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The Brown Betty Cookbook

Monday, September 24, 2012 8:08 am EDT

Nothing beats the charm of a vintage dessert—that heirloom recipe passed down through generations that only improves with time. For Linda Hinton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat, that recipe was a simple vanilla poundcake from their mother and grandmother, Betty. When they decided to open a bakery in Philadelphia’s up-and-coming Northern Liberties district, they had no idea how quickly the accolades would come. With high praise from Rachael Ray magazine (who named their cupcake one of the five best in the country) and other corners of the culinary world, the Brown Betty Dessert Boutique has found fame with their amazing poundcakes, layer cakes, cheesecakes, pies, and cookies, among other delectable treats.

For fans of the bakery that can’t make it to Philadelphia and dessert-lovers looking for thrilling new flavors, THE BROWN BETTY COOKBOOK (Wiley Hardcover; $22.99; October 15, 2012) offers delicious inspiration. This gorgeously photographed cookbook features the secret recipes that Brown Betty’s fans can’t wait to get their hands on, as well as the personal stories and history that explain the evocative names of such recipes as Alice's Two Step and Strawberry Letter (strawberry pound cake with strawberry buttercream), and make Brown Betty more than just a cookbook.

The recipes in THE BROWN BETTY COOKBOOK strike a perfect balance between old-fashioned and modern. It includes classic recipes with surprise twists—like blackberry buttercream or dark cherry filling—for desserts like nothing you’ve tried before. All the recipes are made with the freshest ingredients and real butter, just like they made them in Betty’s day.

Just a few of the unique recipes you’ll find are Only for Eliza—a sweet potato cake with spiced vanilla buttercream, a moist layer cake that rivals their Red Velvet cake for the number one seller; Company’s Comin’ coconut cake with cream cheese frosting, a dense but extremely moist three-layer cake that earned the bakery it’s first rave review; With Cherries on Top Cheesecake, a creamy cheesecake with cherries that are soaked in cordial overnight before making it’s dark cherry topping; and of course, their namesake dessert, Apple Brown Betty, made with three types of apples, a from-scratch rum sauce and oat topping.

So much more than just a collection of recipes, THE BROWN BETTY COOKBOOK is a beautiful story about family and a shared love for the sweet things in life.

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