For many years, when people thought of cooking with Bourbon, they thought of desserts. That has changed in the last two decades or so, but Bourbon still works well in something sweet for dessert. Here is a book that is dedicated to the idea of cooking with Bourbon in desserts. I like the recipes in this book and Rosemary has made a few of them. The one suggestion I have is that when you pick a Bourbon to use in the dessert, pick something that is robust in flavor so the sweetness of the dessert does not hide the Bourbon flavor. I personally like to use Very Old Barton Bonded, but an Old Forester or Old Grand Dad would also work well. A softer Bourbon like any of the wheated Bourbons will tend to get lost in the mix of flavors.

Bourbon Desserts, Lynn Marie Hulsman, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2014, Contents, Introduction, Index, Illustrations, 206 pp.

Hulsman has put together an impressive collection of recipes that use Bourbon in their making. She breaks down the collection into chapters that include “Cakes, Sweet Breads, and Other Fluffy Delights”, “Cookies and Bars”, “Pies, Tarts, and Cobblers”, “Puddings, Truffles, and Custards”, Frozen Delights”, “Syrups, Sauces, and Toppings”, Candies”, “Compotes, Chutneys, Spreads, and Preserves”, and finally, “Dessert Drinks”. 

Each recipe has a short introduction of childhood memories in Louisville to the recipe, followed by the list of ingredients and then the instruction for making the dessert. She also includes many side bars of “Bourbon Facts”. They are fun, but I did spot a few of them that were inaccurate or even wrong. The book is well written and includes an index, and the recipes are listed in the table of contents. It is easy to find the recipe you want to make.

The book is well designed. It is a hardcover book and rather small in size so it will not take up much room on the book shelf. There is a collection of 14 full color photographs in the middle of the book that depict several of the finished desserts. The recipes are easy to read and follow.

Rosemary made the “Sweet and Boozy Graham Cracker Candies” that are depicted on the cover of the book. The recipe was easy to make and the results were very tasty. She also made the “Always-in-the-Pantry Bourbon Pound Cake”. I liked it but found there was not enough Bourbon flavor. A Bourbon with a more robust flavor probably would have solved this problem. I think I will try to talk her into doing this again when the strawberries or peaches are in season, but use Very Old Barton Bonded as the Bourbon.

Bourbon Desserts is a must have for the Bourbon lover who collects cookbooks. It is full of interesting and tasty recipes. It is well designed and easy to use. A must for the complete Bourbon library.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller