I suppose it's a bit ironic that I'm writing this review on Thanksgiving Day, after being with my family for several hours, surrounded by the sights and smells of tons of good food and a half-dozen desserts. But with a sated appetite, at least I can write about the desserts in Diana Bricker's book without getting hunger pangs. Ms. Bricker says the recipes in "Simple Dessert Recipes" are a combination of hand-me-downs and original recipes that she developed, and that they're simple enough for just about anyone to prepare. Each recipe has an interesting little snippet about the recipe's background.
After looking through the recipes, I agree that they're simple enough for most people with any cooking experience to make. And you'll want to make some of them - these are some of the tastiest-looking desserts that I've seen in any cookbook or food magazine. Directions are straightforward, and all measurements are clearly given. The approximate preparation time is given, and the number of servings is stated. I didn't notice any ingredients that couldn't be found in most supermarkets, although some ingredients, such as fresh berries, might be seasonal.
As with any really good cookbook, there is accompanying color photography for each recipe to activate your taste buds. If you've ever tried to photograph food, you know it's not as simple as it looks. The photography in Simple Dessert Recipes is outstanding, and the embedded images can be enlarged with a touch (note: I was reading the book on a Kindle Fire HD).
The twenty-five recipes are all mouthwatering, and there's a good variety of cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, even a pudding. The first recipe - Cappuccino Brownies - may be my first one to try, although the Key Lime Cheesecake Pie is begging for my attention. For a cold winter day, a simple hot Apple Crisp made with fresh apples looks unbeatable, but it's hard to pass up the Cherry Dump Cake with its 5-minute prep time (plus baking time).
I should mention that I have Type 2 Diabetes. It's well controlled, but I have to carefully watch my carbohydrates. When I do indulge in sweets, I have to limit the portion size, so I don't like to waste my carbs on anything less than a really good dessert, and most of the recipes in Simple Dessert Recipes qualify. I do have one small quibble that I've had with a number of other cookbooks that I've seen. It would be very helpful if the basic nutrition information was listed, including serving size, calories, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, etc. I did notice a few places where carbohydrates could be reduced somewhat (for example, one recipe used canned fruits - using fruits packed in water instead of sugar syrup would significantly reduce carbs).
Overall, this is a first rate cookbook for some fine-looking desserts.