Welcome to another post in my Latest Recipe Testing series, and the 3rd post specifically about testing cookbook recipes.
My manuscript deadline is in 2 months, and after a busy holiday season on my website with oodles of new recipes, I’m back to focusing mainly on cookbook recipes and writing my manuscript.
I’m giving myself space and time to produce my best work, so you won’t be seeing too many new recipes on my website over the next couple of months. You will see some republished older recipes from the archives, though, and of course the Sally’s Baking Challenge continues with new challenges every month! I send out updates and recipe collections on the regular to my email subscribers, so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already.
Fourth Cookbook Coming in 2025
This is going to be my biggest, most polished book yet: 100 recipes covering many baking categories like breads, pies, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and more. I’m also photographing the book myself, and hired a prop stylist and food stylist so my photography is on point. I have a solid team, a dream-come-true publisher, and couldn’t be more thrilled.
We even started photographing a few fall & winter recipes!
A handful of recipes in the book will be from my website, but most (about 75) will be completely new and exclusive to the book. So in between all of the new recipes you’ve seen on my website over the past year, I’ve also been meticulously testing book recipes. I have a team of recipe testers, too.
I don’t want to give too much away, but at the same time, I’m excited to show you how these recipes are coming to life. After all, I wouldn’t have this opportunity if I didn’t have readers like you.
The last I left off, I was finishing up the Pies chapter. Over the past several months, I nearly finished the Pies chapter (I have 2 lingering recipes that need more work), and completely finished the Yeast Breads & Breakfast/Brunch chapters. I also dipped into the Cakes chapter, and have the Brownies/Bars and Cupcakes chapters still to go. The Cookies and Muffins & Quick Breads chapters are complete.
The book will be published in 2025. This project is massive—the biggest undertaking I’ve had in my career. I won’t settle for anything less than 100 perfect recipes. You can expect the best.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the recipes you’ll see in the book. This is not the photography for the book; these are photos taken for reference.
The Last Fruit Crisp Recipe You’ll Ever Need
Nestled inside the Pies chapter will be a fruit crisp base recipe you can use for various fillings/fruits. Berry, apple, pear, and summer stone fruits galore! We tested pan sizes, fruit size (how large to chop), and filling-to-topping ratios. Most notably, we tested fresh vs. frozen fruit, and fresh fruit by far will give you the best results.
The topping absorbed so much moisture when using frozen fruit and became quite soggy. This is a recipe you will use with seasonal fresh fruit. (Which is why I’ll offer a few filling ideas for all four seasons.)
Have you ever made brioche or brioche buns? You will next year when you pick up this book! I LOVE how these buns turned out after a few tests—flaky, soft, rich, buttery, airy, and sturdy enough to use for burgers and sandwiches. They’re also excellent plain.
Baked Chocolate Donuts
Soon you’ll enjoy indulgent cake-style homemade donuts covered in glossy chocolate icing that sets, just like the kind you find at the bakery. In initial tests, I used ganache as the icing and it was just too dark, too rich, and didn’t set into that donut shop glaze-like consistency. The chocolate icing you’ll find in the book checks all the right boxes, and is really easy to whisk together.
My kids (and my team’s kids) were overjoyed when it was chocolate donut testing week. 😉
Tender and buttery, this chocolate chip-studded crumb cake is a variation of my classic coffee cake. The batter yields a bit more volume, and there’s plenty of chocolate chips in every bite.
I can’t author a Breakfast/Brunch chapter without including my go-to quiche recipe. I have a new favorite filling included, plus 2 to 3 more flavor variations so you can make it your own.
All caps is the only way to convey my joy here: THESE POPOVERS ARE UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! If you’ve never made popovers before, have no fear, I’ll walk you through it in the book. They’re extremely easy, and require minimal ingredients. You can use a muffin pan if you don’t have a popover pan.
The baking times/temperatures took some time to get right. They’re different depending on if you’re using a popover pan vs. a muffin pan. I’ll explain both ways.
And, finally, a behind-the-scenes capture of the styling we set for a muffin recipe photo shoot the other day. These are donut-inspired muffins with jam swirled inside. We got so much snow, and glowy snow light is my favorite for photography. So we took advantage!
More to come soon. In the meantime, I’m sharing some behind-the-scenes snippets on my Instagram Stories, so be sure to pop in and check them out.
Q: Which of these new recipes are you most excited to try?