Lauren Chattman is a former pastry chef, a cookbook author, and an ardent home baker. As a mother of two small children, and with formal pastry training and restaurant experience, she has made a career out of translating upscale food trends into easy recipes that can be made at home, realistically and without stress, and enjoyed by the entire family. After earning her Ph.D. in English and teaching for two years at Yale University, Chattman moved to New York City with her husband and newborn daughter and enrolled in a professional pastry and baking program at The Institute for Culinary Education. Upon completion of an apprenticeship under Franois Payard at Restaurant Daniel, Chattman was hired as pastry chef at the prestigious Nick and Toni's restaurant in East Hampton, New York. She now develops her desserts in her own kitchen and focuses on making use of her store of tips, tricks, and shortcuts that enable busy cooks and bakers to create high - quality, family - pleasing food without a lot of fuss. Chattman is the best - selling author of several cookbooks. She is also the co - author, with Roland Mesnier, of Roland Mesnier's From Basic to Beautiful Cakes and Dessert University. Her recipes have appeared in Bon Apptit, Cook's Illustrated, Metropolitan Home, Redbook, and The New York Times. She has appeared on Today and QVC, demonstrating her knack for making delicious desserts in record time, and has been a spokesperson for Jif peanut butter and Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough.