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Pineapple Malted Milkshake & a Cookbook Review for the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cookoff + a Giveaway (The Chance to

Posted Mar 07 2012 2:52am

I don't do a whole lot of baking. I am not that skilled at it and I find that it requires me to be too patient and precise when I prefer to be lazy and haphazard. Plus, I have to give all the end product away when I do bake or I will eat it, and while I believe that the occasional indulgence is very good for the soul, I find that more than the occasional indulgence is not so good for the body. I also don't read a lot of baking-based food blogs--I find them way too tempting, inducing me to crave desserts more than I already do. ;-) Still, although I had never been to her site, I had certainly heard of the wonders of Joy the Baker and I was excited, if not a little nervous, about joining Heather of girlichef and her merry band of bloggers in reviewing the Joy the Baker Cookbook. The apprehension was due to my admitted lack of baking skills--I was worried that the recipes would be difficult or too fussy for me to enjoy the process. But, after four weeks of cooking along, I have found that the beauty of Joy Wilson and the Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes, is that the book lives up to its cover tagline--they are easy to make recipes, both comforting and delicious. I think it is her background as a self-taught cook, baker, and blogger that make Joy and her recipes relatable but unique enough to be really interesting.

The soft cover book packs the 100 recipes into 246 bright and colorful pages. There are mouth-watering photos accompanying the recipes--perfect for seeing just what the finished products should look like. The photos are gorgeous and were taken by Joy herself--apparently there is no end to her talents.

Once I finally got my hands on the book (more about that later), I had sticky tabs peppering the pages of over half of the book. (I have a feeling I will be going back to many of those recipes and actually making them--something that doesn't always happen for me with the obscene number of cookbooks stacked about my house.) Some of the recipes that caught my eye: Chocolate and Salty Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles, Lavender Lemon Bars, Chewy Coconut Almond Raisin Granola Bars, Zucchini and Potato Pancakes, Carrot Cake Pancakes, Toasted Oat Smoothie, "Man Bait" Apple Crisp, Parmesan Seaweed Popcorn, Chocolate and Black Pepper Goat Cheese Truffles, Avocado Pound Cake, Peach Cobbler Muffins.... I could go on and on.

Through the Cookbook Spotlight and Cookoff, I made four recipes from the book. The first two were selected by girlichef and other two I chose.

Our first group recipe was the Chocolate Fudge Brownies with The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting . I am always suspicious of recipes that proclaim they are "the best" anything, but with this frosting I think Joy may be correct. I would eat it on a stick. The Ovaltine gives it such great flavor and fluffy texture. My sister Phyl saw the brownies on my blog and made them for her husband Ken. His feedback; "Holy S#*t!" High praise indeed and my sister also thought it was the best chocolate frosting she had ever tasted. Sadly, since I was on my 28-day Engine 2 Challenge, I ate one for tasting purposes and snuck two more in the freezer (for days 29 & 30!), then gave the rest away. I still dream about these brownies... ;-)

Our second group recipe, Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting , were also wonderful. The tea-infused cakes had so much flavor without the chamomile being overpowering, and the luscious honey-flavored frosting was perfect on them. I plan on playing around with this recipe using some of my other favorite teas since due to my E-2 challenge, most of these cupcakes were happily received and enjoyed by friends. These little cakes would be perfect for an afternoon tea or a bridal shower--they are ever so delicate and lady-like.

I was ending my vegan E-2 challenge the week we picked our own recipes to make from the book, and I was intrigued by the Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Vegan Chocolate Buttercream . The cupcakes were so moist and delicious and you would never guess that there is avocado in them. I did have some challenges with the frosting--it seemed slightly greasy and kept separating, but it could certainly have been user error. It didn't affect the taste much--it just wasn't as pretty as it could have been. I also think The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from the first week has spoiled me for other chocolate frostings forever and ever...

