baking · Cookbooks · cooking · Dessert

Book Review: Wild Sugar (With Recipe)

I have been working my way through a number of new cookbooks this summer, Wild Sugar Desserts is one of the newly released “glamour” dessert cookbooks. It is a pretty book, the type that would grace a kitchen or living room, and have it picked up often to look through. With full color photos nearly every other page it will inspire you to get creative.

But…there are some downsides. While beautiful, it seems to not know what target to go after. It is all over the map. Traditional desserts, gluten-free, raw, high-end, simple and so on. Although the book does have ‘themes’ throughout (instead of chapters), of Children’s Parties, Dinner Parties, Desserts for Love, Health Nut Desserts and more. And you had better love photos of hipsters. There are plenty of them in the book.

As well, it is a work from Australia but doesn’t discuss differences in measurements/ingredients except for in a small section at the end of the book. And this is a real issue, as there are differences between Australian and American measurements. So do read the back section. I would also say that the book works best for those comfortable in the kitchen. For beginners the recipes are not always in-depth enough in directions.

Still, there are plenty of great sounding choice and this fall I will make the maple syrup pecan pie for Thanksgiving.

Going through the book we decided on trying the Espresso Cookies, which are unleavened cookies. More like shortbread than a cookie. Buttery and delicious.The recipe calls for all-purpose gluten-free plain                                                                                                                                                      flour but with no suggestions on brands/types to use I simply used all-purpose wheat flour. The results were fine – if one wants gluten-free use your favorite brand of flour! I’d love to know how that works/tastes if anyone tries it.

Espresso Cookies (Adapted from the recipe on pages 128-129)


  • ½ cup unsalted butter or Earth Balance Buttery Stick (1 stick of either choice)
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed (used dark)
  • 2 Tbsp molasses (called for treacle)
  • 1½ tsp espresso (used cold-brewed)
  • 1½ tsp ground espresso beans (any dark roast will work)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 275°, lightly oil a large baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and brown sugar together (I used a hand mixer). Add molasses, espresso, ground coffee and vanilla, beat in. Add the flour in and slowly beat till mixed in, then beat till the dough just starts to come together.

Scoop balls with a 1 Tablespoon Disher, roll in hands to firm then flatten a gently between palms. Place on baking sheet (all 24 will fit on one), press the tops with a fork.

Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack. Once cooled store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 cookies.


FTC Disclaimer: We received an advance copy for potential review.

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