutes of baking. Soft, chewy, super peanutty, delicious!

  • Glossy fudge brownies

    • anya_sf on November 05, 2017

      I wasn't quite sure how long to cook the butter. I cooked it quite a while (10-15 min) and stopped when I saw browned bits in the butter. I didn't think it would ever be "perfectly silent". Similarly, I wasn't sure about the 25 minute baking time and the description wasn't that helpful. The brownies seemed awfully soft at that point, so I left them in the oven a few extra minutes. They turned out super, duper fudgy, clearly due to deliberate underbaking. I love fudgy brownies, but would consider baking them an extra couple of minutes anyway. They are quite rich, but not as intensely chocolatey as some brownies, so kids liked them too. Overall, really good, fudgy brownies. The top crust was definitely the most crinkly, glossy, thin crust of any brownie I've made.

    • rionafaith on January 05, 2019

      Very good brownies, big hit at the party I brought them too. They seemed kind of underbaked when I cut them, but they firmed nicely after chilling in the fridge for a couple hours (I prefer my brownies cold). Still, I would bake for maybe 5 or 10 more minutes next time. I'm not sure if this is my PERFECT brownie recipe yet, but it's up there for sure.

  • Danger brownies

    • Frances17 on January 18, 2018

      Oh great - another recipe I can now use to eliminate literally every other brownie recipe. Note: adjust cooking time DRAMATICALLY with use of pyrex: use thermometer to achieve correct internal temp.

  • White chocolate butterscotch blondies

    • martinhenry on December 03, 2018

      I like a fudgey brownie and blondie, but these were two dense and too sweet--even for a blondie. I tried the recipe twice, and it's just not a keeper.

    • Neodymia on August 26, 2017

      Very good flavour and texture, but hard to tell when they were cooked enough. A skewer looked almost clean, but they were uncooked in the middle after 35 minutes.

    • yellowbird531 on August 20, 2018

      It seems like I had the same problem that I've seen going around online-- totally underdone in the middle. Followed to a T and they taste good, just very gooey.

  • Buttered vanilla marshmallows

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      This is honestly the most perfect marshmallow recipe out there. Do not look elsewhere. The temperature guides are key here. And you don't need the 1 tbsp of butter, but it really does some magic in creating tenderness and carrying flavor. Follow Stella on Instagram for some more variations on this recipe (toasted sugar! maple! peppermint!).

  • Hot cocoa 'mallows

    • annmartina on January 25, 2018

      These are stupendously good

  • Freeze-dried fruit whipped cream

    • jackiecat on December 20, 2018

      Recipe on Serious Eats https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/08/super-thick-fruity-whipped-cream-recipe.html

    • caitmcg on January 09, 2019

      I made this using strawberries (measured by weight) to ice vanilla a sponge layer cake, and it tasted great and performed brilliantly, staying perfectly stable. I found that the freeze-dried fruit and sugar, once ground together, wanted to stick in the corners of the processor bowl, so I took the time to scrape it loose before adding the cream and recommend doing this so they combine smoothly.

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      Everyone needs to know about this recipe. This freeze-dried fruit whipped cream is my secret desert weapon. It's so stable and so flavorful. It's a great dessert on its own with some fruit, cake or pavlova. You can fill a cake (or swiss roll!) with it and it's a dream.

  • Upside-down pineapple cutout cake

    • anya_sf on April 14, 2018

      I had to read the instructions on how to prepare the pineapple a few times before I got it, but it was actually really easy. Cutouts like these enable you to squeeze in more pineapple. I added both rum and vanilla. The cake and topping were very quick and easy to mix. I don't have a 10" cast iron pan, so I used a 12", as I think smaller than 10" would have overflowed. Plus the stated yield actually says one 12" skillet cake. The cake turned out fairly flat, but to me that's just a high ratio of topping to cake, so it's all good. It baked in 50 minutes. I was worried it would stick (you don't grease the pan), but the cake didn't, although some pineapple pieces fell out, so I had to reassemble the top. It was delicious - loved the coconut with the pineapple.

