Like most cookbooks, Dessert Person opens with sections about how to use the cookbook, what hardware you’ll need, and even a chart of how hard the recipes are compared to one another. Unlike most cookbooks, the majority of this information actually appears to be useful. I’m known to skip over introductions and charts and graphs at the start of other similar cookbooks because I feel like I already know a lot of what there is to be learned before diving into it.
Dessert Person does not make these sections out to be the be all end all of information, which is lovely. Still, a novice baker can look at photographs of how to fill a pastry bag, how to line a round pan with parchment paper, and various stages of beating egg whites so that they are never in the dark while trying out new techniques and recipes. These are things I don’t know much about. I know what bread dough is supposed to look like, to always measure in grams, etc… but these aspects of baking are foreign.
Or, November 2020 Cookbook of the Month: Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz
When I first started cooking, I thought I would be an avid, lifetime dessert baker. I loved cookies and my pumpkin cheesecake. There was a while there where I tried to start a cookie business out of my own home (it never panned out). As soon as I was out of my parents’ house and on my own, the desire to bake sweets dwindled to complete minimum unless Thanksgiving or Christmas was right around the corner. Desserts were a vehicle through which to express my love to other people, less about loving them myself, and when my social circle shrank and outings lessened, so too did my desire for baking sweets.
Which begs the question, why in God’s Green Earth would I want a cookbook called Dessert Person when I am not, in fact, a dessert person? First of all, I love and worship Claire Saffitz. She’s a St. Louis area native, like myself, and her stint on the now tainted Bon Appetit remains one of my favorite cooking shows of all time. I have an immense amount of respect for her as a chef and as a person, and I couldn’t imagine going past this release without picking it up for myself the moment it was available.