Happy News, and an Invite to You All to Participate!


What’s this photo doing up there? Well, lovely readers, I just couldn’t wait any longer to share this with all of you!

This is the cover (currently, anyways – no guarantees until it’s actually out!) of my very first cookbook!!

It’s called Field Guide to Cookies and it’s a collection of over 100 cookies from around the world, from chocolate chip to linzer to speculaas to alfajores. Each cookie has its own entry that describes its origins, what special holidays and traditions it’s associated with, and of course a recipe!

This book is the culmination of a lot of hard work from me, my publisher, and not least of all my dedicated crack team of recipe testers who worked feverishly to make sure all the cookies in the book are delicious!



I apologize for not providing more updates along the way, although I’m sure they would have fallen along the lines of, “Doing research on the 85th cookie…surrounded by cookbooks and can’t see straight anymore,” or “Testing 3rd batch of cookie recipe…running out of butter and eggs again.” During the nascent stages of a book, or any other project, really, one is often advised to keep mum about the specifics – certainly, it would be awful to announce to the world that you’re doing a book on the best chocolate desserts ever and then to see that someone’s snatched your idea and put out a competing book on the shelves a month before yours!

But now that the book is off to the printers, and it’s been officially announced on various retail sites, I think it’s safe to unzip the lips a little bit and share some of the excitement with all of you!

Yes, the book is now available for pre-order – here’s the listing on Amazon.

The book is going to be available in November, so I’m sure in the coming months I’ll be talking more about my experiences writing it and even sharing a recipe or two from the book.

Thank you all for your continued support and friendship while I’ve been involved in this project – it was definitely a huge challenge to balance work + book + blog + friends and maintain my sanity and good humor!

While I’m ruminating over what lies in the future, I’d certainly love to refocus some of my attention back on Dessert First and continue to offer recipes, photos, stories, as well as connect with all the wonderful people out there. So I’ve created my very first poll asking what you’re all interested in seeing more of on this site. I’m trying to think up what I’d like to add to the site, so let me know your opinion. All suggestions and comments are welcome! If you don’t like any of my choices, just leave your suggestion in the comments!

In fact, I’d like to invite all my readers to comment and say hello! Every once in a while I’ll get an e-mail from someone saying, “I’ve been a long time lurker and I just wanted to say hi.” Well, I’d really love to get to know who all of you are out there, so here’s your chance! Whether it’s your first visit or tenth, whether you’ve commented once or twice or never, say hi and I’ll say hi back! It would really thrill me!

Thanks! I love you all and hope Dessert First continues to be a source of sweet inspiration for you!



  1. 1


    Anita, congratulations! This is the amazing achievement! You certainly can be proud of yourself.

  2. 2

    asan says

    Hi, I just recently found your blog and had enjoyed it tremendously so I am sure I will likewise love your book! Great job and good luck! Looking forward to reading your blog on a regular basis.

  3. 3

    Maria says

    Anita…CONGRATS!! This is SUCH great news! I am thrilled for you! The cover looks great! I can’t wait to see the inside of the book. Thanks for the heads up! I am already adding it to my wish list of cookbooks! I know it was a lot of hard work, but you are beyond talented so I know the finished product will be amazing!! Good for you!!

    I enjoy reading your blog and love all of your posts. Of course I love seeing your beautiful photos and tasty recipes. So keep doing what you are doing. You do it best!
    I do love ice cream, sorbet, gelato recipes in the summer:) And cookies are always my favorite!

    I am all smiles for you! Congrats again!

  4. 6


    Well considering I’ve been a fan of your blog for awhile now, that is so exciting!!!! How cool. You deserve it!! Best wishes to you.

  5. 11


    congratulations! wonderful news indeed! I can’t wait to get the book. remember, if you ever open a bakery, let me know, I’ll be the first in line :)

  6. 14


    Hi Anita, you are a marvellous person. Your blog has given me inspiration to start my own blog. Congrats on your achievements and you will do better in years to come.

  7. 16


    Hi Anita! Just wanted to say congratulations :) I can’t wait to see what you have to say about alfajores…for now I get my fix from the Ferry bldg or Alemany farmers markets!!