  • Mango upside-down cake

    • dprostrollo on September 28, 2018

      This is fantastic. Used mango pieces I had frozen from fresh, so not beautiful like the picture but SO GOOD. Used Nelson's Blood rum.

  • Effortless angel's food cake

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      Don't look for another angel food cake recipe. This one is the easiest and most foolproof. I've made it several times, with smashing success. The toasted-sugar variation is a caramel-noted submlime.

    • Sheli on July 25, 2018

      A friend requested an angel food cake for her birthday so I tried this one, using toasted sugar, and it was delicious! The cake is simple to make and it is so light and moist.

    • roxlet on June 28, 2018

      Fabulous, and truly effortless. Unlike most angel food cakes, you don't have to sit around waiting for the egg whites to come to room temperature -- they go straight from the refrigerator to the mixer, and this delicious cake is done in no time.

  • Chocolate angel's food cake

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      One day I really needed chocolate cake (naturally), and I had a ton of leftover egg whites from making ice cream. After falling in love with the regular angel food cake recipe, I used Stella's chocolate variation. Shockingly, this chocolate cake is deep and darkly flavored yet light as a cloud. You feel like you can eat half of the cake and not feel a tinge of guilt. I add 2 teaspoons of chocolate extract and 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract to give the cake some deeper flavor notes.

  • Roasted sugar and vanilla bean angel's food cake

    • anya_sf on April 09, 2018

      I had the roasted sugar left over from blind-baking pie crusts. This recipe was truly quite effortless with my large stand mixer. The mixing method was a bit different, but I followed the instructions exactly, and it worked perfectly - even with previously-frozen egg whites. I appreciated the precise instructions, as I probably normally overbeat egg whites. Having the temperature for the baked cake was especially helpful; I checked the cake a few minutes early and probably would have put it back in the oven, except that the temperature was already 206 degrees. As a result, this was the moistest angel food cake I've ever made.

  • Roasted sugar

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      I always have a batch of roasted sugar on hand. One note: it seems to work best with cane sugar, not beet sugar like we get here in the Midwest. Do not use organic sugar, but pure refined granulated cane sugar. It's a bit of a chore to make, but it really helps cut back the one-note sweetness in some desserts for a more complex less-sweet-tasting flavor.

  • Boston cream pie

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      This is a great classic recipe. The genoise sponge recipe is great, foolproof. I'm not the biggest fan of this pudding filling, but it has tons of flavor and people really ate it up.

  • White Mountain layer cake with marshmallow buttercream

    • Sheli on July 25, 2018

      This cake is really nice. I like the way that the little bit of coconut oil comes through and adds some interest to the flavor. The icing is delicious, but it is so fussy and it doesn't always turn out for me, but it is still worth making. The bourbon variation is so tasty, too!

    • coryelizabeth on November 24, 2017

      I did not make the white mountain layer cake, but I do not recommend the marshmallow buttercream. The recipe is very fussy and particular, and while the flavor of the final product was excellent (I made the cherry almond variation), the consistency was frustrating and difficult. The icing was much gooier than a traditional buttercream, and the cake layers simply slide apart when I was slicing the final product.

  • Honey buttercream

    • Sheli on July 25, 2018

      I didn't care for this variation of the marshmallow buttercream--the honey flavor is just too strong.

  • Classic yellow layer cake

    • Sheli on July 25, 2018

      This cake is delicious on its own, and I've made it with a coconut icing, and with the bourbon variation of the marshmallow buttercream with great results. The chocolate icing that's paired with it in the book is fine, but not my favorite.

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      This cake turned out fine, though it seemed a bit dry, and the flavor was quite muted.

    • ddenker on May 21, 2018

      Made this for my husband’s birthday and while he said it was “maybe the best cake” he’s ever had, the fudge frosting that I paired it with was a total fail.

  • Pumpkin spice layer cake

    • dprostrollo on September 28, 2018

      This was lovely. Made them into cupcakes.

