If you’re looking for escapist fluff for lockdown comfort, allow me to recommend Emma Lord’s 2020 debut novel, Tweet Cute! This is the story of Pepper Evans and Jack Campbell, two teenagers who are defending their respective family restaurants in a viral Twitter war … but also unknowingly falling for each other on an anonymous app. A sugar-coated rom-com that’s chock-full of ultra-indulgent baking = a fantastic book for 36 Eggs. The culinary creations in the story are joyous, unpretentious fun: slumber party treats that have a beautiful disregard for cholesterol or calorie-counting. There is so much literary food inspiration that I couldn’t resist mocking up a table of contents for an imaginary Tweet Cute cookbook:
- Milkshake Mash
Then suddenly she’s laughing at me. I don’t even realize it’s because I’ve started drinking her stupid milkshake until something unfamiliar hits my tongue.
“This isn’t cookies and cream. You did something else with this.”
Pepper takes another slurp of hers. “Salted caramel sauce,” she says.
I take another sip against my will, which has apparently disintegrated in the few seconds between the first sip and right now. Jesus, this is good. It feels like my taste buds just woke up from a long nap.
“That’s not even on the BLB menu,” I protest. I would know — I’ve been researching it with an absurd amount of dedication, to find things to mock on Twitter when the time is right.
The look she shoots me is patronizing. “I carry my own.”
– Page 179
- I’m Sorry Lemonade
- Cinnamon Syrup Hot Chocolate
- Paige & Paul’s Pennsylvanian
Sandwiches & Sides
- Big League Burger
- Girl Cheesing’s Grandma’s Special
- Jack’s Tuna Sandwich Melt
Every New Yorker worth their salt knows about our legendary sandwiches — particularly “Grandma’s Special,” our top-selling grilled cheese, and its prolific secret ingredient.
– Page 20
- Jack’s Pastrami on Rye
- Pepper’s Ham and Swiss on Baguette
- Landon’s New York Stand Hot Dog
- Big League Burger Messy Dog
- Investor Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Kitchen Sink Macaroons
I take a bite of macaroon, studying him carefully. It’s good. And I am a person with extremely high baking standards. It’s just the right amount of crunch, balanced with just enough gooeyness, courtesy of the chocolate and the caramel and a whole host of other flavors I’m still trying to identify.
– Page 230
- Grandma Belly’s Toscakaka
I couldn’t deny the deliciousness of the toscakaka … That almond caramel cake was one of the things she’d taught me how to make on rainy Sundays when the deli was slow and she had the energy for it.
– Page 135
- Big League Burger’s Bargain Chocolate Hand Pies
- Where-Are-They-Now Waffles
- Monster Cake
But no matter what happens, this one thing my mom has always had a weakness for — Monster Cake. A perilous invention from childhood, the day Paige and Mom and I decided to test the limits of our rinky-dink oven with a combination of Funfetti cake mixed with brownie batter, cookie dough, Oreos, Reese’s Cups, and Rolos. The result was so simultaneously hideous and delicious that my mom fashioned googly eyes on it out of frosting, and thus, Monster Cake was born.
– Page 11
- So Sorry Blondies
I pull them out of the oven now, the smell wafting through the kitchen — the brown sugar and butter and toffee against the richness of the dark chocolate chips and pockets of dark chocolate caramel sauce. A little bitter and a little sweet.
– Page 106
- Rainy Day Pudding
- Unicorn Ice Cream Bread
- Fuck-Your-Midterms Meringue
- A-Plus Angel Cake
- Midterm Moon Pies
- Tailgate Trash Twinkies
I scroll down, glancing at the dessert names, lingering on the pictures. The most recent is Tailgate Trash Twinkies, which are apparently a homemade cake roll infused with PBR.
– Page 251
- Butter Luck Next Time Butter Cookies
- Pop Quiz Cake Pops
- Pepper’s Crappy Crap Day Crinkle Cookies
- Sex-Positive Brownies
An hour and a half later, we are the proud parents of … a three-layer Paige creation dubbed Sex-Positive Brownies (“Slutty Brownies,” Pepper explained, “but Paige took a course on feminism and sex work, so.”)
– Page 288
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
- Mascarpone and Almond Apple Pie
Btw, the author has two of the recipes on her website — Monster Cake and Sex-Positive Brownies — and they look GREAT.