50 Things to Bake Before You Die: The World’s Best Cakes, Pies, Brownies, Cookies, and More from Your Favorite Bakers, Including Christina Tosi, Joanne Chang, and Dominique Ansel

Allyson Reedy. Ulysses, $24.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-64604-331-6

Food writer Reedy (Breaking the Chain) serves up the “very best desserts the sweet, sweet confectionary world has to offer” in this toothsome assemblage of recipes from notable bakers, bloggers, and chefs. “I know what you’re thinking,” Reedy writes of the book’s vaguely morbid title, “Can’t we just have our cake without being confronted with our ever-hastening mortality, too?” Rest assured, the following pages are anything but macabre, thanks to their sugary contents, cheeky charm, and commitment to covering all of the “dessert-y bases” in chapters organized by cookies, cakes, “Things You Should Eat with Your Hands,” and “Things You Probably Shouldn’t Eat with Your Hands.” Nostalgia gets served in the form of “snuggly” oatmeal-sugar cookies courtesy of Amy Jason, owner of Alabama’s Cookie Fix, while madeleines are made “just as God... intended” in a perfected recipe from Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud. For bakers seeking a rewarding challenge, the layered Ultimate S’mores Cake from baking blogger Courtney Rich offers “an intimibake” that’s worth the elbow grease. Meanwhile, an indulgent chocolate croissant bread pudding from a bakery in Kentucky gets topped with Chantilly cream for some “awesome fat-on-fat action,” and variations on bars, brownies, and babkas shine, notably in recipe for graham-cracker-crusted pistachio cheesecake bars. It doesn’t get sweeter than this. (Apr.)
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