cover image CLOUDS FOR DESSERT: Sweet Treats from the Wild West

CLOUDS FOR DESSERT: Sweet Treats from the Wild West

Susan Lowell, . . Rio Nuevo, $14.95 (120pp) ISBN 978-1-887896-58-0

"What if the West could taste the way it looks?" asks Lowell. "Clearly some of the great natural phenomena would have to be spectacular desserts!" This imaginative author who has retold traditional children's stories with a Western twist (The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit ; Little Red Cowboy Hat ), now offers colorful reinterpretations of over 65 desserts. Floating Island, for instance, becomes Clouds in the Sky: fluffy meringues drifting in creamy blueberry custard; while molded ice cream peaks with chocolate sauce and whipped cream make up snow-capped Rocky Mountain Sundaes. Other recipes—such as those for Southwestern cookies, cakes and sweet breads, and fruit desserts like Biscochitos, Tres Leches Cake, Pan de Muerto and Apple Empanadas—are presented with Western legends and history, family stories and amusing asides. Lowell's artistic eye transforms Lemon-Lime Cake into a flowering cactus (with marshmallow blossoms and candle spikes), and the story of her family's Gold Rush adventures gives way to orange-flavored "Gold Bar" Cookies, glittering with yellow sugar crystals. For holidays, there is a gingerbread adobe Dream Casa, complete with three little javelinas (pigs) in residence. Cooks with a fondness for Wild West stories will be intrigued by the way Lowell chooses to tell them. 55 color photos. (June)