November 3 2015
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
You may recognize the name Rosanna Pansino and Nerdy Nummies from her (very) popular YouTube channel. Every Tuesday Pansino uploads a new video to teach her five million subscribers an original nerdy-themed recipes. Things like Jake Skellington Cheese Balls, Adventure Time Royal Tarts, and Goomba Popsicles. Her recipes are unique and creative and Pansino’s quirky and bright personality makes her videos fun to watch, whether you’re cooking along with her or not.
And now for the first time you have access to fabulous Nerdy Nummies recipes in print. And as cookbooks go Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us is beautifully presented and organized. It opens with a handful of standard recipes, like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls. From there the book is divided into sections — Math & Science, Space, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming, Tech & Web, and Geeky Treats, with treats all building off those few base recipes. And it’s all accompanied by stunning, full colour photos of Pansino’s creations.
This is the kind of cookbook I love it to sit back and flip through. All of the recipes have great titles, like Moon Phase Macarons, Geode Cupcakes and Apple Pi Pie, and they all look and sound so delicious. So after a few read throughs I decided it was time to try my hand at one myself.
I love to cook and if I actually think I’m pretty good at it. Baking, however is another story. I can make perfectly fine cookies and cupcakes. They’ll do in a pinch. But when there’s a potluck or a dinner party, I’m the one bringing an appetizer or a side and leaving desert to someone who’s had a little more practice. But the Nerdy Nummies cookbook made me feel a like I could do this too. The back cover promised that “best of all, these treats are as simple as they are fun to make! No need for costly tools or baking classes to create these marvelous delights yourself.” Even with this assurance it was obvious there were still a few recipes that would be beyond my decorating skills (like the Slider Cupcakes) but the rest felt possible.
I ultimately decided to try making the signature Nerdy Nummies cookies — inspired by Pansino’s own logo. This decision was partially based on my love of chocolate chip cookies, but was mainly because the cookies in the picture, with their big, black glasses and rosy cheeks, looked so darn cute.
I began to assemble my ingredients — first for the base recipe, which was about what you would expect. Eggs, flour, sugar, chocolate chips etc. No problem there. But then came the decorating half — turns out my definition of “costly tools” is a tad different from those at Atria Books. Cookie Icing and multiple same-size decorating tips were not something I had on hand. I imagine if you’re a baker, or someone already interested in cake and cookie decorating, these would not be unexpected requirements, but for me it meant a trip to multiple stores across town to try and find the supplies I needed.
Once all my tools and ingredients were (finally) assembled I finally whipped up the cookies. The recipe was clearly written and easy to follow. And from the moment the cookies came out of the oven I knew it was a good recipes. They smelled amazing and the few I “sampled” tasted great. My decorating, however, was not of the same caliber. My icing glasses weren’t straight and my cookies didn’t bake flat enough for me to place the six chocolate chips around the face. Instead of an adorable nerdy cookie, my own baking looked like it was straight out of the Pinterest “Nailed It” meme.
The Nerdy Nummies cookbook would be perfect for people who are already have some experience with cake/cookie decorating and want to share their love of all things nerdy with those around them. I think it would make a great gift for the avid baker on your Christmas list. But those with limited experience might want to hone their baking craft a bit more before tackling the recipes in this book.