the chocolate peanut butter gallery

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My First Cookbook: The Cap to a Very Good Year!

December 1, 2010

Zoku Quick Pops Cookbook

This is a very very VERY exciting post for me. After months of waiting I finally get to share with you MY FIRST COOKBOOK!

Before I get into it, you’re probably looking at it and thinking, “It’s not about chocolate and peanut butter?!”. It’s true, it’s not entirely about CPB but it does have chocolate and peanut butter recipes (see below). It’s about something I don’t think I’ve ever spoken of on this site before: ice pops. I’ll explain how this crazy thing came to be…

A couple of years ago, friends of mine developed this crazy new ice pop-making device called the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. If you wandered around a Williams-Sonoma in the last year you may have seen the display for it. It’s proven to be a very popular device and it’s no wonder why, since it has completely reinvented the way ice pops are made. No longer do you have to wait half a day for homemade frozen treats; this thing freezes them in minutes!

The product saw immediate success, but when food nerds are given a new kitchen toy, they tend to want another thing: recipes. My friend and co-creator of the Zoku enlisted his wife Jackie to write them but with the cookbook in high demand, she needed some help getting them done fast.

And that’s where I came in.

Zoku Quick Pops Cookbook

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to co-write this book and truly poured my heart into it. For a good 3 or 4 months straight I hardly ate anything but ice pops. I think Taste Tester would agree that I was near obsessed. Once I started getting into a groove with the recipe-making, I sent him into work every day with new ice pop mixtures. With the device in his office freezer he would pour the pops right at work and share them with his co-workers. Then he’d return home at night where I anxiously awaited feedback. I imposed pop-tasting on just about everyone I had access to. If there was some way to send them through the computer, I would have enlisted you.

When I first started this site, I had a lot of goals. Among them, I wanted to design food packaging, learn more about CPB and the food business in general and - what seemed like the most impossible of all - make a cookbook. Not only did I get to co-write this book, but they let me design it as well. It may not be about chocolate and peanut butter, but seeing it through made me realize that the goal of writing a CPB book is actually shockingly attainable. I know somewhere in my heart that it’s going to happen and I hope you’ll stick around for it!

Author Bio!

But enough sentimentality for now. Those of you that are here less to hear about me and more for the chocolate and peanut butter will be happy to know that there is an entire chapter of chocolate Quick Pop recipes (“Coco Loco Quick Pops”) and there are a handful of peanut butter ones as well. Aside from the CPB pop, we even made a PB&J pop- which I love because I feel about 5 years old when eating it.

CPB & PBJ Spread

The recipes were specifically designed for use in the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend it. It’s fun, easy to use and you can make delicious homemade treats in minutes - how can you beat that?

Our book includes over 40 quick and tasty recipes as well as instructions on the many fun ways to make ice pops using the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. It shows you how to make layered pops, chocolate-covered pops and even cream-filled pops (aka creamsicles).

One of the Technique Spreads

WHERE TO GET IT I realize that November isn’t quite peak ice pop season (at least not in the chilly NY area), but I hope that you’ll check it out anyway. There are seasonal recipes that are great this time of year like Apple Pie à la Mode and Pumpkin Pie. And I love starting my day (cold or warm) with our Coffee Buzz Pop. If you want to grab a copy for yourself or as a holiday gift for your favorite food-lovin’ friend, the book and Quick Pop Maker are both currently on sale on the Zoku website and in stores at Williams-Sonoma.

Here is a shot a friend took of the display in one of the New York Williams-Sonomas. You can see the book in the bottom left corner. I also designed the boxes for the Storage Case, Tools & Sticks. Pretty Awesome!

THANKS!!! And I can’t end this post without a sincere thanks to everyone involved. A big giant super thanks to the Zoku team for letting me have such a big hand in this book. Thanks to Shawn Askinosie for sending me lots of delicious chocolate to experiment with (there is even a tribute recipe in the book called “Askinosie Chocolate Brownie”). Thanks to Taste Tester’s wonderful co-workers who were my tasting guinea pigs, and our families and friends for happily testing recipes and eating ice pops.

Making my first book was challenging enough, but the fact that we had to get it done quickly did add a little extra pressure. I tried to have faith in myself and my abilities but when I didn’t, Taste Tester was there to reassure me. I am very happy with how things have turned out and thankful to him for getting me through such a crazy year! Super big giant thanks to Taste Tester, because I couldn’t have done it without him.

And last but not least, thanks to you, my readers for being there for me and my blog after I took a hiatus over the summer to write this book. I really hope you enjoy it!!

Looking for more? The CPB Archives are delicious!