Cover Image: Dessert Can Save the World

Dessert Can Save the World

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Member Reviews

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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If Eat a Peach by David Chang is the macho bravado of how to open and run a restaurant, this is like the easy sweet (in every sense) feminist manifesto of how baked goods can spread joy in the world. Through opening and running a bakery! I thought some of the prose was repetitive, but overall I liked Christina Tosi's voice- and it made me wish over and over again for a cookie! There are a few recipes which are more like ideas than full recipes (as an experienced cook they made perfect sense, but I would have some concerns for new cooks). That said, the gist of this is to follow your own path, stick to love and sharing over greed and selfishness, and to celebrate the good moments as well as the challenges. Cute! 4 stars.
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As a follower of the author Christina Tosi, I was so excited to get the opportunity to read this book. I loved the real humor and real voice from the author in this book. I enjoyed the creative recipe ideas included and the tips from Tosi herself on places to find great eats. If you love baking and humor I would definitely recommend this read.
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A big thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of Dessert Can Save the World: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes for a Stubbornly Joyful Existence. I became a huge fan of Christina Tosi after watching her on MasterChef Junior. This was a delightful book to read and I really enjoyed the recipes that she included. I recommend this memoir to anyone and everyone who bakes or enjoys desserts!
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If you love Tosi and her quirkiness, this maybe a good read for you. It has anecdotal stories with recipes sprinkled in. Light hearted read that aims to keep you entertained and upbeat in usual Tosi-style much like her social media content.
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This book was giving me so much life and now that I have finished it I already want to do a reread. To say I love dessert and baking is an understatement. It high on my list of most favorite things. I try to bake at least once a week and when I’m not actually baking I’m thinking about baking. It is how a de-stress, reflect and show love to others. This book has put all those feelings into words and I am so happy I had a chance to read it! 

But wait! What if I am not really a big dessert person? Well first of all… WHAT?! Can…not…process…Jk Jk but in all seriousness you don’t have to be sugar obsessed to enjoy this book. It is filled with Christina’s personal anecdotes and views on celebrating ourselves & others, creating joyful moments, being unapologetically & authentically ourselves, trying new things, finding our “why”,  accepting help, saying yes, and so much more. Dessert is obviously the lens by which Christina incorporates all of these things into her life but she also makes it clear in the epilogue that “A freshly baked chocolate chip round can’t change the world on its own, but bringing the feeling it holds into every area of your life definitely can. Dessert is my vehicle of choice, but so many other things can do this, too.” and to essentially find your own version of “dessert”. 

I appreciated the balance of Christina’s personal story and her ability to use them as examples of actions others can incorporate into their lives. The book is also dispersed with simple recipes and lists which add some extra fun to the reading experience. I swear I highlighted the whole book and these few words don’t do enough to sum it up but I hope you check it out for yourself.
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Christina Tosi’s determinedly upbeat memoir and cookbook comes at a time when optimism is in short supply.  But her relentless pursuit of her goals and her commitment to her customers and staff come shining through in this book.

I may not bake a single sugary sweet confection from the recipes here, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how she developed them, and had to smile at their ingredients and names.  

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Late last year, someone from Harmony Books reached out about Dessert can Save the World by Christina Tosi having seen I read David Chang's memoir Eat a Peach.* Knowing that Tosi's Milk Bar (which is freakin' delicious and I had to resist trekking over to Harvard Square multiple times while reading this) started as an offshoot of one of Chang's restaurants I thought why not! I'm glad I didn't start reading it earlier because I devoured it (pun 100% intended).

I knew very little about Tosi, and honestly thought she was a different chef completely when I saw her author photo, but I dove in and thoroughly enjoyed the book! What I wasn't expecting outside of the recipes (quite a few included) and the stories of how she got to the Milk Bar founding, was all of the business advice and management tips that really made the book that much more valuable and fascinating to me.

I define dessert as something cozier, more nostalgic and intimate—something warm and gooey or cold and creamy that evokes the comfort of being at home, on your couch, in your PJs. Think warm skillet cookie on a rainy Sunday night. It took a few twists and turns for me to remember that my dirtiest dessert secret is that 'fancy' and 'awesome' are not one and the same. (Chapter 3)

Seriously though, as much as I enjoyed learning about the creation of Cereal Milk, Milk Bar Pie, and Tosi's mom, who sounds like a wonderful character who would probably be overwhelming for me, what stood out for me were the times Tosi wrote about getting out of her way as a manager and business person. There are a couple of pages when she refers to her philosophy on bottlenecking and figuring it out and I mean seriously I know MANY managers in my past who need to read those few pages.

