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on December 4, 2011
I just bought the book and was very disappointed for one main reason: there is no pictures associeted with each recipe so there is nô way of knowing what you are baking. Also, the recipes look pretty difficult for a novice Baker. Still looking for the right book for baking miniatures.
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on November 22, 2000
I collect baking books. Most of them end up on a shelf. This is NOT one of those. I have made at least a dozen of these cookies and each one has been delicious, looked terrific, and been different from the typical cookie. Some are very easy to make - like Daddy Long Legs (a delicious hazelnut refrigerator cookie) and some are difficult (like the Buttercream "hedgehogs"), but all are lovely to place on your table. Some recipes call for odd ingredients like rice flour, but don't let that turn you away. There aren't too many of those.
The instructions are clear with a number of line drawings to help guide you through technique. This is a "must have" baking book for people tired of the same old same old same old.
At the end of the book, Ms. Braker offers great suggestions on preparing large quantities of baked goods. She talks about planning, how to freeze the cookies, how to present them, and how to decide which cookies to mix with others. This is a favorite of mine and will continue to be.
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on July 5, 2003
I like this "little" baking book very much. It is an entire book dedicated to the magic art of petit-fours, or small, french, bite-sized bits of desserts and sweets. There are some books on the subject, mostly professional. However, here is a simple, easy to follow book ideal for the home baker to make these wonderful little things.
The author has been a successful caterer for many years. She knows what is easy to make, and are also very popular things that people just love. Here is a collection of those recipes that meet both requirements. It is a baking book you will probably use very often. Be warned, however, that these wonderful little gems are very labor intensive. You will be slaving over the proverbial hot stove for rather long perions of time per recipe. Multiply that by three or four recipes, and it all adds up to a very long time. Fortunately, the author supplies proven, time-saving organizational tips in the last chapter. I also note that her hints and suggestions for decoration can be skimpy at times; decorating things this small is not an easy task.
My complaints are mostly organizational. Several basics, like cake or crust recipes, are used in multiple recipes, but are buried in the middle of chapters or embedded in one particular recipe. These should always be the first recipe in the relevant chapter on their own, or given a separate chapter by themselves. Also helpful would be a cross reference chart, so that one glance will tell you how many different petit-fours you can make with the same basic cake or crust recipe. It does have some charts at the end, but these are not organized by the base recipe. There are some pictures, and each one tells you what page the recipe is on; however, the reverse is not true: a recipe may have a picture, but you won't know it unless you check the pictures each time.
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on August 21, 2001
We've noticed that when entertaining, the miniature desserts are favorites. So, rather than purchasing them, we saw this work and investigating doing it ourselves.
More into cooking than baking, I can attest that this work is easy to follow, with its line drawings and step by step helps. The results are consistent and turn out as desired.
Especially are we fond of the Pistatio Petits Fours, the Lemon Meringue Tartlets and Raspberry Lemon Tartlets.
Cookie lovers will find ample recipes here as well as maximum selection for teas and coffees.
Just a magnificent work by an author who is passionate about your area and extols this love with her readers. Very usable addition to everyone who loves to entertain with unique and creative items that are achievable.
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on August 3, 2000
Here in the Bay Area, we are are fortunate to have some outstanding cooking teachers, but one of the finest I've ever taken classes from is Flo Braker. Flo's pastries are not only beautiful, but incredibly delicious. The great triumph of her books, however, is that they really do teach you to duplicate -- not just approximate -- her own ourstanding results. Bake just a few of her recipes and you'll learn such helpful technique along the way that all your baking will benefit. The miniature pastries in this book are stunning to look at and sophisticated to taste. A delightful -- and important --book.
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on December 16, 2003
I received the hard bound version of this book as a present many years ago. It is now the secret behind my annual Christmas party for which I prepare over 2000 tartlets, pastries, cookies and candies. The recipes are superb and largely unduplicated in any other books I've seen. Instructions are detailed and clear. My guests are always clamoring for recipes. The original hard bound book had to be replaced because it was so worn out.
Warning: Some of the recipes are more difficult than they appear (Gianduja cubes). But overall, you'll find great hosting success with this book.
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on May 23, 2004
really a must have if you are interested in making the finest miniature desserts. flo knows this stuff inside and out, and is able to come across like a good friend rather than an expert know it all (even though she happens to be one) . the forward and notes serve as calming and helpful tips to ensure the reader that everything will be ok. the recipes are flawless and convey potentially tricky terms and situations with ease. what more can i say, its the petit four bible: GO FLO~!
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on February 27, 2004
Great book. Some of the recipes are labor intensive but well worth the trouble. Tried the Pineapple Pockets, Little Gems, Peanut Butter Petals, all excellent. The Shortbread Cameos fell flat in both taste and appearance. If you are a cookie fanatic like me, this is a must have.
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