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Elinor Klivans is a notable food writer, publishing articles for Bon App tit, Eating Well, Fine Cooking, and the Washington Post, among others. She is the author of several cookbooks, including Big Fat Cookies. She lives in Camden, Maine. France Ruffenach's photographs have appeared in Everything Tastes Better with Garlic (0-8118-3816-1) and Christmas Family Gatherings (0-8118-4018-2). A native of Paris, she now lives in San Francisco.
Lush, larger-than-life photographs are just the icing on the cupcake that is this delightful contribution to the canon of confectionary cookbooks. Klivans' recipes range from cute Lemon Poppy Seed Butterfly Cupcakes to clever Chocolate-Covered Brownie Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, which are baked in an ice-cream cone. When tested, the bakery-worthy Sticky Fig Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Glaze looked just like the photograph and the flavor was excellent; fragrant lemon zest, crunchy fig seeds and the sticky syrup glaze (from the result of an unusually slow baking technique) reveal a carefully developed recipe. Unlike several other cupcake books, Klivans' recipes are easy to follow and produce excellent results. Succinct and useful, the first chapter covers the basics: supplies, ingredients and mixing techniques. Other little details, like chapter introductions designed to look like cupcakes, the pastel Fifties color scheme and the use of vintage fabrics in the photographs, make the book a pleasure to browse. -Publishers Weekly