A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, December 2, 2021

FOODIE FRIDAY- Baking for the Holidays: 50 + Treats For a Festive Season by Sarah Kieffer - Feature and Review


A charming holiday baking cookbook brimming with delicious, indulgent recipes, cozy winter photography, and lots of holiday cheer from Sarah Kieffer.

Here's a festive holiday baking book to celebrate this very special time of year. Sarah Kieffer, author of 100 Cookies, beloved baker behind The Vanilla Bean Blog, and creator of the "bang-the-pan" method offers more than 50 delicious recipes for seasonal brunches, cookie swaps, and all those Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year's Eve parties.

Delight family and friends with edible gifts and whip up some delicious baked goods to treat yourself through the long winter months after the holidays have ended. Recipes include: Triple Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Meyer Lemon-White Chocolate Scones, Pear-Almond Danish Bread, Hot Chocolate Cake, and Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pepita Streusel.

With cozy holiday imagery, a lovely, clean aesthetic, and easy yet innovative recipes, this is a go-to cookbook for baking enthusiasts, anyone who loves the holiday season, and, of course, fans of Sarah Kieffer and her hugely popular cookie book, 100 Cookies.

GREAT GIFT OPPORTUNITY: With happy, festive photography and anyone-can-do-it recipes, this is a perfect holiday gift alongside a cute apron or baking product. It's sure to please anyone in your life who loves to while away the winter months in their warm and cozy kitchen.

BELOVED, ACCOMPLISHED BLOGGER AND AUTHOR: Sarah Kieffer is the beloved blogger behind The Vanilla Bean Baking Blog, which won the SAVEUR Reader's Choice Best Baking & Desserts Blog in 2014. Her pan-banging cookie technique went viral on the New York Times website. She has written two cookbooks and been featured by Food52, The Today Show, Mashable, The Kitchn, America's Test Kitchen, Huffington Post, and more.

Perfect for:

• Bakers of all ages
• Holiday bakers
• Fans of Sarah's bang-the-pan cookies, 100 Cookies, and The Vanilla Bean Blog
• Holiday gift givers



Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive SeasonBaking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season by Sarah Kieffer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Baking for the Holidays- 50+ Treats for a Festive Season by Sarah Kieffer is a 2021 Chronicle Books publication.

Often times, when it comes to holiday baking, though I’m more in my element than with cooking turkeys or hams, or other holiday meal items, I start to stress thinking of the exacting measurements, temperatures, and cooking times, the often-complicated steps and time consumption to pull off an appealing presentation for guests- which is why I normally stick to the tried and true recipes- claiming it’s tradition, when it fact, I’m just too nervous to try something new.

This year, though, I’m in a much different mood. I’m ready to shake things up a little! When I saw this book on Edelweiss, I was hoping to find some new ideas that weren’t terribly expensive or overly complicated.

I was quite pleased by what I saw. As the title states, the book has as a set number of recipes- but there are variations on many of these recipes.

The author begins by giving us a very small glimpse into her background and holiday memories, before moving on to instruct the reader how to perform a few tasks, such as making egg wash and tempering chocolate.
There is even a very thoughtful list of the ingredients used, and the suggested brands one should have on hand, as well as tools- mostly basics, like kitchen scissors, thermometers, etc., but there were a few things one might need to consider buying for certain recipes- all easily found on the internet.

The recipes ranged from pastries, breads, holiday desserts, candies, cookies, cakes- and a section for after Christmas treats. All the recipes include color photographs, and the pastry section had detailed instructions on some of the more complicated procedures such as breading dough.

Most recipes were easy to moderate- but there were a few that were fairly involved and might be more time consuming. Many of these recipes can be served anytime- not just during the holidays. I thought the lovely confetti cake would make a nice birthday cake! It was so colorful!
There was a small section at the end for ‘extras’ where I found a homemade marshmallow recipe- the mint version, which was paired with hot tea, sounds so yummy!! I can’t wait to try it!

Overall, if you are looking for a very helpful recipes book devoted to baking- holiday or otherwise, this is one I think you should check out!!



Sarah Kieffer is a baker, cookbook author, and food blogger. Her work has appeared in and on The New York Times, Food 52, The Kitchn, and Good Morning America, among others. Her cookie book, 100 Cookies, will be out October 2020 with a third book on holiday baking to follow in 2021. She has been pan-banging since 1993.

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