Cover Image: Dessert Can Save the World

Dessert Can Save the World

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this look behind the scenes at Milk Bar and what motivates Christina Tosi. Her passion to spread joy is infectious and almost leaps off the pages. I'm off to find some butter and sugar to spread some joy myself!
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This was such a fun read! It was really whimsical and delightful to read about the joy of baking, and the love and passion that Tosi puts into her baking and her career growth. Being able to read about her journey to be where she is today was very inspirational, and definitely made me want to make cookies ha ha. If you think this is just a recipe book, think again! While it does have recipes (the ones I've tried are delicious!), it has personal stories and also life lessons about how to express yourself through what you love, grow your relationships, and connect to others while making your life joyful and exhilarating! This was one sweet story - I loved it! Definitely grab your fave dessert and give it a read!
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What a tasty themed book.  I love books that have to do with baking Ive made a ton of the recipes from the various milk bar cookbooks so this was the icing on the cake to be able to read this advanced copy.
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Christina Tosi is one of the most popular and well known pastry chefs around. She started a small bakery with Momofuku owner David Chang and turned it into a pastry empire. She’s been a judge on Masterchef and Masterchef Junior, was featured on Chef’s Table: Pastry, and hosts Bake Club. She’s won James Beard awards. She has won us all over with her big smile and her wacky desserts and her upbeat perkiness. 

She’s written cookbooks and shared her cookies and ice creams and cakes by shipping them all over and by stocking them on grocery store shelves. She is an inspiration to professional bakers and home bakers everywhere. But where does she get that indomitable spirit? 

Tosi’s latest book is not a cookbook, though it does have a few recipes in it, personal ones, ones that help her tell her very personal stories. Dessert Can Save the World is a memoir, a book about her failures and her hard-won victories. It’s her personal rules for living her best life and baking her best cookies. She shares stories of growing up and growing a business. She talks about working long hours in regimented kitchens surrounded by men who doubted her skills and about finding her voice and her people by showing up and being unabashedly herself. 

Dessert Can Save the World has a lot of good advice, not just for having fun with your bakes, but for living a fuller, sweeter life. She got a lot of her positivity and heart for service from her mother, and there are a lot of stories about Greta, starting with how the Midwestern mother came into a professional kitchen in New York City and introduced herself to every single person, wanting to know who her daughter was working with. And after heading back home, she sent a small Christmas gift to every person in that kitchen, remembering each and every name, from the dishwasher to the head chef. 

Tosi herself believes in celebrations, not just for the big events in life for also for the small everyday moments that so often go by barely acknowledged. She encourages her readers to find the big thing that motivates them and lean into that. She talks about how to get back to your path if you’ve strayed and how to wear others down, the ones who keep saying no, to get them on your team. She is motivated and motivating, wanting people to chase after what makes them happy, and if that is cookies, then all the better. 

While Dessert Can Save the World is an obvious choice for anyone wanting to find the motivation to bake more, or to bake professionally, it’s also a guidebook for anyone wanting to start a non-traditional business, for recent graduates, or for anyone struggling to find their place in the world. Tosi can be a little over-the-top chipper at times, but for the most part she moderates her enthusiasm, finding a balance that’s not too sweet. 

It’s hard not to be moved by some of the stories in this book. I’m a longtime fan of Christina Tosi and an ever longer fan of cookies, so I was excited to dig into this book. I figured there would be some recipes sprinkled in, but I wasn’t expecting them to be so personal to her. I was excited to read the stories of her time in professional kitchens, but I was even more drawn into the stories that displayed her humanity. Dessert Can Save the World has a lot of solid advice in it, advice for building a business, advice for showing up for people, advice for finding your path. But mixed in with all that is the comfort and warmth and interesting surprises that you find in a really well-made dessert. In a lot of ways, this book feels like a really good piece of cake. (Also, it made me really hungry, so if I have to go out and buy ice cream, I think we all know who is to blame.) 

Egalleys for Desert Can Save the World were provided by Rodale Inc. through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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It's an easy sell when there's a cookbook by Christina Tosi since MilkBar is so well-known. This is sure to be a hit with patrons.
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I love Christina Tosi and her recipes.  When I saw she published another book, I automatically assumed it was going to be another cookbook of her.  Boy, was I wrong.  

I love anything Christina Tosi bakes, writes or when she teaches how to bake, and while this book was fun to read, I admit I was disappointed it was not a cookbook.  Yes - it contains several recipes, but I wouldn't call this a cookbook.  

All in all, she's fun, witty, and inspiring and this book will be a fun read if you're a fan of Christina Tosi and learn about her life and journey.
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I will be upfront about it: I love Christina Tosi. I love her. So I was very excited to be provided with an advanced copy of ‘Dessert Can Save the World’ from NetGalley to review.