It's hard not to try to solve every little problem when it comes up, but that micromanaging mentality was a bottleneck holding us back from thinking bigger. It was also preventing our team from being their brilliant, unique selves. Of all things, that was the last thing I wanted to do! You can't ask people to be these beautiful, creative wanderers and be robotic. They needed to learn to take risks, fail, communicate, correct a misstep, ask for help, teach one another . . . and we were trying to create a system that removed all of that from the equation. How could they learn if they never fell short? We had to be okay with imperfections within our controlled ecosystem. We needed to allow room for humanity alongside the rigidity to create balance, kind of like getting your homework done before you get to go out and play. The forty-seven clipboards got winnowed down to fifteen (after all, we still needed our ordering clipboard, our invoice clipboard, our opening checklist, our deep-clean guide, our prep list . . .). We kept the absolute essentials and cleared away the rest to give our team more breathing room. (Chapter 4)

I've already been thinking about some of the processes we've defined where I work that don't necessarily need to be defined as stringent as they are. A lot of it is about meeting someone where they're at, but making sure they know here's the deadline and the few required things you have to hit, but other than that have it and keep me updated.

And throughout the work, there were a couple of times where Tosi's over-the-top enthusiasm and happiness could've pushed this book too far into the kitschy easily-to-ignore self-help books that I've complained about in the past. However, she managed to toe the line between saccharine sweet but not helpful and helpful but not dry and boring. For real though, these two quotes in a book less well written would've done my head in:

It's the 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. (Chapter 5)

Forget 'should.' Forget 'supposed to.' Figure out what's truly important and then write your own recipes for a life that feels real and right and joyful to you. Revise as you go along. If your recipes stop working, turn the page and write new ones. Improvise. You already have everything you need if you're willing to see things not only as they are but as they could be. (Epilogue)

When after reading this book, I'm like YES . . . should I get a poster made of these or a t-shirt? You know something to remind me daily not to get bogged down in the details and remember to keep my personality alive and part of who I am because it'll only make whatever we're producing or our goals that much sweeter when we get to them.

Recommendation: Overall, this was a wonderful read. I probably could've read it in two sittings, but I stretched it out in a few days. I was impressed with Tosi's ability to provide self-help and business/management advice without going too kitschy or too dry and it just worked. Tosi (and her mom) sound like a whirlwind of fun and sugar that would probably overwhelm the best of us, but sometimes that's what you need in life! My wallet may not be so thankful next time I go to Milk Bar (impressed I put it off while I finished the book), but my brain is definitely going to be even more grateful since I read this and know even more about the delicious desserts and the inspiration behind their creator on my next visit.

*I received a copy of Dessert Can Save the World via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion. No goods or money were exchanged.

Opening Line: "Introductions are awkward . . . That's why I find it best to just cannonball straight in with a Hey, hi, how's it going? I'm pumped to be here with you."

Closing Line: "This, my friends, is how we save the world: one cookie, one action, one miracle at a time." (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)
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Thank you NetGalley for this opportunity to enjoy this wonderful memoir. I enjoyed the story of how the author’s specialty became dessert and what that love grew into being. There are some recipes in this collection but it is not solely a dessert cookbook, but more a story of how the business came into being and has grown.
Sweet read.
 #DessertCanSavetheWorld #NetGalley #RodaleInc #Harmony
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Sugared optimism is what I need right now and Dessert Can Save the World by Christina Tosi is the sweetest manifesto for authenticity with responsibility. It is the playbook for kindness and consideration - both for yourself and others. It is the structural blueprint for redesigning the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality, but all with the all-butter backing of an expertly crafted pastry. 

I've been a Milk Bar fan from day one, following Christina Tosi from her origins with David Chang (seriously, I remember texting friends on my LG EnV that we were going to stop at Momofuko Milk Bar before we went out). Before the recipe was available, my girlfriends and I would make Crack <ugh. I mean Milk Bar> Pie in my kitchen - we were fierce in our determination to get it right. And I can't remember a NYC wedding I've attended in the past decade that didn't have THE naked cake at the reception. But this book wasn't just about the food, but more about the mindset. There's no manual for living, but you can pick out pieces of Dessert Can Save the World to use as guiding principles for a well-lived life. Christina Tosi is the role model for people who are strictly professional but know that you can't take life too seriously. You can't forget to find joy, to look for joy, to create joy. Take the advice. Don't skip dessert.
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ARC copy, loved the stories and a peek into behind the scenes. Didn’t like her heteronormative use of “girlfriends” to describe her female friends.”
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More memoir than recipe books, this engaging volume follows chef Christina Tosi's entrance into the world of cooking and her philosophy of life: that dessert, long dismissed and overlooked, can in fact change the world. Tosi shows how a little sweetness can fill the void that lives in each of us, and includes her insights for the pandemic. Includes a few recipes worth copying, especially her famous Cereal Milk.
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Dessert Can Save the World is a delightful collection of chatty essays, reminiscences, observations, and some recipes about almost everyone's favorite part of the meal, dessert. Due out 8th March, 2022 from Crown Publishing (Rodale) on their Harmony imprint, it's 240 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

Author Christina Tosi is a pastry chef, foodie, content creator, and gregarious dessert missionary and the vibe throughout the book is encouraging, fun, and unrestrained. The recipes are scattered throughout the book (there's not an index for the "just give me the recipe" sort of folks - so be forewarned). The entire book is full of rapid fire memories and high octane stories of birthdays saved, challenges met, and desserts and baked goods shared.