  8. 17


    Brilliant! Love the title. I have several field guides, but none for cookies – so I’ll have to go and get this to round out my collection. Congratulations on your new book! xxoo

  9. 18

    cookienurse says

    Anita, glad to see that you have a cookbook out! Looking forward to getting my own copy..I love your blog and your creations!

  10. 19

    Jellieo says

    First time commentator, long time reader. Took your poll, and it was a toss up between the “basics” and “wanting more.” I’ve learned a few handy tips from your blog so I went with the basics vote although I do definitely want more! Thank you for posting and congratulations on your new cookie cookbook.

  11. 21


    Congratulations! This must have been a huge project, and without co-author – respect!

    Looking forward to the real thing,

    Alexandra, the cook(ie)book fanatic

  12. 24

    Verena says

    I don’t know what to say except for cOnGrAtUlAtIoNs! You are a talented pastry cook and I’ve always admired your creations and enjoyed reading your blog, and will continue to do so. 😀

    Hope this is a happy and worthwhile experience for you. Your cookbook looks stunning and I bet it’ll be a big hit. Now when are your cookies gonna be on sale? Hee hee …

  13. 31


    Congratulations Anita! I’m so glad that all your hard work has paid off and it looks fantastic! Looking forward to november!

  14. 32


    Wow your first cookbook how exciting! You must be sick of cookies but now though. You must have had a happy bunch of taste testers though.

  15. 35


    Congratulations, Anita! What wonderful news, and what an amazing accomplishment! I’ve admired your pastry creations on your blog for some time now, and I’ll be sure to check out your cookie field guide (I love that clever name, by the way!

  16. 36



    This is the best news I’ve had all week. My baking heart is full of of joy for you. I am putting a copy on my amazon wishlist now and I hope that one day we can meet so you can sign it.

    And I’m glad to hear that you’ll have more etime to be back to blogging. I’ve missed you!

  17. 37


    I love the title of your book- congratulations! You must be really excited and proud. And probably tired, too. I love the title, and although lately I haven’t been doing tons of blog reading, I really enjoy yours.

  18. 38


    Congrats on the book!
    Since you asked about lurkers, I do lurk for more than just during DB time, I just don’t always speak up and say anything.

  19. 41

    Deia says

    Hello there!
    Long time reader and first time commenter as well here… haha
    Congratulations on the book, what an adventure… and it looks great!

  20. 42


    How exciting!! Oh my God if I were you I think I’d die with the excitement!! All that you’ve worked and dreamed hard for finally coming together…and this is just the start!! I can’t wait!!

  21. 43

    Jennifer Mark says

    CONGRATULATIONS LADY Anita! So inspired by you. The cover looks great. I’ll be on Amazon placing my Christmas orders :) BTW- I am on a mission for the koeksista on my upcoming travel to South Africa. Thanks for the tip-off. You are truly amazing. Sending my best, Jen

  22. 45


    whoa!!! Congrats!!! can’t wait ’till your next book eventhough the first one not yet out I know for sure that you’re gonna have a next one 😉

  23. 46


    I love your blog. I don’t bake anything complicated yet but I love reading about what you make. Congratulatons on your book. I’ll be adding it to my wish list.

  24. 47


    Congrats on the book! It is certainly a huge accomplishment. I don’t know how you get everything done that you do. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!

  25. 48


    CONGRATS!! I have no idea how you possibly managed… I just graduated college and have had the most difficult time adjusting to an 8-hour work day (probably 10-hour in reality) while keeping up with friends and posting on my blog.
    you’re amazing!

