Fablehaven captured the hearts and minds of a generation. Now, it’s about to capture their tastebuds as well. Critically acclaimed author and Latter-day Saint Brandon Mull teamed up with his sister-in-law Cherie Mull to craft a cookbook that brings the fantastical concoctions from the book series to life.
Food has played an important role in all of Brandon’s books. “I try to portray the characters living life, and the meals and treats they enjoy are a big part of that,” he says.
In the world of Fablehaven, crafty little creatures called brownies are known for baking delicious food with whatever ingredients are left out overnight. Brandon includes an exclusive short story about the brownies at the beginning of the cookbook that highlights the fun and whimsical nature of the culinary elements of the series. If the brownies were to visit their own homes, Brandon hopes they would make fresh bread, and Cherie has her fingers crossed for a flaky pastry with fresh fruit.
As an avid fan of the books, Cherie could hardly pick which character to craft a recipe for first. “I was particularly excited to create recipes for the fairies because they are such an iconic part of the Fablehaven world,” she says. “I was also excited to incorporate Muriel the witch (pretzel knots referencing her rope knots), Tanu the potion master, Bracken the unicorn, Viola the cow, and Hugo the golem.”
The cookbook draws from the fantasy universe, but what truly makes it shine is the merit of its recipes. Brandon says, “My sister-in-law Cherie is a legit baker who has never shared her recipes, and many of [them] are absolutely delicious, including my favorite eclairs in the world. The book isn’t just cute—the recipes are delicious.”
Cherie crafted each recipe so it could be made by just about anyone, including families with smaller children. She says, “Cooking and eating good food is such a great gathering and bonding experience, especially for families. So many memories are made in the kitchen.”
These magical recipes provide a perfect opportunity for families to bond, since meals may be one of the few times in a day when every family member is together. Cherie admits, “Sometimes it’s hard to involve my kids in baking or cooking because I know what the clean-up will look like afterwards. However, some of my favorite moments in the kitchen are when I let my kids dive in and make memories along with the mess!”
Cherie, who is also a Latter-day Saint, hopes that no matter why you pick up the Fablehaven cookbook, you can recognize its positive spiritual impact. She says, “Cooking or baking can help us to slow down and spend time pondering, which leaves room for the Spirit to enter our otherwise busy lives. Food gives us opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, which can bring the Spirit into our homes and relationships.”
Check out Brandon’s favorite recipe from the cookbook, the eclairs, and Cherie’s favorite recipe, Grandma Sorenson’s apple pie.
Brandon Mull’s Eclairs
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low and add flour and salt. Stir well until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely.
- Prepare a pastry bag with a No. 10 tip or larger; or, cut one corner of a gallon size zip-top bag to make a 1-inch hole. Fill the bag with pastry dough and pipe onto cookie sheet in approximately 1½-inch x 4-inch strips.
- Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. and bake 20 minutes more. Pastries should be a pale golden brown and sound hollow when lightly tapped on bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (5-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2½ cups cold milk
- Beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set whipped cream aside. In a separate bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 1–2 minutes, then place in refrigerator for 5–10 minutes to softly set. Once the pudding is softly set, gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding.
- Carefully cut the tops off of the cooled pastry shells with a serrated knife. Fill shells with the pudding mixture and replace tops.
- 1 (12-ounce) package high quality semisweet chocolate chips
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave in 1-minute increments. Bring just to a boil, watching carefully to remove from the heat as soon as it begins to boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Using a spoon or piping bag, spread generously over the top of the eclairs.
- Place eclairs in the refrigerator to cool and set for a few hours before serving.
Grandma Sorenson’s Apple Pie
Pie Crust—Makes two 9-inch crusts
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
- ¼ cup cold water
- Combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, add shortening until particles are the size of large peas. Sprinkle with water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until the flour mixture is moistened. Form into two balls. Place the first ball on a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle about 1 inch larger than the pan. Fold in half and place in pie pan. Roll out the top crust and set aside.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 cups Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
- Vanilla ice cream, or whipped topping
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss the apples with the cinnamon sugar mix. Heap the coated apples into the prepared crust in the pie pan. Dot with butter.
- Cover with top crust. Seal the crust with your fingers or a fork. Cut slits in the top crust. Sprinkle the top crust lightly with granulated sugar.
- Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are cooked through (test with a fork). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or cold with whipped cream or whipped topping.