She seems like a force of nature. It does seem clear that she's an extremely giving and compassionate person, and she cares about her employees and her customers. I liked reading the memoirs and the included recipes are appealing and I saw no glaring errors with measurements or directions. I did -not- prepare any of them before writing the review. Because of the bouncy full-on-high-gear narrative, the whole has a stream-of-consciousness feel and a sort of staccato rhythm and allegro fortissimo (fast and loud) presentation which I personally found exhausting after a while. For me, it was a book I enjoyed very much as a bio/memoir, but not so much as a recipe book. This is one I found myself picking up and putting down with pauses in between reading sessions.

Four stars. This would make a good selection for particularly enthusiastic foodies, public- or possibly school-library acquisition. There are no photos or illustrations in the book. Graphically it's very simple, but the author brings her own energy in truckloads.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Love, love, love! So I saw this book and thought, Christina Tosi, I’m in. I’ve been a fan for years. So I didn’t read the synopsis at all. I assumed I was in for mainly a cookbook with a couple stories here and there. This is so much more! Christina’s joyfully energetic personality jumps off the pages. Part memoir with a dash of baking knowledge and endless joy is what this book is.  I recommend it to everyone! Especially during times like these when you need an escape and a smile. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Rodale, Inc. for the advanced copy.
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It's easy to see why Christina Tosi has such a loyal--and large--following. She's engaging, witty, and charming, and the theory presented in this book--what's not to love? :D Frankly, the concept of dessert as celebration (for the good _and_ the bad) is a refreshing change from other things society uses copiously (<cough>alcohol<cough>). I'd happily take a cake over a cocktail, on all the levels!

Tosi's stories of her growing-up years, foods and food-related experiences that created lasting memories, and events that inspired her to celebrate life (even the disappointments) with dessert, are endearing. I particularly appreciated her sharing about her pandemic experiences and how that impacted her approach to baking, as well as inspired her to start Bake Club. Community is so important, and the pandemic has only reinforced that!

There weren't a ton of recipes (one-ish per chapter), but that was fine. The ones that _were_ there sure look tasty--especially the apple dumplings and banana chocolate chip peanut butter cookies!

There is a bit of language in the read (and some of the ever-popular talk about being "one's true self" #sigh), but thankfully it's few and far between.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this memoir, as my husband is the baker of the family. It was a heartwarming read, and I loved learning more about Tosi and how she found success. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who has a sweet tooth and enjoys nonfiction!
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"I bake because it's where I know how to lose myself and find myself again"

I have been a fangirl of Christina Tosi's since her days on Masterchef. She always seemed so upbeat and had constructive criticism for contestants. I liked that she was also very true to herself. Turns out it's really who she is. 

This book describes her upbringing and how her Mom Greta taught her at a young age to do something (whatever it may be) to give back to the community and to put a smile on people's faces. This gave her a sense of purpose which she built her business on. She describes how she liked to put odd combinations of ingredients together to see if and how they would work. This rebel attitude helped her to stand out in the ranks  and become an amazing pastry chef. She eventually worked for Momofuku making their desserts and then branched out into the building next door when it became available. It was there that she created Momofuku Milk Bar and the rest is history. 

This was an interesting read. In baking it's not often you veer so far from a standard recipe to stand out and make a name for yourself. As a home baker myself I can't imagine how hard it would be to come up with some of these recipes but Christina never gives up until it's just right. She describes being stubborn (I get that) and how it really helped her to excel with her business. I liked how she described owning up to her mistakes and not just apologizing for them, but actually making the effort to fix them. For instance on Valentine's Day 2021 when the whole world in the middle of the COVID pandemic was having shipping issues, she too had issues which caused orders to arrive late. I would think most people would understand, but to her it was unacceptable. She ended up mailing out additional packages to everyone in an attempt to fix the mistake. Actions speak louder than words. 

At the end of the story she talks about the Equal Justice Initiative and ACLU. She and a former employee held a bake sale across the country to raise money for the cause. I have even more respect for her after reading that.

The overall message is one of service. To do service for your family, friends and community. What a message it is and what a wonderful chef Christina Tosi is. Loved this one!

Thanks to NetGalley and Rodal Inc for a copy of this ARC
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3.5 stars~

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a digital copy for review ^^

This wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I may have overlooked the "real" description of this book because of its beautiful and sprinkle-filled cover. I may have overlooked the part that says "Stories, Secrets, and Recipes for a Stubbornly Joyful Existence" - to be fair]

This is NOT a cookbook~

I had assumed, going into it, that it would be more recipes than wisdom/stories/etc. However, there are a handful of recipes thrown into what is more of a memoir about Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar. And while I loved hearing her stories and reading about her journey that got her to where she is today, I wanted more delicious recipes and PICTURES. There were ZERO pictures of anything in this book. It was all text - no colorful dessert spreads or cooking gear photos of any sort. That left me a tad disappointed to be honest. 

Overall, if you are a fan of Christina Tosi and want to read more of a "memoir" or "storytelling" about her life and journey, this would be more up your alley. This would be a fun collection piece to have for aspiring chefs or culinary artists, but not at all a book you would grab from your cookbook nook in your kitchen for dessert.
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