Today I'm linking up with 2 rather awesome linkups: Cook It Up! A Cookbook Challenge hosted by Trish over at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity and Beth from Beth Fish Reads.
Since Trish announced this cookbook challenge several months ago my copy of The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook has been sitting on one of my cookbook shelves taunting me. See I bought it (full price even!) several years ago in one of those one for you, one for me Christmas shopping trips. I sat down and tabbed at least half the recipes because they look AMAZING. It's like the recipes for every yummy bakery treat you've ever seen. Seriously mouth watering stuff.
Except that I didn't use the cookbook ever. Well, I did once right after I first got it. I made chocolate chip cookies because that's the only sweet my family consistently eats. Because they're weird. I have hundreds on cookie recipes on Pinterest and pretty much all they want is chocolate chip cookies. The fanciest I can get is browned butter (which makes a crazy amazing chocolate chip cookie by the way) before they revolt. So we are chocolate chip cookie experts. I have made Nigella Lawson's chocolate chip cookies, Back in the Day Bakery's chocolate chip cookies (a favorite), Cooks Illustrated chocolate chip cookies and at least a dozen of the various versions on Pinterest. And Magnolia's cookies were ... okay. They weren't bad, they just weren't memorable or even worth picking up another one.
So the cookbook got put on the shelf and ignored. For years. Until this challenge when I knew it was time to face it again. Since I had bought the cookbook I had learned that the cupcake craze can be attributed to a character on Sex in the City eating a cupcake in front of Magnolia Bakery. So obviously the logical thing to do was try their cupcakes! I love cupcakes. I have made them, bought them, compared them and ignored the meanies who talk about cupcakes being "so over". I chose their popular vanilla cake recipe and their chocolate buttercream recipe. I followed the recipes exactly. The batter for the cupcakes tasted like vanilla heaven and the frosting was amazing light and silky.
And then I tried one. And almost cried. The flavor of the cake is amazing but the texture is dense and bready. The frosting texture is sublime but the sugar/chocolate ratio is off and all I could taste is powdered sugar. They weren't bad but they definitely weren't the best cupcakes I've ever made or even in the top 10.
Verdict: Toss. 3 just-okay recipes make this one not worth the shelf space for me.