  • Fudge frosting

    • ddenker on June 07, 2018

      I really wanted this to work as I'm looking for a non-confectioner's sugar chocolate frosting that is amazing...my go-to. Sadly, I was disappointed. I made this for my husband's birthday cake (see yellow cake note from 5/21/18). I think I let the frosting cool a bit too long and could never truly fix it per her troubleshooting notes. I literally had to place the frosting on with my fingers as it was so thick and unspreadable.

    • MollyB on May 21, 2018

      I carefully followed the recipe on this, but it was a total failure for me. Reading more about fudge, I think my failure might have been due to the fact that I'm at 5,000 feet of elevation and the lower boiling point here caused problems. I may try again with lower target temperatures. The standard seems to be to deduct two degrees from the temperature required for every one thousand feet of altitude above sea level. (The yellow cake from the cookbook, which Parks pairs the fudge frosting with, was fabulous,)

  • One-bowl devil's food layer cake with milk chocolate frosting

    • SugarTreeBaking on October 10, 2018

      Seriously delicious and comes together easily. Important note: the frosting recipe states a 90 minute refrigeration, then the instructions require a cool down period of six hours or more. Make the frosting the night before to save the delay. I made this cake for a coworkers birthday and received rave reviews.

    • roxlet on June 27, 2018

      I made this for a birthday party and everyone loved this cake, as I did. I made the milk chocolate whipped ganache frosting but used purchased oreos for the crumbs and decorations. Both the cake and the frosting were super fast and easy to make. I recommend this recipe highly.

    • ebs on October 28, 2018

      I thought the cake had great flavor and it was simple to make. However I did not like the consistency of the frosting. I assembled the frosting the day before and whipped it the day of, so it worked, but it was just too thick and not creamy enough for me. I guess I really wanted a buttercream.

    • coryelizabeth on November 24, 2017

      I wouldn't recommend this recipe, sadly. It mixes up fairly easily, but the amount of rising agent (1 TB of baking soda) felt excessive when I was preparing it, and I could definitely taste it in the final product. The chocolate flavor is rich and nice, but sadly, the baking soda dominated.

    • inflytur on September 26, 2018

      This makes a massive amount of batter. I baked two dozen cupcakes and two thick six-inch layers. Based on an earlier note I used a scant tablespoon of baking soda and was happy with the results.

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      I use a different frosting than what she recommends (I am not a frosting/buttercream lover), but this cake is epic. The flavor and richness are so intense. Even though this is a dark, rich cake. I kept wanting to eat it (like, for breakfast). Using good cocoa (Cocoa Barry Extra Brut) and high-quality chocolate is paramount since it plays such a starring role. As with any butter cake, don't eat this cake too cold.

  • Milk chocolate frosting

    • roxlet on June 28, 2018

      This couldn't be quicker to make. I chopped up the milk chocolate (I used Schraffen Berger 41% cacao), put it in your mixer bowl, and pour the hot cream over. Let it cool after the chocolate is dissolved. I put it in the fridge over night and whipped it on the KA the next day. Delicious, and definitely a different taste using milk chocolate.

  • Red (wine) velvet cake

    • amandabeck on May 07, 2018

      Super recipe! Bizarre that it includes wine, but the flavor dissipates after cooking. Mine turned out a light brown, not red, color-- but I suspect it was because I had to substitute dark brown sugar for the light brown sugar, which the front matter of the book specifically says not to do. No matter, the taste was delicious and they made excellent cupcakes paired with the cream cheese frosting.

  • Cream cheese frosting

    • amandabeck on May 07, 2018

      This is the best cream cheese frosting I've ever tried! Not sickeningly sweet, with a present but not overpowering cream cheese flavor. I made the custard the night before and used the follow day out of the fridge. Used with red velvet cupcakes. The recipe is labor intensive, but definitely tastier than varieties that rely on confectioners' sugar.

    • anya_sf on April 22, 2018

      Not the usual cream cheese frosting. More work, but not too bad, although does require planning. Strong vanilla (pudding) flavor, not so much cream cheese. Nice whipped texture that's easy to pipe.

    • roxlet on June 28, 2018

      This is a completely different cream cheese frosting. Yes, it is more work than simply putting cream cheese, butter and sugar in a mixer and turning it on. This version has no grittiness from the sugar and no greasy mouthfeel. It is luxurious and delicious and it even pipes well.

