Baking is about memories: recipes handed down from generation to generation and tastes that conjure childhood—think of Proust’s madeleines or your mom’s chocolate cake. Sweets are often bound up in our emotional life as adults, too: they’re how we reward ourselves or our children, how we celebrate holidays, birthdays, and special occasions, and how we honor guests. In Baking from the Heart, more than fifty of the nation’s preeminent bakers share their recipes for cookies, cakes, and other dessert favorites, and the memories of why they hold that recipe dear. From the Apple Snacking Spice Cake that Joanna Chang made her fourth-grade teacher to show her how much she loved her to the Polvorones that were a Sunday after-church treat in Miguel Ravago’s home, these are recipes—and stories—to treasure. When James Beard Award–winner Greg Patent was a teenager, he won a trip to New York City to compete in the Pillsbury Bake-Off with his Cherry-Apricot Coconut Bars. Forty years later, his mother earned a place in that same competition with her Walnut Fudge Bars. World-renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres tucked a few pints of hand-picked Michigan blueberries into his luggage so he could again make Blueberry Dame Blanche, the jam-filled cookies he made when he was a child in France, with his aging mother. For her son Gio’s first Valentine’s Day at school, Food TV’s Gale Gand concocted Marshmallow Heart Throbs, a cupcake he could cut into the shape of a heart. When Jimmy Schmidt’s family vacationed in Wisconsin, his contribution to his mother’s Black Walnut Pound Cake were the walnuts he picked and shelled with his siblings, aided by their father who would crack the hulls by driving over them in his ’55 Chevy. Like many of the other contributors, Jimmy Schmidt serves up two recipes with reminiscences (the walnut cake and his Blueberry Slump) for our delectation. Baking from the Heart is also sweet inspiration for anyone who wants to join in The Great American Bake Sale™. When Share Our Strength—the nation’s preeminent hunger-fighting organization—joined with PARADE magazine to launch The Great American Bake Sale™ in 2003, the country’s response was overwhelming: nearly half a million people baked, bought, or sold, raising over a million dollars to end childhood hunger. (More information appears inside.) A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book benefit Share Our Strength, one of the nation’s preeminent anti-hunger agencies.