Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” August 3rd, 2014
“Treat Yourself” By: Jennifer Steinhauer
As soon as I picked up this book I knew I was going to like it. After I flicked through the book and seen the beautiful photos and easy and delicious looking recipes – I knew I was going to love it! Jennifer Steinhauer did beyond a fabulous job in recreating some of America’s best loved (cherished and dreamed out) “junk food” treats!
The front of the book says “70 classic snacks you loved as a kid (and still love today)” and that could not be anymore spot on – especially for me! I grew up eating Oreo cookies, Little Debbie and Hostess foods…and do not regret a thing – I loved and savored every minute of it! Some of my earliest memories of Hostess cakes (Cupcakes for example) are in my earliest life recollections. I remember traveling to the “Hostess Outlet” shop with my Grandma Barbra, or with my parents – and believe me…we stocked up! There is nothing more thrilling and exciting to an eight year old than a cart full of Hostess cakes! Ha! (And nothing more delicious on a hot summer day than a Hostess Cupcake, right from the freezer…seriously – try it!)
Snack foods (some call them “junk foods”) define certain events in my life that just wouldn’t be the same without them! “Treat Yourself” is an amazing compilation of homemade snacks and treats that I remember always being a part of my life.
I always thought there were two types of people – those who liked “Hostess” brand snacks and those who liked “Little Debbie” brand snacks! Ha! Kind of like the “Democrat” or “Republican” classifications for kids on the playground. Me? I like different snacks from both sides of the fence.
If you are looking for a recipe for your favorite “Girl Scout” cookie (the Thin Mint) look no further than the recipe on page 25. What about “Chips Ahoy!” chocolate chip cookies!? Try page 35! (And the secret Jennifer has discovered about baking chocolate chip cookies may forever change the way I bake mine!) “Nilla Wafers”? Page 43. Can you imagine these used in your favorite banana pudding recipe!? Delicious! Searching for a recipe for “Nutter Butters” (you know – those deliciously dry peanut butter cookies in the shape of a peanut…) try page 52 – and the recipe could not be any simpler! “Oreos” (possibly the most used recipe in the cookbook) can be found on page 58. And yes…I am guilty of skipping the cookie and just making (and eating) the vanilla cream filling! This, I will say, was delicious and tasted identical to that found between the chocolate cookies that you can find in the supermarket!
Looking for “Zebra Cakes”? (page 81) or perhaps “MoonPies”? (featured on the cover and also found on page 87). Or – are you a “Pop-Tart” person!? Yep – Jennifer has a recipe for “Strawberry Pop-Tarts” that can be found on page 108 and are (from experience) absolutely delicious! You will never buy another store bought one again…
Of course there are many more recipes for “snacks” that are more than just cakes. There are homemade “Ritz Crackers”, “Cheez-Its”, “Funyuns” and even a recipe for homemade “Twix Bars”! I mean…really? Can it get any better!?
I highly recommend this book for dessert lovers, snack lovers, and for people who want a little piece of their childhood back, in the form of delicious memorable snacks that they grew up with. This book is a fun read with mouthwatering photos. The recipes are easy (compared to what you would think they would be for homemade snacks) and written out and explained nicely.