The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Recipes from the Beloved Bakery for Everyone's Favorite Treats

Melissa Murphy - Author

Hardcover | $27.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780670018741 | 256 pages | 13 Mar 2008 | Studio | 7.51 x 9.25in | 18 - AND UP
Additional Formats:
  • NPR Top Ten Cookbook
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A baking book from “one of the best pastry shops in all of New York.”—Food and Wine

Everyone has a favorite sweet treat. Whether it’s a delicious brownie or the perfect mouthwatering chocolate chip cookie, simple, homespun treats are some of our most beloved. Melissa Murphy has a love of desserts that started when she was born on Thanksgiving Day—her mother refused to go to the hospital until the two pies she’d baked had been served. Now, Melissa brings that passion to the loyal devotees of her popular, award-winning Sweet Melissa Pâtisserie shops.

What makes Melissa’s desserts and pastries special is that they are treats we all know and love with a fresh spin that make them more delicious than ever before. In The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, Melissa shares her simple, triedand-true techniques and her French-influenced, American-style baking approach. There are desserts for everyday, such as Double Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies, and for more special occasions.

Warm and spirited, The Sweet Melissa Baking Book also contains charming anecdotes from Melissa’s life of baking. With more than one hundred recipes, the simple treats in this book will make each day and every special occasion sweeter.

Chocolate Orange Macaroons

When I tell people I own Sweet Melissa’s, they often say “Oh! I love your macaroons!” You want an easy recipe? These are easy. Really easy.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

6 ounces best-quality solid semisweet (58%) chocolate
One 14-oz. bag sweetened coconut
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites

Before You Start

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

1. Using a serrated bread knife, finely chop the chocolate. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut and zest, and rub together with your hands. (This will break up the coconut and release the orange oils.)

3. Stir in the sugar and chocolate to the coconut and mix to combine. Add the egg whites. Use your hands to mix until everything is coated and the egg whites are distributed evenly.

4. Using a 1-oz cookie scoop, firmly pack the dough into the scoop and unmold about 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting.

If you want to, make the cookie base up to 1 week ahead! Just keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bake the cookies when you have time. (These just keep getting easier.)

Alternative: Lemon Coconut Macaroons

Omit the chocolate and the orange zest. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon to the coconut and use only 2 egg whites. The recipes makes slightly fewer cookies, about 20 altogether.

Sour Cherry Pie with Pistachio Crumble

My talented friend Andrea Lekberg created this pie during her tenure as pastry chef at Sweet Melissa's. Lucky for us! It is my favorite pie, and one of the best-selling pies in the shops.

For the Piecrust
1/2 recipe Flaky Pie Dough (page 137)

For the Pistachio Crumble
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole oats, ground to a flour in a food processor (yielding ½ cup oat flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup shelled unsalted whole pistachios, coarsely ground in a food processor or chopping medium fine by hand
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Sour Cherry Filling
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher sale
2 1/4 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted, or 2 pounds frozen sour cherries, partially thawed

To Prepare the Piecrust

Roll out the pie dough into a round 14 inches wide and 1/4 thick. Gently fit into a 10-inch pie plate. Fold the edges under and crimp. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

To Make the Pistachio Crumble

1. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, oat flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pistachios.

2. Stir in the melted butter and mix gently to combine.

Before You Make the Filling

Place a rack in the bottom third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

To Make the Cherry Filling

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, place the cherries and sprinkle the flour mixture over the top; mix gently to combine. (If you are using fresh cherries, the natural sweetness can vary. Taste the mixture to see if you need more sugar than is called for.)

3. Pout the cherries into the unbaked pie shell.

To Complete the Pie

1. Sprinkle the pistachio crumble evenly over the top of the cherries.

2. Place the pie plate on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and thick. Remove to a rack to cool to room temperature before serving.

Fruit pies are best eaten the day they are baked.

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