Friday, August 8, 2014

Treat Yourself by Jennifer Steinhauer (Cookbook Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 
About the book-

If you grew up on corner-store treats, memory lane is paved with Ho Hos, Yodels, Oreos, and Ring Dings. And while your taste buds may have grown up a bit, chances are you still crave these classic flavors. Now you can re-create the lunch-box delights that made you the envy of other kids, with all-natural homemade versions.

After much obsessing and experimentation, Jennifer Steinhauer has cracked the code for 70 iconic treats to re-create in your own kitchen. There are cookies with a perfect crunchy base for cream filling, snack cakes with frosting so thick you can peel it off all at once, candies dipped in chocolate and dusted with sugar, and ice cream pops so juicy that they drip down your arm. A self-taught baker, Jennifer had no interest in complicated techniques or chemical gunk, just easy hacks that break down and remaster these throwback snacks.

So go ahead—treat yourself to your own homemade version of these favorites:
• Samoas, Pecan Sandies, Chips Ahoy!, and other classic cookies
• Nutter Butters, Mint Milanos, Oatmeal Creme Pies, and other sweet sandwich cookies
• Twinkies, Drake’s Coffee Cakes, Devil Dogs, and other snack cakes
• Fig Newtons, Lemon Mini-Pies, Strawberry Pop-Tarts, and other fruity, filled treats
• Soft Pretzels, Pizza Pockets, Funyuns, and other salty, savory snacks
• Cracker Jacks, Goo Goo Clusters, Candy Dots, and other candy favorites
• Orange Creamsicles, Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Pops, Nutty Buddies, and other frozen treats

My thoughts- 

You may be surprised to learn that I grew up in a house full of junk food. There were chips of every kind, Popsicles and ice cream and always around were my mother's weakness- Little Debbie snacks. My whole family balks when they come over to my house and look for a snack because I do not keep that kind of thing in my pantry. All of those treat may taste delicious, but they are full of chemicals, artificial flavors and colors and are likely full of GMO ingredients. I love when I run across a great copy cat recipe online. It is great to be able to enjoy the indulgences of my childhood without the terrible ingredients of the commercial products that are just never going to make an appearance at my house. When I came across Treat Yourself, I knew I had to have it in my cookbook collection. It is full of such awesome copy cat recipes. I was not even sure which one to try first, so I went with a classic favorite- Oreos. These cookies were not very difficult to make. They did take a little time because I had to make the dough, freeze it, roll it out and cut the circles and make the filling, but any sandwich cookie takes the same amount of time. After I baked the cookies, I tasted the cookie and it was pretty similar to the real thing. The filling was spot-on.  The only thing I did wrong was make the cookies too thick, so next time I will roll them out a little thinner. They were tasty. All 3 kids and my husband devoured them. I am so excited to have these recipes and I can not wait to try each of them. I think next I will try the Star Crunch recipe or the Thin Mints. There are so many wonderful options! This book is really going to come in handy during the holidays! I absolutely recommend Treat Yourself to anyone who enjoys baking. You will love re-creating your childhood favorites!

About the author-

Jennifer Steinhauer has been a reporter for the New York Times for twenty years. Her weekly column at, "Weeknights with Jenny," shares her adventures in weeknight cooking. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in Washington, D.C.

Treat Yourself
is now available on

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