Christina’s optimism and life philosophy are shared in this very easy-to-read book. It was honestly very inspiring to hear how she aims to bring joy to others by sharing joy itself: baked goods and sweets. I finished the book with many ideas and lessons that I wanted to incorporate into my own life. I was particularly motivated to share joy with others in any way that I can, and to celebrate even the smallest achievements in life because, hey, life is too short not to. The book is not all about sweets and smiles, there are also lessons about hard work and perseverance. It was great to read about Christina’s journey, and I love that she wanted to share what she has learned in this book.

If you are as obsessed with Christina as I am, you may be a little disappointed that several stories are repeated from her previous cookbooks or documentaries. A few of the latter chapters are also a little bit boastful, but I think the philosophy behind the writing is well-intentioned. I definitely preferred the earlier chapters about her grandmother and mother as they really felt like tributes to the women who have inspired her own life journey. 

Overall, this was a great read for any Christina Tosi fan or anyone who loves baking as it really makes you feel like there is so much more to it than just yourself and an oven: it can save the world.
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This is not a recipe book, it is more of a selection of stories. It is a really nice book, but if you are looking for recipes you might be disappointed.
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When I received the ARC, Dessert Can Save the World by Christina Tosi, was I surprised!  Having long been a fan of Milk Bar and Tosi’s creations, I have enjoyed reading and making desserts from her other cookbooks, Momofuku Milk Bar and ALL About Cake.  After a try at her famous crack pie (delicious and sticky sweet) and layered birthday cake with cookie crumbs, I was excited to see what other recipes she had to share.  The surprise, the book seems more like a memoir and guide to well-being.  It’s filled with many stories of Christina’s childhood and family experiences along with her professional work as a pastry chef.  In each of the 6 chapters there is a recipe or two, however the book contains mostly stories and life lessons combined through sweet lens of dessert.  I found it to be an interesting read however, some readers may be disappointed to find out it is not a traditional cookbook.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to review.
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I always find Tosi to be a super sweet read, not the greatest, but still recommendable for foodies and dessert snobs
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What a fun read! Christina Tosi is so vibrant and creative, so it's a joy to get a glimpse into her mind and her dessert empire. I enjoyed learning the inspirations behind many of her creations, the hard work it took to get to where she is today, and the way the pandemic impacted her and her team. This is a great read for anyone with a dream who needs a bit of the inspiration and creative spark that simply oozes out of Tosi.
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I’m a sucker for a sweet treat. Always have been. And if it’s something that was created with both skill and love? So much the better.

Perhaps no one in the larger cultural sphere is as currently celebrated for that brand of combined creative prowess than Christina Tosi, perhaps the most famous American pastry chef out there. She’s a two-time James Beard Award winner, the founder and owner of the legendary Milk Bar and author of numerous cookbooks. She also hosts the Netflix series “Bake Squad” and has appeared on numerous other television programs as a guest, judge and/or host.

And now, she’s written a memoir of sorts.

Tosi’s new book is “Dessert Can Save the World: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes for a Stubbornly Joyful Existence.” In it, she offers up her own story, one that saw plenty of pitfalls and setbacks as she made her way to the top of the baking world. And yet, her relentless optimism shines through on every page, a joie de vivre in which she fervently expresses her belief that, yes, dessert can indeed change the world.

Interspersed throughout her charming and compelling life’s journey are recipes drawn from particularly salient moments in that journey. Sure, this is a memoir, an account of her personal story, but here’s the thing – that story would not be complete without sharing at least a few of the delectable desserts she made along the way.

Tosi’s connection to food began at an early age. She grew up largely in Virginia, surrounded by a collection of strong women whose shared love language was baking – a language in which Tosi became fluent from a young age. She spent much of her childhood in the kitchen, and while she learned plenty of recipes from her mother and grandmother, she also found herself fascinated with the experimental possibilities of baking. That fascination never left her, even as she initially pursued other potential interests. She always found her way back to the kitchen.

She worked her way through the fine dining realm, getting a big break from chef and restaurateur Wylie Dufresne and ultimately winding up as part of the staff at David Chang’s iconic Momofuku. It was there that she would start embracing her own unique perspective and begin crafting some of the unorthodox offerings that would lead her to Milk Bar and other successes.

But really, that’s just the nuts and bolts of the story. “Dessert Can Save the World” is really about Tosi herself and her relationship with the sweet side of life.

The book really cooks (sorry) when Tosi delves into the why of her fascination with dessert. She talks about the love she has for trying new things, enjoying the misfires as much as the masterpieces. She shares her theories about our relationship with sweets – if nothing else, her ongoing discussion of the notion of “dirty dessert secrets” alone is worth the price of admission. She talks about her family and how she learned the power inherent to sharing these sorts of creations. Ultimately, it boils down to something simple: joy. Tosi’s unwavering belief in the joy that comes with dessert emanates from every word in this book.

And honestly? It’s pretty great.

