Still stuck on sweets

Some of my favorite newly released cookbooks continue to be sweet as Bev Shaffer’s “Chocolate Desserts to die for! The Complete Guide for Chocolate Lovers” and Luane Kohnke’s “Sassy Cookies: Sweet, Spicy & Savory Treats with Swagger” have propelled me out of my chair and into the kitchen. Exciting and inspirational, “Sassy Cookies” is the shock and awe of cookiedom with Luane Kohnke gifting us with recipes that feature stirring flavor combinations such as Swiss cheese and mustard in “puffs,” grapefruit and poppy seeds in tuiles, lavender and ginger in meringues and green tea powder (matcha) and almond cream in macarons. With each of Kohnke’s 40 original recipes accompanied by a full color photograph by award-winning photographer John Uher, cookie books like this one comes along but once every few decades, so don’t wait until Christmas to get yourself (or someone else) a copy. Equally exciting is “Chocolate Desserts to die for!” With chocolate recipes that go from elegant or casual, to something in-between – such as Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Dessert Pizza or Chocolate Walnut Fudge that can be crafted without a candy thermometer, Shaffer’s book presents recipes for cooks of all skill levels. In this fourth installment to Shaffer’s “To Die For!” series, chocoholics will appreciate the book not only for its plethora of chocolate recipes and more than 83 color photos by husband, John R. Shaffer, but also for its “thorough explanation of the language of chocolate.” For more information about either of these titles, visit the publisher’s website at, retailers that sell books, or online sources such as or

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at