Baking books tempt

Marion Sullivan, Books for Cooks

The baking books have rolled in, just in time for the May calendar of prom parties, wedding showers, graduation celebrations and Spoleto festivities.

"Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes." Former pastry chef (12 years at the famed Chez Panisse), now cookbook and literary author ("Ready for Dessert," "The Perfect Scoop," "The Sweet Life in Paris"), David Lebovitz now lives in Paris, where he writes, blogs and gives culinary tours. In this book, he updates and revises a collection of 170 recipes and adds a dozen new ones. Lebovitz provides excellent information on ingredients and equipment at the beginning of the book and has a true flair for flavor combinations. Think Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread, Lemon-Ginger Creme Brulee, Peach Amaretti Crisp, Lime Marshmallow Pie. And here's the one I particularly look forward to trying this summer: Watermelon Sake Sorbet. Hardcover. Ten Speed Press. $35.

"The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion." John Barricelli had great NYC restaurant experience, 10 years as owner and operator of Brooklyn's Cake and Bakery, and several years with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia before opening his bakery in South Norwich, Conn. His cookbook is a full menu, with breads (including brioche, croissant and Danish) and cafe "savories" as well as sweet pastries that range from muffins to mousses. Tops on my list to try are the savories: Tomato Tartlets; Corn, Crab and Cheese Tart; and Tomato Cobbler. Hardcover. Clarkson Potter/Publishing. $35.

Marion Sullivan is culinary programs specialist at the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Send your cookbook questions to