Christine McConnell is one amazing talent. From her freakish baked goods to her impeccably styled photography, her brand is utterly unique and fascinating – a 1950s pin-up with a penchant for pastry and light-hearted horror. It is sublime, and I have eagerly awaited it's arrival since the announcement last year. Eight months later, Deceptive Desserts: A Lady's Guide to Baking Bad! is finally here and it is the book of the year for Halloween enthusiasts. Granted this is not specifically a Halloween book per se, and is divided by seasons. Each glossy, full-color page reveals things like a Red Velvet Reptilian Cake with sharp teeth and red candy glass shards or Cat Lady Gelatin with floating apple chunks and a side bowl of cinnamon kibble. The Fall brings a Tarantula Cookie with caramel and prickly coconut, and a Caramel Popcorn cat with spider legs. Even Christmas gets a trick with a Serpentine Spice Cake wrapped in a peppermint fondant snake. All this monstrosity is precisely summed up by McConnell, "I prefer a world where the sweets bite back." This gorgeous hardcover book is exquisitely designed and features pictures of every recipe, as well as assembly and presentation directions. I honestly don't have the talent to make "pretty food", but the step-by-step directions certainly makes me feel like I could. And at 280 pages it's no light endeavor. This is a serious book that rivals the quality of the best Martha Stewart's Halloween book. McConnell has revealed every trick to her treats in Deceptive Desserts – all designed on a shoestring budget! – easily earning her the title of "Queen of Creepy Cookies". And she does it all! She's a photographer, a stylist, a baker, creates much of the costumes, crafts the sets, and even models in her pictures. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, or revel in her gorgeous photography on Instagram and Flicker. And most importantly get Deceptive Desserts immediately (order from her website directly and get a signed copy).
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