Saturday, January 10, 2015

Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker: Birchbox Book Club (December)

 Birchbox Book Club: December Selection

Please Note:  All Pictures are my own photos of Joy the Baker's Book: Homemade Decadence

Birchbox Book Club December Selection: Homemade Decadence
Homemade Decadence: Joy the Baker (Blogger & Author)

Please Note:  This Post May Contain Affiliate and/or Referral Links

Birchbox Book Club:

Birchbox is now a well known brand, most well known for catering to the world of beauty lovers.  The brand that started the "Subscription Box" revolution and that has relied heavily on YouTube "How-To" videos and "Word of Mouth" marketing to gain a foothold in the beauty industry, has now dipped it's toes in a variety of areas.  One of the latest items on the Birchbox agenda is their "Book Club".  Birchbox started it's book club in June of this year, debuting with the summer hit from Emily Straub, "The Vacationers".  They have since covered a wide array of book genres including fiction, as well as non-fiction books from celebs turned authors such as: Mindy Kaling, Amy Pohler and now blogger turned author Joy the Baker.

To learn more about Birchbox and their Book Club: 

Homemade Decadence 

Joy the Baker: A blogger turned Author

Joy The Baker: Blogger turned Author of Homemade Decadence
Bloggers everywhere are probably giving a big yelp at December's Birchbox Book Club Selection.  Afterall, blogging is one of those "hobbies" that can instantly make you feel a "kindred" spirit with others.  Granted, I'm personally nowhere near as great at blogging as "Joy the Baker" is, but still it's really awesome to see someone find such success in blogging and their other pursuits.

To follow Joy The Baker's Blog:  joythebaker.com

With 145 THOUSAND followers on Facebook, 171 THOUSAND followers on InstaGram, it's safe to say that Joy has "arrived".  She started blogging in 2008 and now her list of accomplishments include weekly podcasts, two cookbooks and a huge ton of fans who follow her every move.  She must be doing something right!

She began her blog out of a love for all things cooking.  She was raised by parents who shared a love of cooking delicious food and it was a love that was passed down to Joy herself.  She's a self-taught cook, following with the likes of Rachel Ray who is also a "Self-Taught" cook.  On her "About Me" page she labels herself:  Author, Photographer, and Donut Enthusiast.  Being a blogger myself, I know that there are many more hats that she wears.

A Baker, I am Not...

I sadly am not a huge baker.  There's something about the Precise measurements that totally throw me off.  I'm a southern girl where we are raised to cook with a "pinch of this" and a "itty bit more of that", I was self-taught from watching those around me cooking and I can tell you measuring cups play almost no role in my own everyday cooking.  Give me a recipe that requires exact measurements and I'll show you how to "Sure Fire Screw it UP"!  

My mother, however, is a Queen at baking.  Growing up friends delighted in her homemade Rice Krispies (That tasted FAR better than Kellogs ever made them), her Rice Krispies recipes varied from butterscotch Rice Krispies to Chocolate Covered Rice Krispies.  So, when I found out what the December Birchbox Book Club Selection was, I knew I had to have it so that my mother could discover some new hits in which to treat her adoring family at family get-together's.

Peeking between the Pages of: Homemade Decadence

Five Delicious Sections:

Joy The Baker has cleverly placed her delicious looking recipes into five easy to navigate sections:
Homemade Decadence: Five Delicious Sections
Intro: Table of Contents
  • Brunch
  • Cookies, Brownies & Bars
  • Pies, Crumbles & Cobblers
  • Layer Cakes, Cupcakes & Skillet Cakes
  • Ice Cream Social
The sections all feature amazing recipes with unique flavor profiles and combinations.  Some of the recipes seem a tad intimidating to a self-proclaimed CRAP BAKER like myself.  However, they all look so amazingly delicious that I may someday be forced to break out of my comfort zone to try a few of these out for myself.

Delicious Recipes, Gorgeous Pictures....

Breakfast Nachos from: Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker
Brunch: Breakfast Nachos p. 52
The mark of a great "Cookbook", in my eyes is a combination of unique recipes with flavors I haven't thought of before mixed with gorgeous photography.  This book definitely has both.  She's taken sometimes ordinary ingredients and the ways in which she combines flavors turns them from simple, everyday recipes to sensational discoveries.

With 125 different recipes, this book is destined to have a recipe or two that everyone can fall in love with.  There's even on recipe inside the Brunch section that I am definitely going to be trying as soon as I can gather all the required ingredients.  It's more "Cooking" than baking and it seems like something I definitely could try!  The recipe, found on page: 52 is called "Roasted- Potato Breakfast Nachos" and while it's labeled as a breakfast item, it seems a delicious treat anytime of day!

