ATC Review: Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My!

By on February 15th, 2012 . Filed under: Books, Cupcake Ideas, Decorating, Reviews .

Hello, Cupcake! is a cupcake cookbook by the creative food stylist Karen Tack and coauthor Alan Richardson.  The original book in the series came out in 2008, followed by What’s New, Cupcake? and the most recent book, Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! was released just last month.  Over the years we have shared with you many recipes from the books and from the Hello, Cupcake What’s Newsletter.  We here at ATC were sent the latest book to review.

Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh My! Goes beyond cupcakes to include cakes, cookies, pies, rice crispy cereal bars and more!  When I first flipped through the book I was impressed by all the new ideas.  Since I have Hello, Cupcake! and What’s New, Cupcake? I initially wondered how many more unique cupcake ideas could there be?  The answer was lot! I actually had a hard time deciding which recipe to test.  For every occasion you’ll find a new quirky and cute idea.

Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! Water Lilies//My version

After flipping though the 200 plus page book several times I finally decided to make the Monet’s Water Lilies Cupcakes.  My decision was made partially because I loved visiting Monet’s Garden this past summer while in France and because the cupcakes called for 5 ingredients, all of which I had on hand.  I started making the pedals using the white candy melting wafers.  Dipping spoons in chocolate seemed like an easy enough task but I quickly realized how challenging it was going to be to make 80 pedals.  After dipping the spoons in chocolate and refrigerating them you are supposed to bend the spoon backwards to release the candy.  The candy cracked and broke while I was attempting to separate them from the spoon so I ended up re-melting and re-dipping the candy many times.  Forming the flowers was also difficult because the pedals were so delicate and I felt like I needed extra hands to hold all 5 pieces in place so the candy would harden.

Since the flowers took so much time to make I decided to use a box cake mix and as the recipe suggested canned vanilla frosting.  The cupcakes were easy to bake and frost green but adding the pink frosting to the center of the flowers had to be done carefully because the flowers were so fragile.  In the end I was happy with the appearance of my water lily cupcakes.  They came out looking really close the picture in the book, one way I determine a good recipe because I always want my end product to look like the picture.  The comparison of my cupcakes to the books is shown above.

I thought the directions for decorating the cupcakes were very easy to follow; as I never found myself wondering what to do next.  I will admit that I was a little frustrated by the amount of time it took to make the cupcakes.  The recipe called for mini cupcakes, which was what I used.  In the end it felt like a lot of work for only a dozen mini cupcakes.  If anyone plans to attempt a recipe from this book I would recommend setting aside plenty of time, like a whole day.  There are so many fun recipes in the book I encourage anyone to try them for themselves despite how involved the cupcakes are. The book retails for $17.95 for paperback or an E-book is available.  There is also an app for iPhones and iPads releasing soon so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

All the recipes in the book look great and the instructions are easy to follow but they are definitely time consuming!
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