November Cook the Books is from local restaurateur and bakery owner, Tom Douglas. The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. I have high hopes for the cookbook because of 2 items: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and Coconut Cream Pie. The cookies are worth a trip downtown to get and savor. They contain the absolute perfect amount of crunch to creamy and salt to sweet. And the pie! Friends, I have a wicked coconut cream pie love. Sure, fruit pies are fine and well, but I’m partial to a good cream pie. And coconut cream is the pinnacle of that desire. The Coconut Cream Pie at Dahlia is probably the best I have ever tasted in many, many years.
A long time ago, perhaps 11 or 12 years, a group of friends of mine were going camping at Lake Wenatchee before a century-bike ride. Driving around town after work and trying to get out-of-town on a Friday at rush hour, I was in a full on (what I now recognize as) anxiety attack. Already panicky, I made my last stop to pick up my dear friend (and amazing chef), Chuck. He walked out toting an enormous secret box that he needed to put in my already cramped car. And this box apparently had to be kept upright. And not jostled. And, yes, it had to come along. And, no, I couldn’t know what was inside. In my anxiety-state, I had no patience with this egregious behavior. None. Luckily, some small grasp on reality kept me from totally losing it and tossing him and the box, out of the car. Thank goodness, because once at the campsite, Chuck unveiled the contents: a perfect, made-by-him-for-me coconut cream pie. On a decorative, green metal and enormous cake stand. I was stunned. Not only at the outpouring of friend-love and that my sense lavish tent camping had been met, but the pure perfection of his pie. I still want that pie. (Moral of the story: Don’t freak out on your friends. They *might* have pie. And, klonopin? Helpful. Very helpful.)
Not a fan of coconut? Not to worry. The book boasts 125 recipes covering everything from pastries to brunch, pies and tarts to cookies, cakes to éclairs, ice cream, and a side-step to tomato soup. I have my eye on a few things already:
- Apple dumplings with medjool date butter (yes, please!)
- Pear Tarts with caramel sauce (I won’t be making puff pastry any time soon, but this recipe is gorgeous and will be made at some point)
- Banana Cream Pie with chocolate. (Mmmm, my second favorite cream pie)
- English muffins (The Babylady has been mentioning wanting to make them, so bonus!)
- Tomato Soup. Probably with Parsley-Chive Scones. (‘Tis the season)
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake (I’m a sucker for new-to-me coffee cake recipes)
- Sugar Pumpkin Crème Pie (fact: I detest regular pumpkin pie, despite loving pumpkin. In looking over the recipe, it seems I might convert)
What will you make? As usual, get your hands on a copy of the book and try out a few things. Get flour covered. Make a mess. Try a new technique. Write it up before the end of the month and send the link of your post to be included in the end of the month wrap up. We love hearing how you are incorporating the cookbooks in your life!