    • stef on October 08, 2018

      This is a wonderful frosting. It doesn't give you that after taste of powdered icing sugar. Will be using it a lot

  • Brown-butter carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

    • roxlet on June 28, 2018

      I have now made this carrot cake 4 times, and I think it's the best carrot cake that I have made. For years, my go-to was the Cook's Illustrated version that has you make an emulsion of the eggs and oil, and as a result, it's not greasy, as many carrot cakes tend to be. This is mellow and delicious, and it makes a very large cake. I made the full recipe, and made 6 individual carrot cakes for a dinner party. The other two layers are in the freezer. I double wrapped them, and I will see how they survive that treatment. You can easily cut back the amout of pecans, which are a lot, but I love pecans in carrot cake, and toasting them first make them super delicious. However, don't forget to chop the nuts even though the recipe doesn't say to do this!

    • anya_sf on April 22, 2018

      I made 1/3 recipe, yielding 13 cupcakes (70 g batter each, slightly larger than stated). They baked in 23 min. The cakes had a very fine crumb for carrot cake, with a sturdy texture (good for layering), drier than most carrot cakes, but still moist enough. The spice flavor was strong. There were perhaps too many nuts. I also usually prefer raisins in carrot cake. The frosting was interesting - the cream cheese didn't stand out, but rather the vanilla (pudding) flavor. It was good though. The frosting was a dream to pipe - beautifully whipped. The overall combination of cake and frosting was very good.

  • No-stress all-butter pastry crust

    • rionafaith on November 23, 2017

      Usually I make pie crust in the food processor, but I gave this simple by-hand method a try and it worked out great. Love the technique of folding several times, similar to making puff pastry. So far I've only used this to make the apple pie from the same book, but it came out great and made for a nice flaky crust. My brother, not a pie eater, kept tearing off pieces of the edges to eat and when I called him out on it said, "What? It's good crust!" Later he asked if I could make him "just a pie crust with no filling" sometime. A ringing endorsement?

    • anya_sf on November 26, 2017

      I doubled the recipe for 4 crusts, rolling it into a 20"x15" rectangle, then dividing before folding. That worked well. Mixing by hand was surprisingly easy, although I had to add a couple of extra tablespoons of water for a cohesive dough. I had some trouble rolling the rounds, as the dough was very springy. The rolled dough chilled 4-5 hours before pre-baking, and I filled the crusts to the rim with sugar. Still, the crusts needed 75 minutes before they were done, and even so they shrunk, plus some butter leaked out of the crusts and onto the sheet pan. I'm not sure what, if anything, I did wrong, as I tried to follow the instructions precisely, and my oven thermometer said my oven was at 350. Even with these problems, the resulting crusts were so flavorful, flaky, tender, and crisp (even after storage), that I would definitely recommend this recipe.

    • roxlet on June 28, 2018

      I consider myself a very experienced pie baker, and I love this crust. However, I do think the recipe was a bit scant for two crusts, so I converted the weights to grams and scaled it up by 25%. I'm much happier with a slightly larger amount of dough to deal with. Baking the crust with sugar instead of beans is a game-changer for me. Put the foil over the crust as you would before filling it with beans, and then fill with sugar. Make sure to save the sugar separately and you will have Stella's wonderful toasted sugar.

    • Kinhawaii on January 17, 2019

      I agree with anya_sf, dough was springy, butter bubbled up the sides, needed browning without the foil, had lots of shrinkage. I think I should have rolled it out bigger & refrigerated it, like another website advised, after forming the discs & whenever it felt too soft. My kitchen is probably never cooler than 72°F though. I needed to use lots of flour to keep it from sticking too. It came out crisp & flaky but I felt like I overworked it. I have made lots of different pie & tart crusts & I wouldn't say this one is easy to work with if you are inexperienced.