  26. 49

    Heidi says

    Ooh, so great, congrats! I’ve been rading your blog for a few months and I’m going to keep doing it as it’s so great! I’m jealous of you for being a pastry chef, I’m on a different career path but have a passion for baking! I just created my own food blog after weeks of considering and hope to make my first post tomorrow! It’s in Finnish so not as internationally approvable as yours but gotta have some love for my own tongue! 😉 Keep the owen running! 😀

  27. 50


    Hello. I ve been reading your blog quiet a long time and got alot of inspiration and decided to make a blog myself. Your entries are wonderful. Congratulations for the book. I m looking forward to buying it and bake all the amazing cookie recipes. Keep it up. :-)

  28. 51


    Hello. I ve been reading your blog quiet a long time and got alot of inspiration and decided to make a blog myself. Your entries are wonderful. Congratulations for the book. I m looking forward to buying it and bake all the amazing cookie recipes. Keep it up. :-)

  29. 53


    Hi Anita,

    This is my first time leaving a comment but I’ve been admiring and drooling over your blog for a while now. I love all your lovely creations and most of all, I LOVE your writing. Congratulations on your accomplishment and the best of luck on your future projects! I can’t wait to dive into your book in November!


    P.S. I’m glad indulging in your blog is calorie-free :-)

  30. 54


    Hi Anita,
    I’ve been visiting your blog on and off for a while and really am a fan. I enjoy the detailed descriptions you your food outings and of course the top recipes. I’m from Sydney Australia, and also share a passion for great dessert. My sister and I recently started a dessert blog which is more pop-culture orientated than anything…anyway, would love for you to check it out…we call it “Stories from Sugartown”. In the meantime I will be adding you to our favourite sites section and look forward to visiting your site more often.

    Cheers and congrats,

  31. 55

    babycakes says

    I won’t be very original but : CONGRATS !!! I mean it : you truly are talented :)
    have a nice day from the south of France

  32. 56


    hey anita! it’s great to hear such great news! the book looks exciting and i just wanna say congrats! btw, can i ask if the recipes in the book require some “exotic” tools for the cookies?

    anyways, i recently just made meringues with roasted strawberries that i found on your site! =)

  33. 57

    AppleTree says

    Relatively new reader, first time commenter.

    Love the site…I am a total recipe addict.


  34. 64


    Congrats! I rarely comment on your blog but always do come visit! You shall be much supported by me with the book! I am always inspired by your blog – esp when you incorporate your recipes with Asian ingredients.

  35. 65


    congratulations – I’ve been a semi-lurker for a while now, so thought I’d come out of the woodwork and say how much i like your blog. best of luck with the final stages of the book

  36. 66

    Nancy says

    Congratulations! Even though I’m vegan, I’m definitely picking up a copy :) Your recipes have been a great turnout and most are easy to convert. Thank you for all of your hard work and shared inspirations! Can’t wait to see the book and more of Dessert First :)

  37. 67


    Congratulations! It’s so heartening to see someone succeed at something they love and are truly talented at.

    This is my first time commenting. I’m a Chinese American gal who grew up in the Bay, now pursuing a doctorate in religious studies…but I keep looking up pastry schools. Your journey and blog have been very, very informative for me! Thanks so much for sharing.

  38. 68


    Delurking to say congratulations! I’ve read your blog for quite some time and it’s always been my go-to when looking for dessert recipes. Looking forward to buying the book!

  39. 70


    I am so happy for you! I realised I had yet to answer your mail…sorry. I am so excited for you and hope a Southern book tour is coming:)

  40. 72


    wow! you are so very talented! i cannot wait to get your book. as a food photographer, i LOVE cookbooks and your recipes look just fabulous… congrats on all your hardwork!

  41. 74

    Elizabeth says

    Congratulations on your book!!! How wonderful :) I can’t wait to go out and get a copy for myself..I’m sure its going to be well used over the years!!

  42. 76


    Hi Anita!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and really enjoy it. I’m also a Bay Area girl and couldn’t help but notice we have a mutual friend on Facebook – Joyce Guan (I know her through dragon-boating). LOVE the local blogs so I was very excited to find yours. Congrats on the book! I LOVE that a prior “non-baking-day-job-holder” now has a cookbook. It gives me more passion around doing what I love the most.

    Feel free to visit my (not always cooking/baking) blog. At the very least it has a slightly local air about it. :)


  43. 77


    Congrats, my dear! I had no idea this was in the works–which makes it even more of a lovely surprise. Nice job, I am delighted for you!

  44. 78


    I am so happy for you, Anita! And wish you only th best for your cookbook and your furtur projects. Here’s to more 100 cookies!

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