Cookbook Recipe Testing, Vol. 2

Welcome to another post in my Latest Recipe Testing series, and the 2nd post specifically about testing cookbook recipes. (See volume 1 here!)

beer bread loaves with blue post-its on top with words.

I thought it would be fun to take a break from posting fall recipes, and give you a behind-the-scenes peek at recipe testing for my cookbook. Things have been BUSY.

By the way, have you seen my new t-shirts for sale yet? My team & I spent 18 months testing these shirts to make sure they are the highest quality. These are Bella + Canvas brand shirts, so they’re super soft and hold up well through lots of laundry cycles… because we all know baking can be messy!

Sally with colorful Sally's Baking Recipes shirts.

I partnered with family-run small business Bella Bean Studios to print and ship the shirts worldwide. *Because this is a small business, the shop does not accept returns, so please reference the sizing chart before ordering.*

Fourth Cookbook Coming in 2025

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m working on my fourth cookbook. It’s going to be my biggest, most polished book yet: 100 recipes covering many baking categories like breads, muffins, pies, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, etc. I’m also photographing the book myself. (!!!)

A handful of recipes will be from my website, but most (about 75) will be completely new and exclusive to the book. So in between the new recipes you find published on my website, I’ve been working on a huge cookbook.

The last I left you, I was finishing up the cookies chapter and starting the yeast breads chapter. I don’t want to give too much away, but at the same time, I’m excited to show you how these recipes are coming to life. It’s exciting!

Over the summer, I nearly finished the yeast breads chapter (I have 2 more recipe ideas that are challenging me… the recipes need more work!), and completely finished the quick breads/muffins chapter. I also began the breakfast & brunch chapter, and have a couple completed in the pies chapter. You can definitely expect my apple pie in the book!

different flavors of muffins lined up on marble backdrop.

The book will be published in 2025. I’m giving myself enough time and creative space to produce my best work for this massive project.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the recipes you’ll see in the book. This is not the photography for the book; these are photos taken for reference.

Rosemary Bread

This is a flavorful variation of my fan-favorite artisan bread recipe. I added a quick step after the dough sits at room temperature. I folded the dough into itself a few times to help develop the gluten structure (this is a no-knead dough), which helped add volume to the finished boule. Then I refrigerated the dough before baking it. The winning recipe is fantastic, and I can’t wait for you to try it.

rosemary bread slices.

Pizza Dough

This one isn’t so much of a tease. It’s the same pizza dough recipe you may know and love, and I’m most definitely including it in my cookbook. This recipe didn’t require much testing at all (but obviously we wanted to taste test it as much as possible!). I’m including a couple other ways to use the dough, besides just pizza, and will most certainly include stromboli!

pizzas with cheese topping on gold pizza pan.

Beer Bread

Have you ever made beer bread? It’s the easiest quick bread to make, with so few ingredients, no rise time, and the most delicious buttery flavor. You can’t really mess up something so simple, so the testing really came down to figuring out whether honey or sugar worked better as the sweetener, and which types of beer taste the best in beer bread. I wanted to test with a variety of beers, including non-alcoholic. The team and I preferred the loaf lightly sweetened with honey.

I’m looking forward to this one being in my cookbook; it’s a solid recipe!

bread loaves in loaf pans with blue post-its at one end of pan.

Healthy-ish Carrot Muffins

I don’t have a carrot muffin recipe on my website, so I’m including one in my cookbook. We LOVE carrot cake-type muffins, and I usually make them a little healthier. For the cookbook recipe, I tested a batter with whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and a mix of the two; I tested it with and without add-ins like walnuts and raisins; I also tested it with varying amounts of baking soda; as well as either maple syrup or honey as the sweetener. Fortunately, they all tasted pretty good, but there was a very clear winner that’s going in my cookbook. (We enjoyed carrot muffins for weeks back in August.)

muffins with some oats on top of 4 of them with green pieces of paper on top indicating ingredients.

Cherry Topping

My classic cheesecake recipe is making an appearance in the cookbook, and I wanted to include a new topping for it. I have blueberry topping, strawberry topping, and raspberry sauce on my website. In addition to lemon curd, salted caramel, and chocolate ganache.

But what I REALLY wanted to perfect, and include in my big cookbook, is cherry topping!

And I have to say, it wildly exceeded my expectations. This topping is made with frozen cherries, and I tested a version with dark sweet cherries, as well as a version with sour (aka tart) cherries. While the sweet cherry topping was good, the one made with the sour cherries was incredible.

3 bowls of cherry sauce on marble counter.

My team and I are also testing seasonal fall recipes using produce that’s hard to find other times of the year. Hoping to have the pies chapter completed in the next few weeks!

More to come soon. In the meantime, I’m sharing some behind-the-scenes snippets on my Instagram Stories, so be sure to pop in and check them out.

Q: Which of these new recipes are you most excited to try?


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