brown betty and a giveaway

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

Note: This drawing is now closed. About a year ago I was in Philadelphia at Brown Betty Dessert Boutique, art directing the photoshoot for their first cookbook which was just published this week. Ah, my life was different then. I was still in a bit of denial about my gluten-intolerance, and I was “taste-testing” every dessert as it came off the set. Going gluten-free has been great for me, and there aren’t many wheat-based things I miss, but the treats at Brown Betty are an exception. Oh my god, if you have any chance to get to Philadelphia and try it for yourself, do it. But if you don’t live anywhere near there, you might want to check out The Brown Betty Cookbook. And for my lucky blog readers, if you live in the U.S. or Canada and want to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of the book, just post a comment below!

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

The amazing Alison Conklin took the photos. These are just my behind-the-scenes snapshots–for the real photos, you’ll have to check out the book itself. Alison is a bit sneaky and managed to dodge all of my photos except for this one taken over her shoulder. I really can’t say enough about how gorgeous Alison’s photos are. This was the first cookbook she photographed, and I’m honored to have worked with her on it.

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

Here’s a setting for the photo which we ended up putting on the cover of the book. I love that board against the wall, though on the book cover you can’t actually see much of it because it’s very soft in focus. The table is also great — I wish I could have taken it home with me!

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

Speaking of the amazing props, that’s Amy Elise Wilson, the prop stylist, above. I’d worked with Amy before, but I think The Brown Betty Cookbook was more of her style. I just love working with her.

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

And then there was the amazing bakery staff! These girls are seriously talented (and perfectionists). I could have stood in the kitchen all day watching them frost the cakes.

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

Speaking of the cakes, there are too many beautiful ones to show you them all. This was a favorite though.

Brown Betty cookbook shoot

And here is one for you chocolate fiends (I know you’re out there). Pink is sweet and all, but I’m thinking about making a batch of the frosting on this cake right now and eating it straight from the bowl. The cake is called “Dear Ruth,” which is part of the charm of this book — personal stories of friends and family and vintage photos throughout. The book itself feels like a keepsake. Remember to post a comment if you want to be entered to win a copy of the book. The drawing will be closed at the end of the day on October 19.


44 thoughts on “brown betty and a giveaway

  1. I have seen the photos in the book and l-o-v-e them & the recipes – Yum! Yum! Yum! I have seen Alison’s work in Lehigh Valley Style, Organic Gardening, and on her website and agree 150% with your assessment – she IS amazing! Beautiful work all around on everyone’s part and these behind the scenes shots give a nice context for the content in the BB Cookbook! Cheers!

  2. Thanks for that great post, I love seeing behind the scenes like that. I, like you, will fee quite ill if I eat gluten- so I don’t need to be entered to win the book- I just wanted to say how much I like the post!

  3. It’s not a stretch for me to comment.. I really enjoy coming to your blog. What’s exciting for me as a baker, is that I have made an icing rose cake and a chocolate cake with the swirled icing on it. I’d love to have the recipe for that pink one.. to try the smooth finish they’ve done here. I also love that scalloped vanilla icing technique as well. Anyway.. lots to love here!

  4. I’m a pastry chef who went gluten free about a year ago too. And I still love baking books. I have managed to adapt recipes and learn so much from the visuals. These are especially gorgeous.

  5. I’m so incredibly excited for Alison! The photos are amazing! I can’t wait to try all of the yummy recipes. Well done! ; )

  6. OK these cakes not only look truly delicious, but amazingly beautiful as well! I don’t want to ruin my chances to win the book, Justin, but if I don’t win one, I’m definitely going to buy it anyway!

  7. What a beautiful book that you’ve art directed on. So amazing. I agree, thar table and background are gorgeous. Now I wish I live closer to Philadelphia to try their cakes!

    Amy (at) utry (dot) it

  8. LOVE to look at the photographs and, especially LOVE to watch food photographers in action! But I also love to cook and bake and, unfortunately, to eat too much. Thanks for posting this opportunity to win this book!

  9. I do own a copy of this book. The photographs are AMAZING and I have eaten the BB cupcakes. Yummie! A perfect combination!! This book would make a great Christmas gift for my friend. Alison was the photographer for her wedding :))

  10. Only for Eliza [sweet potato poundcake + spiced vanilla bean buttercream] is one of the best cupcakes in Philly. Their cookbook is on my wishlist, though the day I get it will probably be the last day I see my skinny jeans…

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