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.
So I did. I preordered it, and it now sits on my desk beside me as I write this introduction for you. This book is a defense of baking, she writes in her introduction, and quite honestly, I need someone to defend baking against the pressures of the modern world and COVID-19 stressors around every corner. Baking bread during quarantine was one of the few things that kept me sane, but even then, I probably made cookies once in the three months I was furloughed. Maybe a sweet treat here and there would have done me some good. It can most certainly do me some good now.
Dessert Person will be all over the internet as fans of Claire’s Gourmet Makes series gobble up the book at as fast a pace as I do, or even faster. I may not be the person getting this content out to you the fastest, but I promise I’ll be doing it. Together, we’ll discover the right desserts for Eating Normal. From the first page, I know it starts with her ‘recipe matrix’ that shows the amount of time required for each recipe against the degree of difficulty. Thank God for the small things.
It’s also got a section devoted to the people like me that have become savory bakers in every sense of the word. I felt that pang in my chest when I read the recipe title,’ Miso buttermilk biscuits’ that comes every time someone puts together my two favorite worlds-- japanese flavors and southern cooking. Miso biscuits? Sign me the fuck up.
We’ll try at least one recipe every week with a single update each weekend after our weekly restaurant updates. This is the time of year that a lot of home cooks look toward baking, and while we may not be taking these bakes on the road, they’ll provide us comfort during holidays where COVID-19 might keep us away from family. Plus, it’s getting cold out up here in the frozen north. The more my oven is on, the better.
Dessert Person released on October 20th, and it is available wherever books are sold. Cook along with me each week. I’ll announce our weekly recipe on Facebook and Twitter every week.