Meet/Greet/Bake with Barbara Fairchild and Bon Appétit Desserts

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For all you dessert lovers who like to bake, or those who just like to salivate, Bon Appetit has just released the bible of all dessert cookbooks — Bon Appétit  Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful. Written by Bon Appétit  Editor-in-Chief and Studio City resident, Barbara Fairchild, it is the ultimate tome for desserts.

Bon Appetit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild will be at Macy’s Westfield-Topanga on November 14 1pm-3pm for a meet/greet/bake.

Fairchild is currently on tour with the book, her third in a series of Bon Appétit  cookbooks, and will be at Macy’s Westfield-Topanga in Canoga Park on Sunday, November 14 from 1:00 to 3:00pm signing copies of the book and participating in a cooking demo showcasing recipes.

For over 50 years, Bon Appétit  has been creating desserts — cakes, cheesecakes, pies, frozen desserts, cookies, bars, puddings, cookies and candy.  And now, with this cookbook weighing in  at 680 pages, there are over 650 recipes culled from the magazines archives, many of which are unpublished. In addition to the exquisite, tantalizing full-color photos in the book are step-by-step instructions, technique tips, equipment needed, how to stock a pantry, a guide to ingredients and more. It’s for the beginning baker to the most confident cook. The most helpful part of the book is the simple “whisk” rating guide to determine at a glance which recipe fits your skill level.

The ultimate dessert cookbook — you’ll never need another.

“It’s been said that the soul of the baker is much different than the soul of a cook — and their processes are distinctive, too,” said Fairchild. “Culinary trends come and go, but whatever the era and prevailing nutritional philosophy, nothing provides satisfaction, draws attention or creates memories like a great dessert.”

After 32 years at Bon Appétit  and 10 of those as Editor-in-Chief (and 13 years prior, Executive Editor), Fairchild is stepping down because the Conde Nast offices are moving fully to New York.  The name Fairchild and Bon Appétit  go hand and hand. Meeting Fairchild in person is part of food history — if anyone should be named royalty in the world of culinary publications, Fairchild takes the crown. Another great reason to attend Sunday’s event.

The cost of the book is $40, but there is a redemption coupon on the book jacket for a free subscription to Bon Appétit . It’s the perfect gift for a baker, or an aspiring baker, this holiday season.

Below are three recipes at three different whisk levels that are perfect for the holidays.  Enjoy…and bon appetit!

Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

1 whisk

Egg bread, bittersweet chocolate, and an intense caramel sauce combine to make this the ultimate comfort dessert. It takes about half an hour for the custard to soak into the bread before it can be baked, so allow yourself enough time. 8 to 10 servings

Bread Pudding

8 1⁄2-inch-thick slices egg bread (about 5×4 inches), crusts trimmed, cut into 3⁄4- to 1-inch cubes

4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided

1 1⁄2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup purchased dulce de leche ice-cream topping or butterscotch-caramel sauce

4 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1⁄2 cup (about 3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons sugar

Powdered sugar

Additional purchased dulce de leche ice-cream topping or butterscotch-caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place bread cubes in large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons melted butter; toss. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bread begins to color, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Cool. Brush 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Stir cream and dulce de leche topping in medium saucepan over medium heat until blended and bubbling. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in large bowl. Add rum, vanilla, and salt; gradually whisk in warm dulce de leche mixture. Stir in bread cubes. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix chocolate chips into custard mixture; transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake pudding until puffed and set in center, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over pudding. Serve warm, passing additional dulce de leche topping alongside.

Cinnamon-Apple Pie with Raisins and Crumb Topping

2 whisks

Raisins and brown sugar enhance the apples in this homey pie. Because they’re firm and tart, Pippin apples would make an excellent alternative to the Granny Smiths in the filling. Don’t skip the teaspoon of vinegar in the pie dough—it helps to make the crust tender. 8 servings



1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes

1⁄4 cup (or more) ice water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

1 1⁄4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 3⁄4 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 medium), peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1⁄8-inch-thick slices (about 8 cups)

1 cup raisins

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Crumb Topping

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes

Lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Crust: Blend flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in processor. Add butter; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 1⁄4 cup ice water and vinegar in small bowl; add to processor. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.

Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out. Roll out dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish. Fold edges under and crimp, forming crust sides 1⁄4 inch above rim of pie dish. Freeze crust 20 minutes.

Filling: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Mix brown sugar, flour, lemon peel, and cinnamon in large bowl. Add apple slices, raisins, and vanilla; toss until well coated. Transfer filling to unbaked crust, mounding slightly in center. Bake pie until apples begin to soften, about 40 minutes.

Crumb Topping: Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture begins to clump together. Sprinkle topping evenly over hot pie. Continue to bake pie until apples are tender and topping is browned and crisp, tenting pie with sheet of foil if browning too quickly, about 50 minutes. Cool pie on rack at least 2 hours.

Do Ahead: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Cut pie into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow–Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust

3 whisks

Just because it has pumpkin in the filling and marshmallows on the top, don’t relegate this amazing cheesecake to just one month out of the year—friends and family will give thanks any time you make it. The sour cream in the topping provides excellent balance to the sweet marshmallows. 12 servings



Nonstick vegetable oil spray

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs

1 cup pecans

1⁄4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


4  8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese,
room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

5 large eggs

3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vanilla extract


2 cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes

1⁄4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 23⁄4-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Blend cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add melted butter; using on/off turns, process until crumbs stick together. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to blend after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add flour, spices, and salt; beat just to blend. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake cake until edges begin to crack and filling is just set in center (filling will move only slightly in center when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake; chill uncovered in cake pan overnight.

Topping: Stir marshmallows and milk in large saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Fold sour cream into marshmallow mixture. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1⁄2 inch plain border around edges. Chill to set topping, at
least 1 hour.

Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Cut around pan sides again. Remove pan sides. Cut cheesecake into wedges and serve.

Technique Tip: A Clean Slice

For neat cheesecake slices, dip a thin-bladed knife into a large glass of very hot water before cutting (the cheesecake filling won’t stick to the hot blade). Dip the blade and wipe it clean after cutting each slice.

—From Bon Appétit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email:

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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