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Book of the Month: The Pastry Queen Christmas

Pastry Queen

I will admit, I’m not a huge fan of pastries and sweet baked goods. (Pie, that’s a different matter entirely.) However, as Christmas approaches I know that there will be more temptations in that direction.

Rebecca Rather owns and operates one of the premier bakeries in all of Texas: the Rather Sweet Bakery. She’s known locally as the Pastry Queen, and if you ever get within a few hundred miles of Fredericksburg and don’t stop in for a snack or six, you’ll be missing out on Something Special.

Last year, she published “The Pastry Queen Christmas,” and I’m sorry to say I didn’t find it until this year. (So many cookbooks, so little time. Sigh.) The first time I saw the book I passed over it, thinking, “I’m more into savory than sweet.” Big Mistake. Ms. Rather does a fine job on a wide range of dishes, showing she’s more than any mere Pastry Queen.

She presents phenomenal pastries, of course! Red Velvet Cupcakes done her way includes a mascarpone icing, a taste surprise you’ll love as soon as your mouth quits saying “WOW!” On the savory side, she does Tamales with Tomatillo Sauce, Creamy Chicken Lasagna, and Quesadillas that will have you begging for more.

Rather proves she’s Texan with recipes that include Prickly Pear Syrup, and Cornbread Dressing. All of her Texas-style recipes are tasty, and many are surprisingly easy to fix. I guess when you run a bakery you learn how to make elegant stuff that doesn’t kill you off trying to put it together.

Don’t wait until Christmas to get your copy of this fine collection. You’re party guests will thank you, your family will thank you, and you’ll be the local Pastry Queen when you’re done…

Enjoy the (Sweet Recipe) Heat!

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