The Great American Read: Decadent Desserts Paired With Nostalgic Novels

100 contestants, 1 winner...no, this isn’t American Idol, this is The Great American Read! This year’s list of competitors is filled with classics and some fun newcomers, but you can’t read all 100 books on an empty stomach, right? It’s always fun imagining what the foods the characters are eating are like in real life, so we rounded up some of our favorite recipes tied to five books on The Great American Read list. We can’t offer up magical treats like Every Flavour Beans (Harry Potter) or Elven bread (Lord of the Rings), but the following sweet treats are pretty darn delicious and guaranteed to satisfy any munchies you have while getting through your novel.

The Handmaid’s Tale and Strawberry Meyer Lemon Coffeecake.
The Handmaid’s Tale and Strawberry Meyer Lemon Coffeecake. (Recipe: Kim Laidlaw, Photo: Wendy Goodfriend, Collage: Grace Cheung)

Strawberry Meyer Lemon Coffeecake

“Blessed be the fruit.” Thanks to this The Handsmaid’s Tale greeting we can’t really look at fruit these days without a little shudder, but it doesn’t mean we should avoid eating the tasty little things! The novel takes place in a bleak world where the comforts we take for granted now like delicious foods or walking around in shorts is looked down on. That’s why we’re flipping the switch on this sad story by giving you a decadent fruit recipe to give you a little comfort while reading about Ofred’s sad plight.

Outlander and Lemony Shortbread.
Outlander and Lemony Shortbread. (Recipe: Kim Laidlaw, Photo: Wendy Goodfriend, Collage: Grace Cheung)

Lemony Shortbread

We can’t provide attractive young men running around in kilts, but we can give you a tasty, easy-to-make-at-home shortbread recipe to eat while reading about said men in Outlander! Shortbread has been around since the 1800s and is a big deal in Scotland. It’s pretty simple to make, but our version is as sweet as Jamie and Claire’s romance with a little lemon to give it a kick.

Fifty Shades of Grey and Multigrain Pancakes with Rhubarb-Orange Compote and Greek Yogurt.
Fifty Shades of Grey and Multigrain Pancakes with Rhubarb-Orange Compote and Greek Yogurt. (Recipe: Kim Laidlaw, Photo: Wendy Goodfriend, Collage: Grace Cheung)

Multigrain Pancakes with Rhubarb-Orange Compote and Greek Yogurt

In the long, drawn out course of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, breakfast appears enough times that we felt it deserved some time in the spotlight as much as Ana and Christian gets. Sure, we could have given you oysters, chocolates, or really anything that stereotypically would be associated with an erotic novel. But wouldn’t you rather have a great dish you can enjoy while reading 50 Shades or just on your couch watching The Bachelor? Plus, our pancake recipe is a little ode to their trip to IHOP at the beginning of their “romance.”

A Game of Thrones and Mini Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes.
A Game of Thrones and Mini Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes. (Recipe: Kim Laidlaw, Photo: Wendy Goodfriend, Collage: Grace Cheung)

Mini Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes

When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die...thank god we are all winners when it comes to these Mini Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes. If you didn’t know, Sansa Stark’s favorite snack is little lemon cakes, and you’ll feel like a queen (or king) munching on these decadent little treats while reading about White Walkers, dragons, and intense battles.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone and Double Chocolate Brownies.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone and Double Chocolate Brownies. (Recipe: Kim Laidlaw, Photo: Wendy Goodfriend, Collage: Grace Cheung)

Double Chocolate Brownies

In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, chocolate helps Harry and his friends recuperate after facing Dementors. Chocolate might not heal all wounds, but it sometimes can be so delicious that we forget it’s not actually a magical substance. For Harry Potter fans, the line between fiction and reality when it comes to this tasty sweet is especially thin, and this decadent Double Chocolate Brownies recipe pairs perfectly with the books!

Sponsored

Sponsored

Volume
KQED Live
Live Stream
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
Live Stream information currently unavailable.
Share
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
KQED Live

Live Stream

Live Stream information currently unavailable.