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December 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Your Suggestions Needed (Baking)

Hello, hounds! For December, we're planning to select a baking cookbook, and we need your help in narrowing down all the wonderful baking books out there to 2-3 titles for the voting thread. Do you have a favorite baking book, one that you reach for around the holidays? If so, make a suggestions below!

Please keep in mind the following criteria as you make suggestions:
-- a book that can accommodate beginner to more advanced cooks
-- a book reasonably well-known which folks might be able to find in their libraries
-- a book on general baking would be preferable to a single-subject baking book (such as only cakes or pies), at least for this month

Please post your suggestions here, along with your comments. Then I'll narrow down our choices to two or three titles and post the thread for votes on November 10th. I look forward to reading your suggestions! Thanks for participating.

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  1. Well, here's a suggestion to get this thread started: "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book", by Marion Cunningham. I think it meets the criteria redwood2bay has listed. I happened to see it touted somewhere here in Chowhound's pages. I just *barely* bake, and would love to learn something new from this tome!

    1. I have a couple ideas:
      Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
      Rose Levy Baranbaum Pie & Pastry Bible or Cake Bible
      CIA Baking at Home
      a Maida Heatter dessert cookbook -- chocolate desserts, desserts, cookies, or cakes
      Nigella Lawson -- How to be a domestic goddess: baking and the art of comfort cooking
      The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker

      5 Replies
      1. re: NYchowcook

        ooh yes, nigella's "how to be a domestic goddess" would be fun.

        1. re: NYchowcook

          I want to rescind my recommendation of Flo Braker since it's old and may not be widely available (my library doesn't have a copy)

          I want to echo a recommendation for Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my home to yours -- it's new and received rave reviews including a starred review from Publisher's Weekly: "covers all the baking bases, from muffins, cookies and brownies to spoon desserts, pies and cobblers. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, and Greenspan uses everyday ingredients readily available to the home chef."

          1. re: NYchowcook

            The problem is, if it's new, I think it's just as (even more, perhaps) unlikely to be in libraries.

            1. re: Smokey

              Actually, the library closest to me generally really sucks, but they already have this on order, so it may not be too hard to find.

              1. re: Katie Nell

                I sit corrected! Your post made me decide to look into it in my library system and they do have copies. I hadn't expected they would because when Sherry Yard's book came out a few years ago (to many good reviews), my library system never bought it. So, I wasn't very optimistic.

        2. I'm not a big dessert person, so I'm looking forward to having fun with a whole new category of cookbooks! I bought "The All-American Dessert Book" by Nancy Baggett (great reviews) this year and it looks good, though I haven't made anything from it.

          http://www.amazon.com/All-American-De...

          Open to anything, though would especially like it if the book had a nice section on gift-giving treats for the holidays.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Rubee

            Funny, I tend to find my dessert sources from a variety of places, but never a "dessert" only cookbook. I'm flexible and fairly indifferent as to which book. I love making cookies and brownies because a cake is too much for two people to eat. Ok, maybe it isn't, but the two of us don't need to finish a whole cake by ourselves...

            But, I agree with Rubee, it would be great to have a book that has a section on holiday gift treats.

            1. re: beetlebug

              Also agree on holiday gift treats, though I don't know what the contenders have in that category.

              1. re: beetlebug

                It's weird. I have a million cookbooks and not one is dessert only. I find that all the cakes, cookies, puds, etc. I need are in the general cookbooks.

            2. Baking From My Home To Yours / Dorie Greenspan

              Baking HandBook / Martha Stewart

              Pie / Ken Haedrich

              Bittersweet / Alice Medrich

              Pie and Pastry Bible / RLB

              1. David Lebovitz, Room For Dessert
                there's an awesome ginger cake recipe, much reproduced online
                it's got everything but bread -- compotes, cakes, tarts, cookies, syrups, chocolate and fruit (but mostly fruit)

                2 Replies
                1. re: pitu

                  Where can I find it online? My searches have been fruitless.