  • Lemon meringue pie with marshmallow meringue

    • anya_sf on November 26, 2017

      I couldn't believe this used 8 (!) egg yolks, but at least the meringue used all 8 whites. I was nervous about heating the whites for the meringue, but actually it was straightforward - just required some patience and lots of temperature taking. I loved that it did not require a special double boiler. I used the roasted sugar from baking the pie crusts in the meringue, and the optional rose water, thinking that might add some flavor. I'm not sure if it did, but I liked this meringue better than any I've made before. This pie is so impressive due to the height of the meringue. My guests said this was the best lemon meringue pie ever. Leftovers still tasted great a few days later.

  • Marshmallow meringue

    • inflytur on September 26, 2018

      Made the Marshmallow Buttercream (pg 157). Easy enough but not my favorite.

    • TonyInSeattle on November 24, 2018

      Made the marshmallow meringue and it was absolutely fantastic. I had a favorite sweet potato meringue pie recipe that I made every Thanksgiving, but the meringue was too grainy and weepy. I finally decided to replace the meringue with this one this year and was thoroughly impressed. The recipe calls for a cup of egg whites, which gives you an enormous mound of meringue for one pie. Don't skimp! It's beautiful to have a towering meringue on your pie slices... I tried making the option roasted sugar for this recipe and did not have luck. It might be that my glass baking dish was dark colored and was too hot for the sugar. But it's fantastic with regular sugar. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      Ok, Stella this is just a really great Swiss meringue recipe. I find that this is the most stable meringue for pies and tarts, ever. I've had it hold up for five days, with minimal (if any) weeping. This is the only meringue recipe that's been this sturdy for me. Don't even think about using a french meringue on a lemon tart/pie if you're not planning to eat it right away. This is my go-to pie and tart meringue recipe now.

  • Dark chocolate cream pie

    • koolMoD on November 25, 2017

      This was a big hit with my guests. Would make this again!

    • C_Richardson on April 27, 2018

      One of the best chocolate cream pies I've ever made! It was a big hit with the family. This will be my go-to recipe with its creamy chocolate center and meringue on top.

  • Frankie's coconut cream pie

    • meggan on January 08, 2018

      My meringue didn't triple like the recipe said it would and lay a little flat on the pie filling but that was ok. It was crunchy and delicious unlike the whipped soft meringue one expects on a coconut cream pie. I used a premade crust (gasp!)

  • Butternut pumpkin pie

    • anya_sf on November 26, 2017

      I found the quick condensed milk relatively easy to make, and roasting the squash wasn't hard either; I did those steps ahead of time. Mixing the pie filling itself was quick. The no-stress all-butter crust tasted great, but took a long time to pre-bake, and also shrank a bit, so I had some extra filling. Overall, though, we didn't love this pie. It was too sweet and too thick/dense. It's better with whipped cream, and the flavor improved after a couple of days. Still, next time I'll choose a different recipe.

  • No-fuss apple pie

    • anya_sf on November 29, 2018

      This pie is relatively easy to make, but the apples shrink a lot during baking. Stella says the thickness of the slices is important, but I wonder if thinner slices with a shorter maceration time would work. The crust leaked some butter during baking, but otherwise turned out beautifully. The pie tasted delicious and the crust was very tender and flaky.

    • rionafaith on November 23, 2017

      Simple apple pie that was a huge hit at Thanksgiving. (Even my aunt who usually avoids grains and sugar had two slices.) I made and rolled out the crust 2 days ahead of time, then sliced and macerated the apples the night before, storing them in the fridge -- the recipe says you can hold them for up to 8 hours, but it was more like 12 or 13 and it didn't seem to hurt at all. This did bubble over a LOT in the oven, glad I had a silpat-lined baking sheet underneath. I ended up baking it closer to to an hour and a half to reach the indicated internal temperature, so the crust was very brown, but the technique of putting a baking sheet on the rack above the pie worked very well (better than my usual pie shield, which this puffy rustic crust was just a little too big for!)

  • Classic cherry pie

    • anya_sf on November 26, 2017

      I used 2 lbs Trader Joe's frozen sweet cherries, which just filled the crust. I worried the pie would be too sweet, but the overall sweetness was fine, with no ice cream or whipped cream necessary. The checkerboard crust design was beautiful and easy to do. I made an egg wash using just part of a whole egg (leftover from another recipe) and 1/2 Tbsp cream, and it was plenty for the top. The pie turned out great and kept well for maybe 2 days, but after that the crust got soggy. We all enjoyed this pie.