A Look Inside the Sections...

Just a peek at some of the type of recipes you'll find in Homemade Decadence.

The Breakfast   which starts out with "Fresh Raspberry-Honey Butter" and features recipes for different flavored scones, Hawaiian sweet pineapple breakfast rolls, Roasted Strawberry & Balsamic Grits, to French Onion Quiche there are a ton of new recipes for you to sink your teeth into! These are definitely recipes that make you get outside of your comfort zone and try new and exciting flavors!
Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies: Page 88
The Cookies, Brownies & Bars  features recipes: Dark Chocolate, Pistachio & Smoked Sea Salt Cookies, Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies, Lemon Bars and a sure fire hit with Toasted Marshmallow Squares (These are just a HIGHLIGHT of all the recipes featured, there are so many more delicious recipes)

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough Balls: Page 99
Chocolate Dipped Cookie-Dough Balls: Pg. 99

Pies, Crumbles & Cobblers

Church Party Peach Cobbler: Homemade Decadence Joy the Baker
Church Party Peach Cobbler w/
 Orange & Cinammon Dumplings  (Pg 169
Joy the Baker starts out this section with "How to Make Perfect Buttermilk Pie Crust" With just a handful of ingredients she teaches us how to make our own HOMEMADE pie crust!  She makes it seem fairly simple!

Recipes range from: Happy Birthday Brownie Pie, Chocolate Pudding Pie, Lemon-Blueberry Pie, a Strawberry-Ginger Crumb Cobbler, and ends with an intriguing "Mango-Rose Water Cheesecake".

There are also a few different recipes for different crusts as well.  She seems to be taking it to the basics and teaching us "newbies" how to make magic in the kitchen.  

Layer Cakes, Cupcakes & Skillet Cakes

'Smore Cake: Homemade Decadence
S'More Cake: Page 193
Much like she did with the pies and teaching how to start with a basic crust, she does the same with the Cakes!  The section begins with a Basic Three-Layer Yellow Cake recipe and features other basic cake recipes.  She's sectioned the cake recipes from the frosting recipes so that they can be easily mixed to your heart's desire.

There's even a "Vegan" cake recipe.  Recipes like Under-Baked Chocolate Chip Skillet Cake, Brown Sugar Cupcakes,S'more Cake, and Almond Angel Food Cake w/ Vanilla Scented Citrus the recipes in this section with leave your mouth watering.

Ice Cream Social:

Lavender-Earl Grey Ice Cream
Lavender-Earl Grey: Pg 238
Last, but certainly not least is the Ice Cream Social.  Probably not for the faint at heart, ice cream recipes require a lot of elbow grease and a ton more dedication.  But, if you are brave enough to withstand, the results I'm sure will be well worth it.  With your standard French Vanilla Bean ice cream to a bit more bold flavors like: Rose Water Ice Cream with Pistachios & White Chocolate this section probably features the most unique flavors out of the whole book.

If I sat here and talked about every yummy recipe in this book, this post would end up being a mile long.  There are truly an outstanding number of unique flavor combinations that Joy the Baker has put together in this cook book.  There are even a number of recipes for unique Drinks that have been included as well.  From Red Snapper Cocktail to Mango-Watermelon Tequila Sunrise (Pg.63-69 showcase some of the drink recipes included in the book) these are definitely some interesting flavorful drinks!

Caramel Swirled Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Caramel Swirled Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Pg. 241

Bread & Brown Butter Ice Cream
Bread & Brown Butter Ice Cream
Pg. 250


Gosh, this is probably the longest book review I've ever done and trust me I've put out some long-winded book reviews in my time!!  Although I'm not necessarily a baker, I do enjoy my food and even more I love to look at delicious food.

The mark of a great cookbook should leave your mouthwatering and you searching for ingredients to see if there is anything you could make RIGHT NOW with the ingredients you have on hand.  If a cookbook doesn't make you want to rush out to the store to pick up strange sounding ingredients, you probably aren't reading the right ones.

This cookbook even has a non-baker like myself wanting to test out and try some new and exciting recipes!  While I may not try all of the recipes, there are definitely a few that are on my "Must Try" list!  I think that the recipes Joy the Baker has produced in this book are truly unique.

Buy The Book:

Homemade Decadence is available on Amazon in either Kindle or Print:

Joy the Baker: Homemade Decadence on Amazon

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