Tack & Richardson: Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie — Oh My!

Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

Karen Tack & Alan Richardson’s Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! (Houghton Mifflin 2012) is all about designing funny and fantastical treats out of cake, pies, and frosting. It would be a great book for adults working with kids to create special treats. This is the 3rd book of an amazing series on decorating. Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh, My! adds many new types of recipes (beyond cupcakes) using, pound cakes, cookies, brownies, rice cereal treats, and pies.

The book starts with photographs of all the stuff you’ll need to make the creatures in the recipes. For instance, to make a Cat-terpillar (pp. 14-15) you need M&Ms of various shapes and colors, Jordan almonds, licorice pastels, jelly beans, mini chocolate chips, crème mints, sprinkles and jimmies as well as cupcakes and more.

The book has many sections, each of them have themes like holidays, jokes, and life of the party. The back of the book has master recipes for cake, sugar cookies and candy clay. There is also a good sources section on where to find all the ingredients.

Some of the recipes look like savory food but aren’t. Nacho Normal Cheesecake (p. 24) likes like regular tortilla chips with topping, but it’s actually pie dough over a lemon cheesecake with sour cream frosting – topped with strawberry jam and candy olives. It would be fun to start dinner with regular nachos and finish off with these!

Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, by Karen Tack and Alan RichardsonI like the cover picture of sheep – they look Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep. The recipe is called Baa Baa Black Sheep (p. 58). It makes white and chocolate brown sheep out of pound cake, marshmallows, and Milano cookies. Maybe lamb chops for dinner followed by these little lambs?

The recipes really are fantastic like the Shrimp Cocktail on Ice (page 47) because of its simplicity and the point that you don’t even have to bake it or need any rare ingredients. It’s made out of many things like pound cake (frozen) frosting, Cool Whip, and food coloring. This isn’t an everyday dessert – but a special treat for a birthday or a party. Another fine example is the Paper Doll Cookies (page 96) because of the simple ginger man turned into an amazing treat for any time of the year. My Favorite recipe is probably the Pigs in a Blanket (p. 31), which features 11 pigs in an actual candy blanket! Another of my favorites is Emotipops (p. 138). These have the emoticon images you use in email or tweets in black licorice on circles of pound cake covered in bright frosting. They are very cool.

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