Monday, November 3, 2014

{Quick look + Giveaway} The 'Hello Kitty Baking Book' by Michele Chen Chock + Hello Kitty Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Just in time for holiday gift shopping, The Hello Kitty Baking Book, the first-ever Sanrio licensed cookbook, is filled with simple and easy to follow recipes for sweet treats.


Do you love Hello Kitty? Then The Hello Kitty Baking Book: Recipes for Cookies, Cupcakes, Pies and More by Michele Chen Chock is a must have. It is truly an adorable little book and if you’re a mom with young girls in your house, then this book is filled with fun projects to make together. I also think it will make a sweet first baking book for the pre-teen on your gift list this holiday season.


Michele, the creative force behind the popular blog, I Heart Baking!, is an avid Hello Kitty fan so it was only natural that her first cookbook would be Hello Kitty themed. Says Michele, “I started with just cakes and cupcakes, and I eventually ventured into pies and cookies and macarons, and then it became a challenge to turn any dessert into a Hello Kitty dessert! Because of all the Hello Kitty desserts on my blog, it only made sense for my first cookbook to be a Hello Kitty baking book!”


From key ingredients and equipment, piping techniques, baking math, templates to trace, along with recipes easy enough for beginners to more complex recipes with multiple components, this cookbook has a little something for everyone. I’m especially intrigued by the Badtz-Maru Cookies ’n’ Cream Ice Cream Cake, above, with a layer of decadent chocolate cake and a layer of from scratch cookies ’n’ cream ice cream finished off with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. I also think that the cake pops, below, are super cute!


The design of the cookbook is in line with the Hello Kitty brand with lots of hearts and pink accents. Each of the 20 recipes is accompanied by at least one sweetly styled photograph to show you what the finished treat should look like (Michele styled and a good portion of the photography are her photos). The recipes themselves are written with clarity and there is a clear typographical hierarchy. However, the fractions in the recipes appear a lighter font weight and are a bit small making them difficult to read. As a designer, I also take some issue with the choice in font weight for the directions: I’m all for sans serif body type but the font weight used here is best saved for display or accent as it is much too light for body type. Although it looks pretty as is, it's a little difficult to follow along and use in the kitchen when you’re reading and doing at the same time. The font needed to be either 2 point sizes bigger or, at the very least, one weight heavier. Of course, these are minor distractions that the average young teen would most likely not pick up on.


Also important to note: Although there are cute templates to use as guides in the back of the book, several recipes do require Hello Kitty character molds or cookie cutters which Michele does provide a resource list for. If you're gifting this book for the young baker in your life, I suggest also including a few cookie cutters with the book so your baker can get started immediately with some of these cute recipes.



The Hello Kitty Baking Book: Recipes for Cookies, Cupcakes, Pies and More

Author: Michele Chen Chock
Publisher: Quirk Books
Details: 20 recipes plus several variations, 95 pages, hardback
List price: $14.95
Current Amazon price: $9.72 (as off 11/2/14)
Best audience: Great for the pre-teen and for the novice baker

Courtesy photo from Quirk Books. Used with permission.
HELLO KITTY SUGAR COOKIES
WITH ROYAL ICING

Rich, buttery, and decorated with a thin layer of sweet royal icing, these classic sugar cookies are great for birthdays, holidays, or anytime snacks. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to make them—it’s best to let the icing dry overnight. 

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

INGREDIENTS
_________________________

Cookies 
1 cup sugar 
14 tbsp (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter 
1 egg, room temperature 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
Pinch salt 

Icing and Decorating 
1 tbsp dried egg white powder 
⅓ cup water 
4 cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar 
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained 
Gel-based food coloring (black, yellow, and your choice for the bow) 

DIRECTIONS
_________________________

To make cookies: Combine sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla, mixing at medium speed until combined. Sift in flour and salt, then mix until flour is incorporated and dough starts to come together in a large mass. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press with your hands to flatten it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350°F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough onto a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a ⅛-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, then use a spatula to transfer them to the baking sheet. (Tip: If the dough gets warm and too soft to work with, chill for 30 minutes.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool.

To make royal icing: In a small bowl, dissolve dried egg white powder in water. Sift confectioners' sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the dissolved egg whites and the lemon juice through a strainer and into the confectioners' sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes light and fluffy. Store icing in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

To assemble: First, tint the icing different colors. In one bowl, place ⅓ cup of the icing and stir in a few drops of yellow. In a second bowl, place ¼ cup of the icing and tint it black. Place 1 ½ cups of the icing in another bowl and tint it the color of your choice for the bow. Leave the rest of the icing white, for Hello Kitty's face. Next, make thinner icings to fill in the areas piped with thicker icing. To half of the white icing, add water a teaspoon at a time until thinned. Repeat for half of the bow icing. Fit piping bags with couplers and fill with one color of stiff icing. Fill each decorating squeeze bottle with the thinned icing.

Use the stiff bow icing to pipe the bow outline either freehand or using a paper template and edible food marker. Fill the bow shape by squeezing the thinned bow icing within the outline. Pipe stiff white icing around the cookie edge to outline Hello Kitty's face. Fill in face and ears with thinned white icing. (Use a toothpick to spread icing to edges of borders defined by the stiff icing.) Let dry overnight, uncovered, in a cool dry area. Leftover icing can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container; stir before using.

Once cookies are completely dry, use stiff black icing to pip eyes and whiskers. Outline bow with either stiff bow-colored icing or stiff black icing. Use the yellow icing to pipe on the nose. Let dry. 