  • Fluffy yeast-raised potato doughnuts

    • anwade88 on January 07, 2018

      I would plan to make this recipe in advance and refrigerate the dough overnight (as directed in the notes). I didn’t—but this is a lengthy recipe (due to rise times.) Wow. My husband says this has ruined donut shop donuts for him forever. Not overly sweet, the texture is perfect. I ended up making a vanilla sugar glaze for ours (powdered sugar, vanilla, water). I will absolutely make these again!

  • Crispy whole wheat graham crackers

    • martinhenry on December 03, 2018

      One of my favorite recipes to make. This recipe is simple, quick, one-bowl and is hands-down the best graham cracker recipe I've found. (And I've tried about a dozen different recipes.) I make mine with honey, but golden syrup is fine, too.

  • Homemade Oreo cookies

    • martinhenry on December 03, 2018

      This recipe is pretty perfect. I have made the cream filling with both butter, refined coconut oil, and un-refined coconut oil, and it's been perfect every time. People adored this recipe and the cookies were gone in a flash. I've found that its much easier to handle the cookies if you chill the dough after rolling it out, then cutting the chilled dough and moving the cut out cookies to the baking tray.

    • darcie_b on August 28, 2017

      These are terrific. The dough gets warm and soft very easily so try to do this on a cool day. The filling makes a generous amount; I used about half of it. It's hard to tell when the cookies are done because they are so dark; err on the side of pulling them out a bit early because they get bitter if overbaked.

  • Homemade Fudge Stripes cookies

    • bwhip on April 10, 2018

      These turned out quite good, and certainly reminiscent of the original. Nice and crispy. A few steps involved but certainly not difficult to make.

  • Homemade pecan sandies

    • HalfSmoke on August 11, 2018

      Is there anything better than a perfect pecan sandie? I don’t think so. These are indeed perfect.

    • stockholm28 on March 03, 2019

      First, there is an error in this recipe. It should say 1 1/4 sticks of butter (the weight measure of 5 oz is correct). Stella Parks posted a correction on twitter. These pecan sandies are made with brown butter. They are quite easy. You don’t even need to break out a mixer as everything gets mixed into the brown butter. I baked these in two batches. The first batch baked for 15 minutes per the recipe instructions and these were overbaked. I baked the second batch for 13 minutes and I thought these were perfectly baked. They are quite addictive. They are definitely ”sandy”. I thought that the vanilla and brown butter dominated the flavor. The pecan was fairly subtle, but still noticeable. The cookie has 2 tsp of vanilla and I might be inclined to reduce it slightly to see if the pecan flavor might come forward. I did think the cookies were rather sweet, but would be afraid that a change to the proportion of sugar would alter the texture.

    • julesamomof2 on December 22, 2018

      I had some trouble with these. She doesn't say to chill the dough, so I didn't and they spread somewhat. They also were so crumbly that many of them fell apart. They did taste good, but only about half of them looked decent enough to make it on to my holiday cookie platter.

    • julesamomof2 on December 26, 2018

      Christmas update, these were by far the best loved cookie on the platter. Next time I will double the recipe to account for lost crumbly ones. These actually got better with age.

  • Whole wheat Wonder Bread

    • anya_sf on October 04, 2018

      For the whole wheat flour, I used white whole wheat. I used 1% milk because that's all I had - not sure if it affected the result. Even though my kitchen was 68 degrees, the coconut oil remained as little icebergs in the dough, so I had to warm the dough to incorporate it; next time I'd melt it. Despite weighing the ingredients, I had to add more flour, and knead it for nearly 30 min, to even sort of pass the bubblegum test. Also, I failed Loaf Shaping 101 and had to refold the dough to fit properly in the pan. Nevertheless, the loaf rose and baked beautifully. It's perfect for sandwiches. My son thought it was white bread and was pleasantly surprised that it was healthy. It was slightly dry, but I may have overbaked it (baked 50 min as it wasn't 200 degrees after 45 min). I'll definitely make this again.

