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The best 2014 Brooklyn cookbooks

Give the gift of a sweet Brooklyn cookbook this holiday season

The Brooklyn Paper
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We won’t sugarcoat it.

Cookbooks might be Brooklyn’s favorite holiday present, and this year’s crop of borough-penned recipe tomes has a heavy bent towards the sweeter side of the kitchen. So here are some tasty titles for every type of sweet-tooth in your life.

For birthday bakers

“Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations”

Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have been luring Red Hookers and Fairway shoppers to their cosy bakery Baked with high-quality cookies and cakes since 2005. Their latest book — their third — dishes out 75 delicious recipes assigned to different holidays and celebrations. There is a praline ice cream cake for Mardi Gras, a rum-infused hair of the dog cake for New Year’s Day, and 12 different cookie recipes for each day of Christmas. But the most enticing — probably because it is the weirdest — is a purple velvet cake for Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday.

For adventurous palates

“Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakery”

The brains behind Greenpoint’s popular bakery Ovenly have put together a book full of recipes that whip together salty and sweet in their signature way. Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin melt brains — and tastebuds — with combinations such as caramel bacon hot tarts and currant rosemary scones.

For the old and nostalgic

“The Soda Fountain: Floats, Sundaes, Egg Creams and More — Stories and Flavors of an American Original”

The jerks behind Brooklyn Farmacy, a retro throwback soda counter on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens, have poured their knowledge into this carbonated cookbook. Not only does it include 70 recipes for such classic beverages as the egg cream, the shake, and the ice cream float, but it is also packed with history, folklore, and ephemera surrounding the soda fountain.

For barflies

“First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly, Candy Apple, and Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year (and More)”

Clinton Hill baker Alison Kave — one half of Smorgasburg favorite Butter and Scotch — has made a name for herself combining pies and booze, with creations such as bourbon ginger pecan pie and margarita pie. But not all of the recipes in this book are alcoholic — Kave also includes quirky innovations such as her candy-apple pie, and the Elvis pie — made with banana, peanut butter, and bacon.

For cool kids

“Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop”

It is never too cold for good ice cream, and the husband and wife team behind Ample Hills Creamery — which has locations in Prospect Heights, Gowanus, and Brooklyn Bridge Park — want people to be able to enjoy their delicious recipes from the comfort of their homes. Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith organized their cookbook like a children’s book with games, quizzes, and fun illustrations. But it also delivers the frozen goods, including recipes for some of Ample Hills’s most popular flavors, such as salted crack caramel and the munchies — which has potato chips, pretzels, Ritz crackers, and mini M&Ms in it. The cold never bothered us anyway.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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