Sarah Levy is a successful bakery owner in Chicago.  Her store is called “Sarah’s Pastries and Candies” and opened in 2005.  Sweetness:Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion is her first publication.  This cookbook has the intention of enabling the home baker to produce store-bought-quality baked goods in their very own kitchens.  It is a book for someone who wants to bake all of the treats you see at a bakery, but does not have the faintest idea where to begin.

In her book introduction, Sarah explains her food philosophy and it is one that I could not agree with more.  She says that she has “witnessed how the right freshly baked treat can transform a date, TV night with the girls, or just another day at work into a special occasion.”  I share her appreciation for the way that a simply cookie or cupcake can truly make someone’s day.  The main reason why I love to bake so much is that it allows me to show my love and gratefulness for others.

Sarah promises her recipes to be no-nonsense, simplified recipes that you can fit in even during a busy work or school week.   She is very encouraging to the new baker throughout the book and it is very evident that she wants to invoke the confidence that her readers need to brave a new recipe or technique in the kitchen.

Most of the ingredients in the recipes that you will find in Sweetness will be items you already have on hand, which I love.  However, on the off chance that you are unable to find one of the ingredients at your local grocery store, Sarah offers several websites where you can shop for baking equipment or ingredients.

The way that Sarah groups the recipes into chapters is very unique.  Because her philosophy about a baked good making an occasion special, she groups the chapters by occasion that she suggests you might make each treat for.  The chapters include:  Work, Social Gatherings, Matters of Love, Day-to-day Happenings, Hostess Gifts and The Holidays.  A recommendation for an occasion to make each treat for accompanies the recipes.

There is a photo with nearly every recipe and the book itself is nice and big so that it stays open while you are using it.  I used Sarah’s Supreme Chocolate Cupcake recipe for my Hoppy Easter Cupcakes and they were divine.

Up next for me out of this book will be either Decadent Chocolate Almond Toffee or Rafael’s Toffee Sugar Cookies.  I am noticing a trend here….

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5 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    Oh I love anything tofffee, keep the recipes coming! 🙂


  2. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    Love cookbooks that have a picture with each recipe!!


  3. luv what you do
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    I have this book. It is so super cute. Even though I live in Chicago I still have never checked out Sarah’s place. I need to get there SOON!


    • Mercedes
      Jul 22, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      Have you made anything from this book? Let me know if you make it to Sarah’s!


  4. Anna @ hiddenponies
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful book, I love books that encourage anyone that they can do it and that use basic ingredients – and all those recipes sound delicious!


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