This is a Blizzard Book. The next time you are snowbound, pray to God the power stays on and that you have this book on your countertop. And, a full pantry and refrigerator. Butter. You will need butter.

This is a curious book, really three books of exciting recipes bound together with a web of culinary history.

Each of the three “books” is a section, sections with very different culinary paths. Classic American Desserts has chapters for Cookies & Candy, Cakes, Pies, and Doughnuts. Here, author Stella Parks presents her versions of the recipes we remember fondly and crave with desperation:

Glossy Fudge Brownies

Baltimore Deep Chocolate Fudge

Buttermilk Biscuits with Strawberries and Cream

Brown-Butter Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Meringue Pie with Marshmallow Meringue

Stella is a CIA trained chef with over a decade of culinary experience plus a deep portfolio of writing for national papers and magazines. She is a perfectionist who loves to present these classics with her own special flourish. Consider, for example, that Brown-Butter Carrot Cake. It’s on display in the picture at the end of this post. Carrot cake comes in many versions. This one is dense in carrot, no pineapple at all, and rich in butter. No oil. [I am definitely a butter over oil person!]

The second section, Classic American Brands, is what makes this book so distinctive and challenging. Imagine satisfying your craving for an Oreo or a Twinkie or a Three Musketeers Bar by making it yourself. Yup. There are chapters here for Cookies & Snacks, Puddings, Breakfast Treats, and Candies and & Candy Bars. Here, Stella give you recipes to create all those treats and so many more. Here replications cover so many of the sweet wonders you grew up with:

Pecan Sandies

Hostess Cupcakes complete with vanilla swirl on top

Pop Tarts

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Heath Toffee Bits

These are Stella’s versions, “close” to the real thing, authentic in that upgraded sense, but now freshly made in your kitchen with just regular ingredients — and none of the preservatives, fillers or chemicals that sit inside those wrapped goodies on store shelves. No, these are the “pure” wonders, uncluttered and ready for your enjoyment.

Section 3, Classic American Ice Cream, has a single chapter, Scoops & Fountain Specials. Here you’ll find frozen riches:

Devil’s Food Chocolate Ice Cream

Malted Butterscotch Sauce

Hershey’s Style Syrup

Bravetart does have tarts, but only her duplications of breakfast tart treats. No apple tarte tartin here, or salted caramel either. That’s fine. You can focus on what really counts: that filling for the Hostess cupcake.

You won’t know where to begin with Bravetart. It’s okay. Your journey with this book with probably never end.

Oh, I mentioned culinary history. There are very thorough histories of the classic desserts. Where fudge came, all about carrot cake, the legend of devil’s food and red velvet at the Waldorf-Astoria, and the origins of key lime pie. Ah, key limes. You’ll really want to read about those “key” limes. They don’t exist anymore. Despite the labels in your grocery store!