  • Homemade Lofthouse-style cookies

  • Tahitian vanilla pudding

    • anya_sf on November 12, 2017

      Steeping the milk for 24 hrs gave the pudding a strong, perfumey vanilla flavor. I substituted half-and-half for the cream and it was plenty rich. The chilled pudding is very stiff, so either serve it warm, as recommended, or reduce the cornstarch, unless you're making the mousse or pie filling. It's also fairly sweet, so you could reduce the sugar. I love the use of egg whites here instead of the usual yolks, as I often have leftover egg whites.

  • Icebox chiffon pie with fresh raspberries

    • Kinhawaii on January 17, 2019

      I had my doubts after I made the pudding part but after folding in the cream, its appearance improved. Nice rich vanilla flavor, creamy texture- but not airy like other chiffon pies I've made- some may prefer it. Definitely nicer with fresh raspberries. Made with the all butter pastry crust instead, which I had shrinkage issues with, but came out fine.

  • Silky chocolate pudding

    • anya_sf on February 01, 2018

      I used sheet gelatin, cut in small pieces, which mostly worked OK, although we discovered a few lumps in the final pudding. The puddings were rich enough with 1% milk (so not too indulgent). The pudding will taste strongly of whatever cocoa you use; I used Pernigotti, which was good in this. It isn't as deep or complex in flavor as some puddings, but since it's meant to be like a box pudding, I thought that was OK. It's quick and easy to make, but requires a few hours to set. After the final beating, the texture was nice and silky.

  • Homemade cinnamon rolls

    • Frances17 on May 14, 2018

      Doable without a standmixer. It is just very boring and hands-on.

    • C_Richardson on September 11, 2018

      This recipe was incredible! I've tried several cinnamon bun recipes, but they've never really been successful. The ones I've tried with a sweet bread dough tend to be dry and heavy. BUT Stella's cinnamon buns knocked them all out. My Kitchenaid mixer took on the heavy work of kneading and mixing, but it was well worth it. The dough was light and fluffy, while the cinnamon filling was creamy and gooey. Oh MY! The whole family loved them and has requested another batch soon. This will be my go-to from now on. Thanks, Stella for a great family favorite. I can't wait to make more (and fresh a batch or two for the holidays)!!

  • Pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls

    • anya_sf on November 12, 2017

      Fantastic! Nice pumpkin spice flavor (not too PSL), sweet but not overwhelming. I made the dough first to let it rise (took 2.5 hrs in my chilly kitchen), then the frosting, then the filling, which I didn't bother putting in a bag (easy to spread from the bowl). The dough was so soft at first that it wasn't even dough - had to add more flour, but tried to add very little. It was still so soft that I didn't have to roll it out, just patted it. I did not have 8"x3" round pans, so I used 8"x2", which worked. The instructions don't mention greasing the pans, but I did butter the sides, in addition to parchment on the bottoms. I LOVE that these are assembled and refrigerated overnight. I worried they wouldn't rise enough, only being out of the fridge while the oven preheated, but they rose perfectly to the height of the foil during baking. We ate them immediately and they were very soft and tender. They'd benefit from cooling for an hour or so before serving, but good luck with that plan.

  • No-knead English muffins

    • Frenchfoodie on July 20, 2018

      So good and so easy. Fry up fine even after 2 nights in the fridge (shaped and cornfloured). Split while still warm.

    • MollyB on February 02, 2018

      Loved these and will be making them again. I've tried lots of different recipes over the years, and this is the best version I've tried so far. Make sure to toast them well! They are quite finicky to handle when shaping and moving to the griddle, but it was worth it. I found they were good stored at room temp through the day after making, but then they got really hard to split. Next time I will split and freeze by the second day.

  • Coconut muffins

    • Astrid5555 on November 12, 2017

      Halved the recipe and made it into mini muffins. I used the rest of the coconut milk to make a ganache, and then topped the muffins with desiccated coconut. My coconut oil is a virgin one, so the muffins had quite a distinct coconut flavor. Nice, but will not repeat, there are better coconut cakes out there.

