It's Christmastime at the Best Little Bakery in Texas
The annual Fredericksburg Christmas parade marks the beginning of the Texas Hill Country's holiday season, which means the Pastry Queen is kicking into high gear at her Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe. As party invitations pile up in the mailbox, Rebecca Rather is up to her elbows in sticky meringue, creamy chocolate, and a sleigh full of savory treats to meet the entertaining needs of her neighbors.
In "The Pastry Queen Christmas," Rebecca shares nearly 100 traditional recipes reflecting her made-with-love-from-scratch philosophy and the tastes of small-town Texas. Show-off desserts such as Chocolate Cookie Crusted Eggnog Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce, and Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake with Amaretto Whipped Cream are the perfect toppers to a family-style feast of Texas Spice-Rubbed Roast Pork, Baked Apple Pear Chutney, Brown Sugar Bacon, and No-Peeking Popovers. Still hungry the next morning? No problem-this country girl does an impressive breakfast, too: Bite-Sized Sticky Buns, Sweet Potato Scones, Cast-Iron Skillet Potatoes, and Mexican Ranch Chilaquiles ought to fill you up.
And if you're still looking for excuses to entertain this season, you'll find ooey-gooey baked goods wrapped up as gifts, homemade craft and decor ideas to make your home sparkle, and holiday-worthy menus guaranteed to make your gathering a Texas-sized success. Tree-trimming, cookie decorating, and Santas running down Main Street . . . Christmastime is here.
About the Author
A pastry chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, native Texan REBECCA RATHER has been proprietor of the Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe since 1999. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, Rather Sweet has a fiercely loyal cadre of regulars who populate the cafe's sunlit tables each day. In 2007, Rebecca opened her eponymous restaurant, serving dinner nightly, just a few blocks from the cafe. Rebecca is the author of The Pastry Queen, and has been featured in Texas Monthly, Gourmet, Ladies' Home Journal, Food & Wine, Southern Living, Chocolatier, Saveur, and O, The Oprah Magazine. When she isn't in the bakery or on horseback, Rebecca enjoys the sweet life in Fredericksburg, where she tends to her beloved backyard garden and menagerie, and eagerly awaits visits from her college-age daughter, Frances.
ALISON ORESMAN has worked as a journalist for more than twenty years. She has written and edited for newspapers in Wyoming, Florida, and Washington State. As an entertainment editor for the Miami Herald, she oversaw the paper's restaurant coverage and wrote a weekly column as a restaurant critic. After settling in Washington State, she also covered restaurants in the greater Seattle area as a critic with a weekly column. A dedicated home baker, Alison is often in the kitchen when she isn't writing. The Pastry Queen Christmas is her second book with Rebecca Rather. Alison lives in Bellevue, Washington, with her husband, Warren, and their children, Danny and Callie."
Winner of 2008 IACP Cookbook Award: American category
"[This] adds up to big fun in the kitchen. Rather neatly balances unpretentious style with some adventurous flavor combinations . . . Let your sweet tooth be your guide."
"The Pastry Queen Christmas is such a calling card for Fredericksburg that it ought to be required material for the town's real estate agents. Ms. Rather's stories about the residents are so engaging, the photography is so luscious, you'll feel you know the town when you're done. But the recipes, straightforward and accessible, are the reason to buy . . . Ms. Rather has updated and elevated classics just enough to be enticing but not unreachable."
-Dallas Morning News
"This feel-good cookbook is full of irresistible menus and recipes to help you build family traditions and make you the most talked-about party thrower in your circle. Rebecca Rather shows you how to do Christmas proud."
-Gale Gand, author of Chocolate and Vanilla
"Rebecca Rather is not my daughter, but with amazing food like this, we'd claim her as our own any day!"
-Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News
"Rather Sweet Bakery is one of the most enchanted places in the Texas Hill Country; every confection oozes Rebecca Rather's love of excess. It makes sense that in her glorious second book Rebecca would apply her characteristic warmth and Texas-style flair to the holidays."
-Paula Disbrowe, author of Cowgirl Cuisine
"Rebecca Rather loves to bake and cook, and she does so, and writes about it, superbly. THE PASTRY QUEEN CHRISTMAS is a classic of great food, spectacular sweets, and truly heartfelt reminiscences of family and friends, all served up with a big dose of Texas holiday spirit."
-Nick Malgieri, author of How to Bake and A Baker's Tour