“Dessert Can Save the World” isn’t your garden-variety memoir. Sure, there are the recipes, which are great – is it weird when simply reading about a dessert is enough to make your mouth water? – but it’s more about the singular focus that Tosi brings to her story. That sense of joy and gratitude is utterly charming, confessional in a way that makes you almost feel like you’re engaged in conversation with a friend. Tosi’s tone certainly contributes; her writerly voice is that of a buddy who is chatting with you while, yes, probably up to her elbows in some sort of dough destined to become a treat that she’ll wind up delivering to your house just because.

The casual nature of Tosi’s writing is devoid of pretension; this is not the story of someone interested in making sure you know how talented she is (though she is of course immensely talented). Obviously, there’s a degree of self-involvement that comes with writing a memoir, but the absence of ego in these pages is actually rather striking. Tosi loves dessert and thinks you might love dessert too, so she’d like to share her thoughts on that love. The end result is a sweet and tasty read.

“Dessert Can Save the World” will make a wonderful read for anyone who has ever experienced the joy of baking in any capacity. If you’re someone who lives for making treats, you’ll enjoy it. If your interest begins and ends with the eating, well … you’ll also enjoy it. Anyone who has ever been drawn to the sweet side of the street is going to want to dig in to this one.
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When Christina Tosi used one of my all time favorite (and entirely underrated) quotes from Wally Lamb's book "She's Come Undone", I knew it was a book for me. (The quote being: Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.")

As a dessert lover and home cook, I really enjoyed reading this. It was filled with inspiration and motivation in the language of foodies, as well as favorite recipes, some of which you'll recognize if you're a frequenter of Milk Bar. I loved the little names she assigned to feelings and phenomenons... "joy trails", "dirty dessert secrets", etc. Even if you don't own your own business, or your favorite place isn't the kitchen, you will still walk away with something to remember from this book.
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4 Stars
I fell hard for Christina Tosi when I first learned of her on the show Masterchef for Kids. Her exposure allowed me to see how she was personally as well as professionally. She was engaging, had a wonderful sense of humor, and had an honest way of teaching and talking with the kids on the show. 

This led me to search out articles and interviews with her. Everything I saw and read was revealing in how she became the person she was and how she developed her interest in baking and the food industry. 

She is a delight, a complete professional,  and a very savvy businesswoman. This book gives the reader everything they could want; insight into Tosi, her recipes, and all the backstories of her experiences.
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I watched a documentary on Milk Bar creator Christina Tosi and was so compelled by her story, and energy I found myself at her Melrose store a few days later to try her cornflake cookies and crack pie. When I heard about her new self-help/inspirational/cookbook all  about how dessert can save the world, I was all in! 

 I didn’t know what to expect from the book,  but what I found myself inspired by Tosi’s pledge to kindness. She is so earnest in her belief that commitment, kindness and a plate of cookies, just may be able to solve a lot of challenges, that by the end of the book, I had highlighted half the book to bookmark all of her pearls of wisdom. 


One of my favorite inspirational quotes from Tosi is: 

“It’s an underdog’s long game. Just keep going, keep wearing them down with your vision and unrelenting commitment to doing whatever it takes to get hold of that cookie at the finish line.” 

Available now: Dessert Can Save the World, STORIES, SECRETS, AND RECIPES FOR A STUBBORNLY JOYFUL EXISTENCE, By Christina Tosi
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I loved reading this book! I found the writing to be very insightful and interesting. I was intrigued by the premise and I enjoyed reading it from start to finish.
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I LOVED this book!! I only kind of had heard of Christina Tosi and Milk Bar, but the dessert part is what really sold me on wanting to read this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Christina's writing style, personality, and stories that she shared. To be clear, it's not a recipe book but you do get some fun bonus recipes that tie into the stories she shares. Even though it's not a recipe book, she still gives you some amazing stuff you can make! And, it feels really personal like she's sharing her family's secret recipes with you. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, fun read that is inspirational with a side of dessert magic!
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I love every book that Christina Tosi writes. This one is equal parts stories and recipes which I really enjoyed. I took her class and enjoy her bake club on Instagram. I will definitely be making some of these recipes. For me the focus of this one was on the stories, that's where I got the majority of my enjoyment. Christina comes through so well on paper. It's like she's in the room talking to you. Her recipes, as always, are spectacular.
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Part memoir and part life skills pep talk, I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this book. In summary: celebrate everything (from parking tickets to new jobs, to getting yelled at by your boss, there is always a reason to eat dessert), be a good human, etc. etc. Read the book, it's funny and a quick read, and it will make you believe that you should be baking more, because dessert spreads joy. Maybe it's a mid-western thing...
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Such a fun and easy read!  I already loved Milk Bar and now love it even more.  Tosi gives readers tips and tricks for changing their outlook on life and finding joy at all corners.  A great read for anyone who wants a light-hearted and quick read with tiny bits of knowledge thrown in along the way.  Will recommend it to my friends.
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