The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe
The Best Little From-Scratch Bakery in Texas
The pastry case in Rebecca Rather’s bakery in Fredericksburg is packed with ultra-buttery scones, luscious cakes, cookies the size of saucers, brownies as big as bricks, and fruit pies that look as though they came straight out of Grandma’s oven. Since the day Rebecca and her Rather Sweet Bakery and Café came to town, life in this Hill Country hamlet has been even sweeter and the townsfolk now know why she is the Pastry Queen. Everything she makes is a lot like her: down-home yet grand, and familiar yet one-of-a-kind.
A native Texan, Rather makes the most of her Lone Star state’s varied traditions, whether looking to the kitchens of Texas’s Mexican and German immigrants or to the cowboy culture of her own forebears. Best of all, her recipes aren’t fussy—one of her best-selling cakes stirs together in a single saucepan. Add in a cupful of Texas attitude and her made-from-scratch-with-love philosophy, and you’ve got an irresistible taste of American baking.
What’s best at Rather Sweet? Rebecca’s customers all have their favorites (and she is happy to cater to their cravings), but here’s just a taste of the perennial best sellers:
- Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones
- Texas Big Hairs Lemon-Lime Tarts (the only big hair Rebecca has ever had!)
- Fourth of July Fried Pies
- Peach Queen Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting
- Turbo-Charged Brownies with Praline Topping
- All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pies
- Kolaches (pillowy yeasted buns with sweet or savory fillings)
- PB&J Cookies
With over 125 surefire tested recipes and 100 photographs that richly capture small-town life in the Hill Country, The Pastry Queen offers a Texas-size serving of the royal splendor of Rebecca’s baked goods—courtesy of the rather sweet gal behind the case.
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 1, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
About the author
Rebecca Rather has worked as a caterer and baker for 15 years, first for a couple of upscale Houston catering companies and then as the executive pastry chef for a group of high-end Houston restaurants. Then, while overseeing research and development for the Austin-based Schlotzky’s Corporation, she studied with renowned artisan baker Daniel Leader.
Rather opened her own bakery, Rather Sweet Bakery, first in Austin in 1999. In 2000, she moved the bakery to a larger yet more intimate setting about an hour west of Austin. Rather and her recipes have been featured in Texas Monthly, Ladies’ Home Journal, Food & Wine, Saveur, Southern Living, and Chocolatier. She and her daughter, Frances, live in Fredericksburg, Texas.