Gordon’s Los Angeles-based Valerie Confections distributes nationwide through specialty retailers; her hallmark is smart and creative twists on familiar treats. In Sweet, cherry pie is enlivened by the inclusion of vanilla bean, apricot galettes are enriched with a basil-scented cream, and a sour cream pound cake is made extra fragrant with the addition of tangerine zest and juice. There’s also a substantial chapter on candies. Appealingly, given her flair for improvisation, Gordon provides a wealth of suggestions for experimenting on your own with components from her book. Just think about what you might do with a cassis ganache.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.