Januarys can be rather dull; while September ushers in bushels of apples, cider and doughnuts, October pays homage to the pumpkin. November we plan menus around family and turkeys (albeit there are times when one cannot make a distinction between the two) and December conversations center around words like: ho-ho-ho, hanukkah, cookie, celebration, party, gifts and cocktails among others. And after the letdown of ‘Happy New Year’ on January 1st . . . well . . . January can be rather dull.


This January The Professor and I were puppy-sitting so those first couple of weeks into the new year were anything but dull: early morning outings in frigid air, playing tug-of-war until a stuffed toy lost and ear or nose, moving cat dishes upwards in an effort to keep said puppy out of the feeding dish, scooping poop, house-breaking, afternoon walks (otherwise known as forced marches) and loads and loads of wet noses, snuggles and puppy breath. We managed to lose only one corner of the coffee table to chewing so we count that one as a win. The puppy went to her new owners mid-January where she will have a grand life – playing with kids and another dog as well as being trained for Search and Rescue.


Needless-to-say, we didn’t have much time to spend creating in the kitchen but when the last of the kibble had been swept, the puppy crate had been tucked away and toys were packed and sent off to the new owners, I grabbed the new book from Abby Dodge and spent a couple of afternoons perusing the delicious mini confections she’s created – ‘No forks . . . no plates . . . no kidding’ is the opening line of this sampler of 100 favorite sweet shop treats – and don’t let ‘mini’ in title fool you – they may be mini but they are mighty.


Right at home on a dessert party table as well as packed for picnics on the beach, Mini Treats & Hand-Held Treats is filled with fun and familiar sweets – cookies, beautiful, gift-giving candies, hand-pies, ice cream sandwiches and meringues are just a few of the recipes you’ll find in this delightful book. New to baking? No worries – Abby instructions allow even the beginning baker the confidence to achieve great results – and she gives variations for personalizing each treat.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Abby in real life and we ‘converse’ on Twitter as well as Facebook; she is warm, funny, generous and an incredibly talented pastry chef. Her desserts are simple and easy to bake – all are delicious, some have sophisticated twists while others might leave you feeling a bit nostalgic – homemade Whoppie pies anyone?


Abby calls these lovely bite-sized brownies ‘Triple Threat Chocolate Squares’ – I call them fantastic . . . seriously. Baked in an 9×13 pan, they’re cut into 2-inch squares with a specific note to keep them small as they are rich, and she’s right. The problem is that they’re so delicious, ‘I bet you can’t eat just one!’ (You get an extra brownie if you can name that commercial). In fact, after shooting the photos, we took the remainder to our Cincinnati family because if left to our own devices, we’d have polished off the entire pan by ourselves.

I’ve converted Abby’s recipe for gluten-free baking, added a couple other twists of my own and sprinkled a bit of Maldon salt to the tops . . .

Dang, these are good!

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the book at no cost to me – however, all opinions are strictly my own.


  1. Dang they look good! That puppy is adorable, what a sweet shot.

  2. Looks to me like the recipe totally lives up to the name!! And what a cute puppy!!! Any chance you will be getting one for yourselves? 😉

  3. Woah! These look mighty good!

    Yeah, dogs can keep things pretty exciting. And what a cute pup!!!

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