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It's Christmastime at the Best Little Bakery in Texas The annual Fredericksburg Christmas parade marks the beginning of the Texas Hill Country's holiday season, which means the Pastry Queen is kicking into high gear at her Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe. As party invitations pile up in the mailbox, Rebecca Rather is up to her elbows in sticky meringue, creamy chocolate, and a sleigh full of savory treats to meet the entertaining needs of her neighbors. In The Pastry Queen Christmas, Rebecca shares nearly 100 traditional recipes reflecting her made-with-love-from-scratch philosophy and the tastes of small-town Texas. Show-off desserts such as Chocolate Cookie Crusted Eggg Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce, and Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake with Amaretto Whipped Cream are the perfect toppers to a family-style feast of Texas Spice-Rubbed Roast Pork, Baked Apple Pear Chutney, Brown Sugar Bacon, and No-Peeking Popovers. Still hungry the next morning? No problem-this country girl does an impressive breakfast, too: Bite-Sized Sticky Buns, Sweet Potato Scones, Cast-Iron Skillet Potatoes, and Mexican Ranch Chilaquiles ought to fill you up. And if you're still looking for excuses to entertain this season, you'll find ooey-gooey baked goods wrapped up as gifts, homemade craft and decor ideas to make your home sparkle, and holiday-worthy menus guaranteed to make your gathering a Texas-sized success. Tree-trimming, cookie decorating, and Santas running down Main Street . . . Christmastime is here.
A pastry chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, native Texan REBECCA RATHER has been proprietor of the Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe since 1999. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, Rather Sweet has a fiercely loyal cadre of regulars who populate the cafe's sunlit tables each day. In 2007, Rebecca opened her eponymous restaurant, serving dinner nightly, just a few blocks from the cafe. Rebecca is the author of The Pastry Queen, and has been featured in Texas Monthly, Gourmet, Ladies' Home Journal, Food & Wine, Southern Living, Chocolatier, Saveur, and O, The Oprah Magazine. When she isn't in the bakery or on horseback, Rebecca enjoys the sweet life in Fredericksburg, where she tends to her beloved backyard garden and menagerie, and eagerly awaits visits from her college-age daughter, Frances. ALISON ORESMAN has worked as a journalist for more than twenty years. She has written and edited for newspapers in Wyoming, Florida, and Washington State. As an entertainment editor for the Miami Herald, she oversaw the paper's restaurant coverage and wrote a weekly column as a restaurant critic. After settling in Washington State, she also covered restaurants in the greater Seattle area as a critic with a weekly column. A dedicated home baker, Alison is often in the kitchen when she isn't writing. The Pastry Queen Christmas is her second book with Rebecca Rather. Alison lives in Bellevue, Washington, with her husband, Warren, and their children, Danny and Callie.