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Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine [Hardcover-spiral]

Shaina Olmanson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 22.95
Price: CDN$ 16.75 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

June 26 2012
Some desserts in jars are baked or otherwise prepared right in the jar, while others are spooned into jars. Either way, the sparkling and pretty vessel and the appealing treat it holds make for a beautiful presentation. Olmanson's clever and cute desserts are at once playful and well-crafted, appropriate for a kids' birthday one weekend (Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes) and a grown-up gathering, the next (Neapolitan Cakes). The book includes chapters on cakes, pies, crumbles and cobblers, quick breads and frozen indulgences like Strawberry Lemonade Granitas.

Desserts in jars are fun to make and, of course, to eat, and they are especially suited for gift-giving. They store, travel and stay fresh well, and even can be delivered with a lid on the jar and with gift tags, ribbons, and other embellishments. Olmanson devotes a special chapter to as-yet-unbaked mixes, with the flour, brown sugar, and so on attractively layered in the jar, a timeless idea now undergoing its own revival.

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Review

"Desserts in Jars is equal parts beautiful, precious, creative, inspired, and irresistible. Every turn of the page unveils a new surprise, and the photography leaves you longing for every single delicious-looking recipe."

—Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

"I love the idea of baking individual desserts in jars. Whether you serve them at parties or share them as gifts, the sweets in Shaina’s book are a beautiful collection of recipes sure to bring joy to anyone—including yourself."

—Angie Dudley, Bakerella.com, author of Cake Pops

"Shaina has written a gorgeous book, at once playful, sophisticated, and delicious! The recipes are delightful, and serving them in jars is a lot of fun."

—Zoë François, co-author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

About the Author

Shaina Olmanson is a cook, writer, photographer, and mother of four young children. She writes the popular blog FoodforMyFamily.com, which was named one of the top ten Top 100 Mom Food Blogs by Babble.com for 2011, as well as a Top 10 Family Food Blog by My Life Scoop Blogs.com. Shaina is a daily contributor on Babble's Family Kitchen, has served as the food editor for LifetimeMoms, a digital property of A&E Networks, and contributes regularly to FoodYourWay.net and SimpleBites.net. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Aug. 9 2013
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
Just looking threw this book makes you hungry. Can't wait to use and test out all the recipes in the future
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delectable in Content AND Presentation; But Plan To Invest In Lots Of Different Jars ** July 3 2012
By S. L. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
What a divine little book to wreak havoc with carb-counters! Shaina Olmanson's Desserts In Jars is indeed a sweet way to tease your insulin back to life and remind you of that pancreas you learned about in high school.

Normally, when I review a cookbook I will have already tried at least 3 recipes so I can make a more informed report. But because I need to keep my insulin quiescent for a few more weeks, I will come back and provide an update. (Update 8/29/2012: please see end of review.) And when I do, here will be the first recipes I'll consider:

* Peanut Butter Cup Cakes
* Pull-apart Cinnamon Breads
* Peach Bourbon Pies
* Lemon-Blueberry Bread Puddings
* Sweet Corn Panna Cotta (It's got a bacon & blueberry topping)
* Banana Buttermilk Trifles
* Frozen Mudslide Pies
* Apple Pancake Puffs
* Campfire Bars Mix (a super attractive mix-in-a-jar for gift-giving)

Every recipe has its own photograph and specifies which size of jar is needed (but this critical information is imbedded deep within each set of instructions). Ms. Omanson provides a helpful introduction to baking with jars, including online sources for jar manufacturers. She even gives tips, such as aging egg whites for better French macarons. Most recipes are short, but a couple are longer and more involved (for example: the Pains au Chocolat). Also worth knowing is that many of the recipes require more than just the jar for cooking; you should anticipate using cupcake tins, baking pans, and cookie sheets.

** Unless you are an avid canner, you'll most likely need to invest in a few sets of jars. Some recipes require up to 24 4-ounce jars, up to 14 8-ounce jars, and some use wide-mouth and/or tall variants of each. A few recipes alternatively use up to 18 6-ounce jars. All but one of the mix-in-a-jar assemblies require larger jars (1-quart). Fortunately, canning jars are inexpensive and easy to find in most grocery stores. More problematic might be storage for the extensive collections. Here are some links for jars on Amazon: Ball Canning Regular Mouth Half Pint Canning Jar 8 oz. 12-Count, Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni 8 1/2 Ounce Canning Jar, Set of 12, and Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz., Case of 12.

My only ONLY issue with this book is that for some of the recipes, you have to read the instructions very carefully in order to determine serving counts and sizes. And none of the recipes indicate clearly under the ingredients which SIZE of jar will be required.

I'll be back with updates. In the meantime, it's all meat and Romaine for me. Hmmm, now how nice would a salad look in a jar?

