Book Review | Olive Oil Desserts

I have cooked almost exclusively with olive oil for over five years, not only for its health benefits but because it tastes so good and is very versatile. I continued to use butter for baking until I recently discovered the Olive Oil Desserts cookbook by Micki Sannar. My family was thrilled that I would be cooking up several tasty recipes from this innovative cookbook and it made me feel good that I could bake a treat for my family that uses one of the “healthiest oils on earth” as a primary ingredient.

Olive Oil Desserts is a fantastic cookbook that not only teaches the basic facts about baking with olive oil but also has the most beautiful illustrations that have let me wanting to try each and every recipe. Though I consider myself a good cook, I have struggled with baking so I decided to start with Micki’s Simple Brownies Recipe. This recipe was very simple to make and I appreciate that it was not overly sweet. I decided to add the optional semi-sweet chocolate chips which really elevated this recipe to a truly decadent brownie. My husband and children were very complimentary and couldn’t believe that these were made from scratch and used olive oil in place of butter, shortening or margarine. The brownies were moist, light and had the perfect “gooey” and slightly chewy texture. As the author explains, it did have a delightful crunch on the top of the brownie because of the “air whipped into the first stage of the recipe.” I just loved this little trick because these tasted just like brownies we have paid a lot of money for in artisanal bakeries.

Recipe is courtesy of Micki’s Kitchen-Olive Oil Desserts Website

Micki’s Simple Brownies

This is an old fashioned brownie. Because of the air whipped into the first stage of this recipe, it comes out crunchy and chewy. To make these brownies even more decadent, add a half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I can’t eat a brownie without a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you shouldn’t either.

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 1/3 cup pure or light olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For added decadence only:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F coat an 8X8X2-in pan with olive oil cooking spray. In a small mixing bowl melt chocolate and olive oil for 1 minute 30 seconds; set aside. In a mixer; beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 5 minutes or more. Blend in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour and salt until just mixed. If adding chocolate chips, this would be the time. Mix in until just blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove, cool slightly. Serve and enjoy!!

For the second recipe, I had a lot of fresh (and frozen) blueberries left over from picking at the local farm this season so I decided to make the Blueberry Muffins for our Sunday brunch. It was certainly the hit of the morning, especially the yummy crumble that really made these moist muffins so delicious. These are the first blueberry muffins that I have ever made that my family requested a second time.

One of the highlights of this cookbook is that the author clearly outlines the ingredients needed for each recipe and then provides simple to follow instructions. I also like that she gives the option to use whole grains. I have not had a lot of success baking with whole wheat flours in the past but I am definitely going to try again with some of the recipes from the Olive Oil Desserts cookbook. There is even a section that addresses the needs (and substitutions) for those on specialty diets such as vegetarians, lactose intolerant etc.

Olive Oil Desserts by Micki Sannar is such a beautiful cookbook to look at that I am sorry it is going to end up dog eared from so much use. Unlike cookbooks that I have used in the past that end up in pristine condition, unused on my bookshelf, this cookbook is my new kitchen favorite. I am very health conscious, so my family is just so excited that I have found the perfect balance to offer them tasty, homemade treats that are also trans-fat free, hydrogenated oil free and made with pure olive oil. Of course the most important aspect…….these recipes are simply mouth wateringly delicious and I can’t wait to try one new recipe every week. From Lemon Meringue Pie, Oatmeal Pecan Chewies to the delicious Comfort Cake…….this is one cookbook that should be a “must have” in every baker’s kitchen (or even if you are like me and can’t bake very well but want to learn)!

To purchase the Olive Oil Desserts cookbook or to learn more about the author, you are invited to visit the Olive Oil Desserts website.

You can also purchase  Olive Oil Desserts: Delicious and Healthy Heart Smart Baking on Amazon.

*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did review a sample of the product for evaluation purposes. The opinions are based only on my experiences with the product.*


Maureen is a SAHM who left the Corporate healthcare field to home educate her 6, 7 and 8 year old children. She is a voracious reader for both herself & her kids and also enjoys a natural and organic lifestyle. She lives in Orlando, Fl with her husband Mark, three children and 5 year old boxer, Jack.

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