A little about Miette: After the dot.com bust, the bakery began with Meg taking her unique cakes and pastry to the Berkeley Farmers' Market in the fall of 2001. She had taught herself baking and her travels influenced her love of cakes and pastry, with a very Parisian influence on design and display. Miette is the French word for "crumb," and aptly describes the the scale of their petite pastries and minimal decoration. After 2 years at the Market, she opened her first store in the San Francisco Ferry Building. Everything in the shop was designed to showcase the cakes, breads and pastries, in a truly breathing taking way (see picture right). Sticking to the basics, Meg gets the best ingredients from the Northern California area, from local, family-owned farms and mills, which are, whenever possible, organic & sustainably produced! They have another San Francisco store, another across the Bay in Oakland and another about to open North of the Bay in Marin County (SIGH, it's a good thing I don't live nearby that location anymore-LOL). .
Synopsis: Renowned for beautiful cakes and whimsical confections, Miette Patisserie is among the most beloved of San Francisco's culinary destinations for locals and travelers. Miette's pretty Parisian aesthetic enchants visitors with tables piled high with beribboned bags of gingersnaps, homemade marshmallows, fleur de sel caramels, and rainbows of gumballs. This cookbook brings the enchantment home, sharing 100 secret formulas for favorite Miette treats from chef and owner Meg Ray. More than 75 gorgeous color photos capture the unique beauty of Miette desserts and shops. Scalloped edges on the book block enhance the preciousness of this fetching package. Just like the adorable cakes, cookies, clairs and tarts for sale in Miette's case, this book is irresistible!
About the Authors/Photographer:
Meg Ray is chef and owner of Miette and Miette Confiserie. She lives in Oakland, California.
Leslie Jonath is the author of several cookbooks, crafting, and children's books. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Frankie Frankeny is one of Entertainment Weekly's "100 Most Creative People in the United States" and a frequent photographer for Chronicle Books. She lives in San Francisco.
Review: When you have a cookbook that ACTUALLY fulfills the promise of the cover and layout visual appeals, you realize what a gem you have! I love that the recipes are not made for HUGE cakes, or amount of cookies. Do you really want cake around for days while your family tries to finish it, or do you want all or most of it gone in one sitting? I'd prefer a fresh cake, so I'll take the latter! The cakes are made for 6" pans, not 9", and the cookie doughs for 24-36 cookies.The directions for all the recipes are very simple and laid out so anyone cal follow them (Meg taught herself to bake by going through the entire Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook cake section, so she understands making recipes anyone can follow along with). I found that the scallop pages actually HELP you turn and get to the section you want alot easier, and produced less page roll! Yippee!
MY plan is to work my way through the Miette book, much like Meg did with the BH&G book! In the meantime, I HAD to share this review with you- you HAVE to buy this book for all the bakers and want to be bakers in your family. Give it as birthday or Christmas presents, (and if you're lucky enough to live in San Francisco area, you can purchase CLASSES at Miette (let me swoon now-they even have kids classes!) to go along with the cookbook for your lucky recipient! If not, you can include some baking supplies from the Miette website-most people do NOT have a dome cake pan for example! I can't recommend this book enough!
And now today, to make you want to go out and buy it, I am sharing with you the Miette recipe for Peanut Butter cookies. Oh, I know what you are going to say, but bear with me. PBC is such as basic recipe- our moms (or grandmas) made our favorite version, or we've found another as adults, but most people would be willing to judge a baker by the PBC. Miette's recipe is just the perfect, melt-in-your-mouth, small bite of peanut butter heaven you will find. I adore my moms PBC, but they are chewy and thicker, more the total opposite of Miette's crispy, thin, shortbread similar PBC. And I believe one should have TWO PBC recipes, cause you just never know which mood you'll be in when you crave them, right?
(Kiddo was my sous chef, aka cookie flattener!)
Miette Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 36 SMALL cookies, or 24 normal size cookies.
1 1/2 cps all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Kosher salt (we didn't have any so I substituted Sea Salt ground fine- oh my- delicious!)
1/2 cp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cp granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cp packed LIGHT brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Large egg
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky- I went with smooth)
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In bowl of stand mixer, with paddle attachment, beat together butter, both sugars and vanilla, on high, until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Beat in egg until well incorporated.Scrape down sides of bowl, then add peanut butter. Mix until smooth and uniform, until the dry ingredients and mix are just combined.
5. Remove the bowl from mixer, scrape down sides of bowl and mix a few times again by hand.
6. To make small cookies- roll SCANT 1 tsp portions of dough into ¾ inch balls. To make larger cookies, roll 1 ½ tsp size balls (I used our cookie ball dropper, and did ¾ of a scoop- was perfect amount).
7. Place them 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.Flatten slightly and imprint them with a traditional crosshatched fork marks, or a meat mallet (as Miette does). Sprinkle with a light touch of granulated sugar.
8. Bake about 10 minutes, until LIGHTLY browned. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Note: Miette Recommends swapping cookie sheets out, and not using the same sheet for next batch- let the sheet cool down and you get a better cookie!.
9. Store in airtight container for up to TWO weeks.
Variation: As Mom always says, do the first batch according to the recipe, taste and then alter as needed. The first batch was beyond delicious, but I was having a chocolate craving and KNEW we mini-chocolate chips in the fridge! So I added a handful of them to half of the remaining batter. OH MY. Just the RIGHT amount of chocolate and peanut butter! 2 of these cookies and cravings gone and you all is right with the world! I will probably do this whenever I make these cookies!
Forgive the cuteness level on the left photo- I couldn't resist storing the regular PBC in a washed out PB jar we had. You have to love the photo settings on the new cell phones, don't you? Love the halo effect!
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Chronicle Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it.