'Real Sweet' is Available for Pre-Order!

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You GUYS. I know you're probably in the middle of trimming your tree or lighting your menorah or wearing your craziest sequined sweater or whatever you do to celebrate the holidays, but I'm interrupting your crazed online shopping and boozy nog-drinking schedule to share with you something that is super important.

I'd like for you to meet the face of the beautiful beast that has taken over my life for the past 15+ months (and no, it's not another human baby, good grief!). Isn't it a DELIGHT? It's the cover of Real Sweet, my hunk of a third cookbook, which will be born into the world this coming April, courtesy of the brilliant folks at William Morrow. I really, really can't wait for you to bake your way through its pages and use it in your own kitchens. It's a whole new way to bake, and I really couldn't be more excited about the whole thing.

Real Sweet is a baking and sweet treat-making recipe collection, yes, but it's also a primer on the wildly delicious world of natural and unrefined sugars. Unlike my first two books, which ran on lots and lots of white granulated sugar, you won't find a speck of the white stuff in the pages of Real Sweet. Instead, you'll find sugars here that are decidedly less processed, infinitely more flavorful, and do so much more than just provide sweetness a la white sugar.

From granulated alternatives like sparkling turbinado, coconut sugar, maple sugar, heady dark muscovado, and brown-buttery panela, to tasty liquid swaps like honey, agave nectar, and pure maple syrup, the sweet stars in this book pull double duty as both sweetener and seasoning. After months (and months!) of recipe testing, it still blows my mind what a simple change of sugar can do for the flavor, texture, and overall crave-worthy power of a baked good. I'm hooked on these alternative sugars, people, and I hope you will be, too.

What I'll deliver to you when Real Sweet drops is a whole bunch of real-world recipes for the treats we really love, but made with better, more flavorful sugars, with a more "hip" than "hippie" vibe. The more virtuous items that we can feel good about tucking into our kids' lunchboxes are in the mix, but so are whimsical candies; bake sale classics like cookies and bars; custards and ice creams; and a whole chapter dedicated to some seriously impressive, fancy dinner party desserts. It's a book you can bake from all year long, with ingredients that you can feel good about baking with and playing with, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits, but don't worry--there's plenty of full-fat dairy and chocolate to round things out. Life's too short! Good times all around!

This sexy beast of a book weighs in at 272 pages, chockablock with recipes and info, sweet tips and tricks, and loads of gorgeous, full-color photography from the gloriously talented Leigh Beisch. And guess what? You can totally pre-order it!

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

 Indie Bound | iTunes/Apple | Kobo | HarperCollins

In the coming months, I'll share some Real Sweet samples so you can look forward to what you'll get when you have a copy in your hot little hands. I know we're still in the middle of the holiday rush, but I'm feeling really good about 2015 and all that's in store for us--let's make natural sugars a thing in the New Year! Heck yeah!

NewsShauna Sever