Finally, you can't live in Hawaii without having to make any interesting pineapple recipes you come across (Really. I think it is a State law or something), so I had to try the Pineapple Malted Milkshake. Since I don't consume a lot of dairy, I used coconut-almond milk and a vanilla coconut milk-based ice cream. If not for the malted milk powder my version would have been vegan and dairy-free--not that you would notice when it is all blended up into a thick, creamy milkshake. The milkshake was nicely sweet and fruity (from a fresh, local farmers market pineapple), and I loved the "special something" that the malted milk powder added to the flavor. Delicious.

Joy says, "We have a Saturday-night tradition in my family. It involves a long car ride, spicy Mexican food, almost painful amounts of chips and guacamole, and finishes with a trip to the local ice cream shop for pineapple malted milkshakes. Then my father invariably jokes about driving off without either me or my sister in the car, and we have to rush back to the car, malts in hand, so as not to be left behind. It's all in good fun... I think."

Pineapple Malted Milkshake (Made Almost Vegan & Dairy-Free)
Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
(Makes one 3-cup milkshake)

1 cup whole or low-fat milk (I used coconut-almond milk)
2 cups vanilla ice cream (I used non-dairy vanilla coconut ice cream)
3 Tbsps malted milk powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (see note)

In a blender combine milk, ice cream, malted milk powder, vanilla, and pineapple. Blend on high until smooth, thick and creamy. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy immediately.

Note; If you are using canned pineapple, try 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained on most of the juice.

From the not-so-often baker perspective, I really love this cookbook. It isn't at all intimidating, rather it is a warm and welcoming book, appropriate for those newer to baking as well as those experienced bakers looking for new ideas and inspiration. Joy has lots of helpful tips and the recipes are easy enough to follow. I love how she has taken simple, homey recipes and by adding different ingredients and combining unique flavors, turns them into something a little different. It's fun, it makes me smile, and I am happy to have it on my cookbook shelves. Thanks to girlichef and Hyperion for letting me be a part of this wonderful event!

Note: A copy (+ an extra) of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing and participating in the Cookbook Spotlight event. As always my thoughts, opinions, and experiences cooking from it are my own.

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*This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef *

***Joy the Baker Cookbook Giveaway***

Now, how would you like to have a copy of the Joy the Baker Cookbook in your cookbook collection?!?

For whatever reason, we were well into the first week of the challenge and I had not received my book while everyone else had. The publisher couldn't figure out why since my book was sent with the others, and so they generously and promptly sent me another copy 2nd Day Air, so I wouldn't miss out. Yesterday, my mail carrier trudged up the walkway with a slightly battered padded envelope in hand with a copy of the book inside, in fine condition. It was mailed January 31st, but it must have taken the slow boat to Hawaii or been hanging out in a post office somewhere to not get here until the first week of March.

The post office's delay and Hyperion's generosity is a chance for YOU to win your very own copy of this fabulous baking book!

How To Enter:
  • Leave a comment on this post with either/or your favorite baked good or favorite milkshake flavor.
If you already have this book and don't want to enter you can still leave a comment. (I love to hear from you!) Just let me know not to count it as an entry. ;-)


Do you really want to win this book? Here are 3 ways to get additional entries and better your chances.

(Note: You must leave a separate comment on this post for each item you do below in order to get the extra entries counted in the drawing)
  1. Tweet about this fabulous giveaway mentioning Kahakai Kitchen (make sure you also include my Twitter handle @DebinHawaii so I will be sure to see it.) or post a link to the giveaway on your blog or Facebook page. Leave a separate comment letting me know that you tweeted, blogged or Facebooked about it.

  2. Follow Kahakai Kitchen either through Google Friends or Networked Blogs on Facebook, or both (see my sidebar). If you are already a follower through either (or both) leave a separate comment letting me know for your entry.

  3. Follow Hyperion Publishing on Twitter and/or "Like" them on Facebook and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you did.
A winner will be randomly drawn from all applicable entries. Make sure I have a way to contact you if your name is drawn and you win. (Note: I'm feeling very lucky that I get the chance to share such a great book and I am willing to send it out to you regardless of the country you live in--so this giveaway is open to all.)

This giveaway will end Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at midnight Hawaii time and the name of the randomly-drawn winner will be announced the following day.

Good Luck!
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