  • Homemade McDonald's-style baked apple turnovers

    • Frances17 on December 04, 2017

      Able to halve the recipe successfully using 1 leftover pie crust.

  • Chewy caramel

    • dprostrollo on January 07, 2019

      This was really good and worked well. (Caramel sauce variation) Saucy but still spreadable. Used on banana bread!

  • Caramel sauce

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      Best, simplest caramel sauce recipe I've used. A kitchen staple.

  • Homemade Rice Krispies treats

    • gastronom on December 08, 2018

      These are much better than the common Rice krispies treats. The brown butter and vanilla bean are major enhancements!

  • Chocolate sprinkles

    • annmartina on October 30, 2017

      The mixture needs to be the consistency of stirred natural peanut butter that is warm so that it can flow as it's squeezed from the piping bag. I started with the parchment coronets and eventually switched to a disposable pastry bag with a writing tip. Less futzy.

  • Devil's food chocolate ice cream

    • martinhenry on December 19, 2018

      Want the chocolateiest chocolate ice cream out there? This is the recipe for you. Rich, dark, chewy, amazing. Don't even try to add a mix-in--the chocolate is so intense that it will hide any other flavors. Trust me.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    Most recipes in this book are preceded by an archeological dig, what she calls “culinary time travel,” which explain exactly how each is an integral part of American culture.

    Full review
  • Food52

    With Parks’ recipes, you can make at home the classics you thought you could only get from bakery cases or supermarket shelves.

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...the clarity of Parks’ writing, along with the fantastic “troubleshooting” tips or “key points” that accompany each recipe, made execution fulfilling and…fun!

    Full review
  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    Bravetart will change the way you bake.

    Full review
  • Eat the Love

    ...my new go-to baking cookbook for rock solid recipes that not just imitate but improve upon the sweets I had growing up. This book is for every home baker in the America who loves American desserts.

    Full review
  • Food in Jars

    This whole book is a worthy investment, but the pie section is the one I find myself turning to most often.

    Full review
  • Simply Recipes

    This book is exhaustingly researched...well worth the wait. She tackles classic American desserts from basic yellow cake and traditional chocolate chip cookies to Oreos™ and Twinkies™

    Full review
  • Food52

    Picked for Food52's November 2017 Cookbook Club.

    Full review
  • Bake at 350

    ... she provides a history lesson with each recipe. The cookbook reads like a textbook...a FUN textbook. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, "THIS is what I should have studied in school!"

    Full review
  • Bakerella

    ...tons of classic dessert recipes inside plus recipes...to recreate your favorite American brands like Twinkies, Oreos, Cracker Jacks, Pop Tarts, Fig Newtons, Snickers, Thin Mints and so much more.

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...she insists on precision with her recipes, but she never forgets that sugary treats make people happy....making me want to try every one of its variations, bake more and more and more.

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...classic American desserts like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and carrot cake...Expect technique instruction, variations on classic themes, and history lessons along the way.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0393239861
  • ISBN 13 9780393239867
  • Published Aug 15 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 512
  • Language English
  • Edition 1
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher W. W. Norton & Company

Publishers Text

An award-winning pastry chef’s foolproof recipes and fresh take on the history of American desserts, from chocolate chip cookies to toaster pastries.

Have you ever marveled at a flawless slice of cherry pie in a television bake-off and wondered if you could re-create it at home? You can. With BraveTart, you’ll find everything from a one-bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake to Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies, even Stella’s own recipes for recreating popular supermarket treats! These meticulously tested, crystal-clear, and innovative recipes (including an effortless, no-fuss twist on Angel’s Food Cake) bring a pastry chef’s expertise to your kitchen.

Along the way, BraveTart tells the surprising story of how our favorite desserts came to be. Did you know that chocolate chip cookies predate the Tollhouse Inn or that Heath English Toffee is a decidedly Midwestern creation? With a foreword by The Food Lab’s J. Kenji López-Alt, vintage illustrations of historical desserts, and breathtaking photographs, BraveTart is sure to become an American classic.

84 photographs