A new baking book, just in time for holiday cookie exchanges and feeding houseguests.

Every now and then a cookbook comes along that suits you just right. When I first heard about One Bowl Baking, Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts by Yvonne Ruperti, I was skeptical. I was concerned I’d find short cut or gimmicky recipes that were more focused on the  “one bowl” concept than on the outcome.

When I started flipping through the pages, my skepticism quickly turned to interest and after trying a few recipes, I am a fan. One Bowl Baking is one of those books that will earn a treasured spot on my small kitchen bookshelf rather than filed in my culinary reference library on my basement bookshelves. Pages are sure to be tattered and soiled with batter over the years and family favorites will even possibly be committed to memory. The photography is beautiful, the typesetting easy to read and the recipes are approachable.

Though I am willing to dirty a number of dishes as collateral in the creation of delicious treats, it sure is nice if you don’t have to. Each of the recipes from layer cakes to cookies truly require one dish, sometimes it is all mixed right on the baking pan. The first thing we tried was the Apple Crisp Mix-in-the-Pan Bars that are pictured above. They were easy to make and disappeared quickly.

Another “not necessary” but “nice” feature of a book is when you truly like the author and want to support her work. Initially, Yvonne contacted me personally about her book. And, when I decided to host this giveaway, she was kind enough to answer some interview questions. (see below)

If you are interested in winning a copy of One Bowl Baking, leave a comment on this post about your favorite holiday treats. I’m interested to know what you are indulging in this season! A winner will be chosen at the end of the day Tuesday, Dec. 10th.


Check out the fun book trailer here.

My Interview with Yvonne Ruperti, author of One Bowl Baking:

What dessert do you request on your birthday?
I have two desserts that I love to request. One is an ice cream cake–my birthday is in the summer and my family would always buy a Carvel cake. I loved the chocolate crunchies that were inside the cake! The second cake is a simple refrigerator cake made of Famous chocolate wafers layered with whipped cream–so simple but so yummy!!

Which cooking tool do you have the biggest love affair with? You know, the one that feels almost sensual in your hands, the one with which you couldn’t barely live without?
My favorite tool is my small offset metal spatula (I have small hands so it feels really comfortable). I use it for so many things, from spreading batter into a pan, to icing absolutely anything. I could fill and frost a wedding cake with this small tool. The thought of frosting anything without it puts me into a panic.

You have been living in Singapore. Will you describe one of your favorite foods that you’ve discovered?
I have an addiction to a dish called “prawn paste chicken”. It’s chicken that’s been marinated in a pungent and slightly sweet shrimp paste and then twice fried. It may not be the healthiest dish, and the flavor of shrimp paste sometimes puts people off, but it’s the best fried chicken that I’ve ever had.

You’ve developed so many recipes! What do you do for fresh inspiration?
I like to think of new flavors/names for classic recipes. For example, we’re all familiar with lemon meringue pie, so how about a lemon meringue cake or donut? The hardest part is that you come up with what you think is a unique idea, only to google it to find that it’s already been done! It’s incredibly difficult to come up with totally original ideas these days–especially with baking because there is only so much leeway that you have with ingredient ratios.

What’s next from you? Any projects in the works?
Well at the moment I’m still concentrating on getting everyone to know about One Bowl Baking, and crossing my fingers that there will be a sequel (I’ve got some great ideas up my sleeves for that!). In the meantime, you can see some of my holiday recipes that are featured in the December issue of Redbook!