Update 8/29/2012: I made the Peanut Butter Cup Cakes for a club meeting and they got rave reviews, despite a couple of issues I had. Plus, people were able to bring some home very easily because of the screw-on lids. Issues: The recipe did not specify wide-mouth jars (8 oz), and I bought the taller and narrower common jam jar. Big logistical mistake!! Getting the batter into each jar was messy and I had to clean & re-clean them, the counters, the floor, my shirt, etc frequently. But most important, the cupcakes did NOT test in the 18-20 minutes specified; I had to add 8 minutes, and I think this is due to using the taller/narrower jars. And getting the chocolate topping to melt on them was further mess, but I highly recommend Ghirardelli Chocolate 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar , 4 oz.. Ghirardelli marks their 4-ounce bars into 8 squares, perfectly suited for this recipe. You will need 1.5 bars. The finished cupcakes have great flavor, and they are not super sweet. My peanut butter balls sank to the bottom of each jar since it took so darn long to prepare each jar, but this might not happen next time when I opt for the wider/shorter jars. Recommended, if you don't mind a bit of extra work in preparation.

Update 10/2012: I used the section "How To Create Your Own Layered Desserts" on page 65 as an inspiration for my own "Deconstructed Whoopie Pies In A Jar". I used my mother's old recipe, tore the cookie parts into bits, thinned the cream filling with just a little heavy cream, and layered it all. Nice, clean way to eat Whoopies without getting cream filling all over my fingers.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous ideas from start to finish June 26 2012
By Amber N. Bracegirdle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
I just read this book from cover to cover, and it's one of the few cookbooks where I can say that every single recipe appealed to me! I love that there's an entire section of dry mixes to give as gifts. That's Christmas sorted for me (along with a copy of this book for each recipient)!

Shaina has proved she's truly a master at recipe developing. You'd think with 50 recipes, there'd be some overlap or repetition, but there isn't. From the Indian Rice Pudding to the pains au chocolat, I am set for dinner party desserts from now on.

The photography is stunning, and speaking of those pains au chocolate - the photo of those literally had me imagining the crisp flaky texture of the pastry and the bittersweet surprise of chocolate. I am impressed!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and tasty! July 29 2012
By CuteEverything - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover-spiral
Desserts in Jars and is filled with suggestions for delicious sweets cooked or presented in jars. The author includes useful information on using jars, such as the variety of sizes, their eco-friendy nature, and tips on how to fill, bake, freeze and decorate them. I appreciate how the jars can be implemented as a practical baking dish, as well as a beautiful serving dish.

In Desserts in Jars, the Cakes and Cupcakes area has several scrumptious recipes, including a ribbon adorned tres leches cakes, which are sponge cakes soaked in three milks and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Pies seem so well suited to jars, and my favorites always have the tiny lattice top crust, which looks so perfectly adorable. Custards and puddings are either baked in the jars or spooned into them after being cooked and make an easy to eat treat, whether it's Indian Rice Pudding or Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Pots de Creme.

Seasonal fruit can be made into crisps, crumbles, cobblers and more. I had to try the trifle though, which has Banana Buttermilk Cake layered with banana pudding, sliced bananas and topped with whipped cream. It was a perfect summer dessert that certainly did not disappoint and it looked gorgeous in the glass jars!

The frozen dessert chapter includes chilly treats like ice cream cakes, frozen pies and granitas. But the recipe I had to try was the "Fried" Ice Cream, which didn't require frying at all. For this yummy concoction, I just had to press the cornflake topping in the bottom of the jar, add ice cream, and while it firmed up in the freezer, I made the honey caramel sauce (yum!) which went on top with a bit more of the topping. Mmmm, heavenly! And easy, too.

The last section in Desserts in Jars has ideas for gifts mixes, which I really enjoy making for holiday presents. I love how pretty the ingredients look layered in the jars and how the reusable jar becomes an extra gift, too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful cookbook! Aug. 30 2012
By K. Doyle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover-spiral
Desserts in Jars reacquainted me with memories of my Grandpa and our time spent together eating mini desserts and parfaits out of jars. The appeal of pies, puddings, cakes and more in little single serving dessert jars was one I could totally relate to. There's just something about eating dessert in your very own special jar that makes it all the more decadent.

Desserts in Jars is full of a wide range of recipes and beautiful photos. The photography in this book is stunning and the recipes are well written with easy to follow instructions. So far, my favorite recipe I've tried is the Tres Leches cake. From the presentation down to the flavor, this was one recipe I'll be returning to time and time again.

If you are looking for a cookbook full of fun ideas, delicious recipes and beautiful photography, you won't be disappointed with Desserts in Jars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Sept. 12 2012
By Puck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
This has become my go to dessert book, I've made several of the recipes and they all turned out great. The only drawback to this book is I had to buy more jars, on the upside, my freezer is full of tasty treats
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