Tips & decorating equipment: To decorate, you will need disposable piping bags, decorating tip couplers, small round decorating tip (such as Wilton #2 or #3), and decorating squeeze bottles. When reconstituted with water, dried egg white powder becomes egg whites; because it’s pasteurized, it can be safely used without being cooked. Note: It is not the same as meringue powder.

Recipe by Michele Chen Chock. Used with permission by Quirk Books.


Disclosure: Quirk Books provided me with a review copy for editorial consideration that I'm also using for the giveaway. I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own. Unlike a full review, Quick Look's are not recipe tested usually due to my dietary restrictions. My reviews for Quick Look's are based on as thorough an examination of the recipes, photographs, and design as time allows as well as my expertise as a recipe developer, home cook, baker, art director, photographer, and designer. This post contains affiliate links.


Until next time, friends!
XO, Ani

ENTER TO WIN THIS COPY OF THE HELLO KITTY BAKING BOOK

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. You must use the Rafflecopter widget to be eligible to win. You can earn up to 8 entries today and receive an additional entry once per day if you tweet about the giveaway. Contest ends at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 14. Winner will have 24 hours to respond via email to claim their prize. If no response is made, a new winner will be selected. Winner will then be announced here and on my other social media platforms. I will mail book out the week of November 17th. Open to U.S. Residents only. 

Contest is now closed. 

Congratulations to Wendy Budro! 

I'll be dropping the book in the mail this week. 

Thank you to everyone who participated! 

Stay tuned for our next giveaway coming up very soon. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Missed the giveaway?




57 comments:

  1. This looks super cute! I'd love to try making the little hello kitty cake pops and I know my sis would love that badtz maru ice cream cake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't those cake pops adorable?? Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Great! Good luck with the contest. :)

      Delete
  3. My daughter... she loves hello kitty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I really think young girls will especially love this. Good luck with the contest!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Hi Jill! Good luck with the contest. :)

      Delete
  5. My daughter is a huge Hello Kitty fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diana! Good luck with the contest. :)

      Delete
  6. My daughter is a huge Hello Kitty fan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth! Good luck with the contest!

      Delete
  7. My goddaughter and I share a love of Hello Kitty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello there! Welcome! And good luck with the contest. :)

      Delete
  8. I've always loved Hello Kitty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Megan, I know so many people who grew up with Hello Kitty and love the characters. Good luck with the contest. :)

      Delete
  9. My daughter & my granddaughter :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Christa Bengtsson11/8/14, 7:26 PM

    My daughter, Mary, is a huge Hello Kitty fan :) She told me that I had to enter this contest to try to win this cookbook for her :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've always been a hello kitty fan!

    ReplyDelete
  12. We all love Hello Kitty, but my granddaughter is the biggest fan in our family.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Karen and Rachael, good luck with the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My daughter and I both are Hello Kitty fans! Thanks for the great giveaway! DamianMom at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. My sister in law is a huge hello kitty fan :) this would be the highlight of her day!!

    sara.drexler(at)mail.northcentral.edu

    ReplyDelete
  16. Allyson Tice11/12/14, 10:07 PM

    My daughter, Lily is the Hello Kitty fan in our house! She loves anything glittery with Hello Kitty!

    ReplyDelete
  17. My daughter and I are Hello kitty lovers!

    ReplyDelete
  18. My daughter's friend is a fan!

    ReplyDelete
  19. My niece is a big Hello Kitty fan!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I want to win this for my niece for Christmas. This will give me & her some "girly" time as she's the only girl between me & my brother's kids

    ReplyDelete
  21. June Ebinger11/13/14, 9:15 PM

    MY NIECE GIAANNA

    ReplyDelete
  22. My niece would like this a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My granddaughter is, she's a huge fan.

    ReplyDelete
  24. My granddaughter is a big Hello Kitty fan
    hrddiana556@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Our daughter is a real Hello Kitty lover!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love hello Kitty and my daughter is only 5 months, but I choose a lot of hello kitty décor and clothing for her.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Our girls are all big Hello Kitty fans.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My niece loves Hello Kitty and she has been really into baking so this would be perfect for her. I really hope I win.

    ReplyDelete
  29. My younger cousins love Hello Kitty! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Good luck every one! Thank you for commenting and entering the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  31. my daughter adores hello kitty

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am a huge Hello Kitty fan. I have toys on my desk at work, purses, shirts and even an email address @hellokitty.com.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Me! I have liked her since I was little. I now have a Hello Kitty tattoo.

    ReplyDelete
  34. a friend of mine! this would be great

    ReplyDelete
  35. The Hello Kitty fans are my daughter and myself! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. My daughter loves Hello Kitty

    ReplyDelete
  37. Me- 36 and have a huge collection!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am a huge Hello Kitty Ffan

    ReplyDelete
  39. My niece would LOVE this!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. My niece adores all things Hello Kitty.

    ReplyDelete
  41. My sister-in-law and my niece are. I imagine they would have a blast with this book together!

    ReplyDelete
  42. me and my sis always looking for ideas to make cute hello kitty food.

    katie kerr

    ReplyDelete
  43. if i could do them for the dog they would love them but thekid love tha t we do cookies for the holdiays

    ReplyDelete
  44. Aside from me, the biggest fan in my life would definitely be my little girl :) I'd be thrilled to find some new ideals for baking her, hello kitty sweets ;)

    ReplyDelete