cover image Diner Desserts

Diner Desserts

Chronicle Books, Tish Boyle. Chronicle Books, $18.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2449-1

This fun collection celebrates exactly the desserts you'd expect from America's diners: fluffy Chocolate Cream Pie, three-layer High and Mighty White Cake and chewy Old-Time Peanut Butter Cookies. Although Boyle waxes nostalgic about the diners in her life, most of the recipes don't hail from specific eateries so much as they represent a kind of ur-diner cuisine. There are a few exceptions--mostly regional treats such as Southern Sweet Potato Spice Pie and New York City's famous Classic Black and White Cookies. The book's design, though a tad busy, keeps up the retro style with page numbers in the form of prices and black-and-white photos of typical diners from San Francisco to the diner's birthplace in Worcester, Mass. A chapter on sweets from the soda fountain includes a Really Rich Double Chocolate Milk Shake and a S'more Sundae with marshmallow spread and chocolate sauce, and another on ""dunkables"" offers Diner-Style Powdered Buttermilk Donuts and Raspberry Twists. There's nothing revolutionary here (the fanciest item is probably a Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake with a Gingersnap Crust), simply reliable recipes for the desserts Americans still crave with a dollop of whipped cream and a strong cup of coffee. (May)