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Mind Over Batter: 75 Recipes for Baking as Therapy

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by Jack Hazan
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A psychotherapist practicing in New York, Jack Hazan believes that baking can be an integral part of mental health, helping people find an outlet for nervous energy, quiet frustration, and racing thoughts. It is indeed a form of self-care, although one that can also make other people happy too.

Hazan’s recipes are divided into chapters named for different therapeutic goals, e.g., Mindfulness, Finding Comfort, Connecting with Others, Finding Joy. And while his chapter openings address these issues, it’s not always clear to us why Sicilian orange-semolina cake belongs in Dealing with Stress and Anxiety while cheesecake with a pomegranate topping turns up in Letting Go of Frustration.

Still, the recipes are appealing. Some reflect Hazan’s Syrian-Jewish heritage (Aunt Brenda’s pistachio rose water chews; a savory cracker called ka’ak) and others are firmly of the moment: banana matcha bread, limoncello tiramisu). They’re also written very explicitly and laid out in an easy-to-read fashion, making the book accessible to beginning bakers.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

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