In the part cookbook and part crafting and decorating manual “Sweet Designs,” Amy Atlas reveals the secrets to creating 14 themed dessert tables. For her “Picnic in the Park” spread, she supplies all of the stunning photographs, sources, and instructions we need in order to “bake it, craft it, and style it” in our backyard, patio, or rooftop deck. There are recipes for a strawberry trifle; cherry pies; red zinger iced tea with watermelon wedges; and more. There are also do-it-yourself tips for making festive bunting and charming pinwheel favor boxes — and that’s just one chapter!
The book explodes with Atlas’s sugary concepts for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, a game night, movie night, or Halloween soiree.
Busy parents will appreciate her time-saving suggestions. For example, if you want the spectacle of a three-tiered, fondant-covered cake in the center of your dessert table, but can’t justify such an extravagance, make a fake cake — with one real layer you can cut and serve to your guests. Genius!
You’ll be turning to Atlas’s “Sweet Designs” for delicious inspiration all year long.
“Sweet Designs” by Amy Atlas (Hyperion), $27.99. www.barnes