Nothing says “thank you” quite like a plate of homemade cookies or a nicely wrapped bundt cake, simply because these are gifts that are both enjoyable and clearly required both time and thought to make. Sweet Gratitude: Delicious Ways to Bake a Thank You is a book that uses this theme as its central concept. The book has dozens of ways to say “thank you”, “I love you” or simply “I was thinking about you” with baked goods and desserts.
The recipes range from cookies to cakes to tarts. Many are casual recipes with a very homemade feel, such as Devil’s Food Cupcakes and Very Special Fudgy Brownies, while other desserts seem a little bit more dressed up, like some of the fruit tart recipes. All of the recipes are very detailed and seem accessible and easy to make. The recipes are creative, but don’t call for too many unusual ingredients and regular bakers will be able to dive right into the recipes without a trip to the store for supplies. The book offers great time management tips, too, indicating when recipes can be made in just a few minutes and also pointing out when the dough or batter can be prepared in advance and baked off at a later time.
In the introductory chapters, the book covers some baking basics on techniques and ingredients, but also covers a lot of good information on wrapping, storing and shipping your baked gifts. While any cookbook will probably tell you to eat your chocolate chip cookies while they are still slightly warm from the oven (and you should!), not all of them will tell you what the best way to ship them several states away to your great aunt while keeping them fresh. You’ll also find information about freezing baked goods, so that you can have some treats on hand when you need them and not have to bake a new batch of goodies for small occasions or when you simply want a snack. These recipes are accessible and worth making whether you’re baking for a gift or not, but it is nice to have a handy book of ideas at hand when you’re in need of a thank you gift – or a “just because” gift – for someone.