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December 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Cast Your Vote Here

Thanks to all the hounds who suggested baking titles for our December 2006 cookbook of the month. I've about 50 pounds of baking cookbooks from the library stacked in my living room. Almost all of them looked interesting and made me eager to bake: it was a tough task to narrow down our list to three. I apologize to you in advance if your favorite baking cookbook isn't on this list-- in this category, there is an embarrassment of riches.

Please remember that we aren't selecting the "best" baking cookbook out there but rather one that a decent-sized group of hounds would be willing to bake from in December.

Please vote for ONE of the following:
-- BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS by Dorie Greenspan

If you are unfamiliar with any of these, I would suggest taking a look at your local library or bookstore. They are very different in their own ways, but all offer a variety of different baking recipes for the home cook.

Please attach your votes to this thread. Voting will be open until midnight (Pacific Standard Time), Sunday, November 12th. I'll announce the December cookbook on Monday, November 13th.

Thanks for participating!

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  1. Martha Stewart Baking
    Because I have it. I just bought 2 baking cookbooks that are not on the list.

    1. My vote is for Martha Stewart. The main reason is because of my access to the books at the library. There are more copies of the MS books in the library system which gives me the opportunity to keep it through early January. Baking from My Home to Yours looks wonderful (I checked them all out on Amazon) but the book only came out in September. Consequently, all copies at the library have holds or requests on them. As for the Fanny Farmer book, that also looks quite informative but, oddly enough, out of the entire library system, there is only one copy.

      In fairness to all three books. they all look great. I better start running again because I feel my waistline expanding just thinking about all this baking. ;-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: beetlebug

        I concur re: martha stewart for all the same reasons with regard to my library system

        Editing now; well took a look at the Greenspan book and I'll say it looks pretty good. So how about one vote for each--

      2. martha stewart's please :)

        1. Dorie Greenspan!
          I checked it out of the library and it has everything -- from muffins to galettes, about 20 brownies, cookies, cakes -- and I want to make them all! Home cook friendly, very respected baker (co-wrote baking w/ Julia), so I have confidence and am eager to explore her repetoire (the point of book of the month, IMHO)
          I usually don't buy a book until it's time to return to the library and I recognize a reluctance to part with it. But this book I'm ordering right away.

            1. I've been looking forward to the December selection, because I *love* baking for the holidays!

              All three books do sound great - my vote is for the Marion Cunningham, which is a classic (and which is readily available in my library - the BPL lists 8 copies in circulation.)

              Second choice would be the Martha Stewart - while the Dorrie Greenspan book sounds wonderful and she seems to have a personable writing style, the fact that it apparently doesn't cover yeasted breads is a minus for me.

              1. I vote for The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, a purely subjective choice: A self described "beginner baker" has written (in Amazon reviews) that everything tried has turned out "terrific". I also like the fact that this is an older, tried-and-true type book, described as "encyclopedic".
                The Martha Stewart (in a review by Publisher's Weekly) points out that almost every recipe requires a stand-up mixer,(!) and that she is selling "the fantasy of wealth" as well as cooking technique. Ick.
                The Dorie Greenspan, if there are no yeasted breads as a poster notes above, I'd veto this as a baking book this time.
                So, "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book" gets my vote!

                1 Reply
                1. re: blue room

                  Most baking recipes "these days" say to use a stand mixer, but it's obviously not a requirement.

                  I will be happy with any of the choices!

                2. Greenspan please.It is the book I will be baking from anyway. I do not and will not own a M Stewart book. Any thing I have tried from any of her books was badly flawed. I don't own Fannie Farmer and don't need it.

                  The Last COurse by Claudia Fleming would be another great choice with so much variety or Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Baking newly revised.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Candy

                    The Fleming book has wonderful stuff in it.

                    1. re: JudiAU

                      If it has more than a few baking recipes (rather than just ice cream, mousses, etc.) I'd really love to do the Flemming. I've made her oatmeal stout gingerbread three times now and it's absolutely great.

                      Second choice would be Fanny Farmer - I love Cunningham.

                  2. Another vote for the Dorrie Greenspan book

                    1. I vote for Martha Stewart's "Baking Handbook". I bought it because of rave reviews.

                      1. Martha Stewart-- the others may be more worthy but I have the MS. Actually, I bought it primarily because the photos are so excellent I thought it would inspire me regardless of whether I used the recipes (I know, I know I have a problem)

                        I wold be interested to hear if the recipes themselves are good although I admit in of the MS recipes I've tried have always needed the sugar cut down.

                        1. I vote for Fannie Farmer. I own a few Martha books(I haven't had any problems with her cook books), but am enjoying trying new books. I've gotten all the books from my library and haven't had any problems getting them.. It may take a bit of time (it's a really small library) but they do come. Thanks again for organizing this and taking all the time to do the research!

                          1. Dorie Greenspan. I hate Martha.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sugarbuzz

                              I vote for Martha's book. In addition she is a Chow Chow owner and lover and I have to answer to my two: Rufus and Zoe, AKA Devil Chow and His Missus, on the list.

                            2. I vote for Fannie Farmer. I like the idea of trying a traditional book with recipes for many old favorites.

                              1. I vote for Dorie Greenspan!

                                1. While the Greenspan one appeals, I vote for MARTHA since I've been wanting to explore that book for a while. Both books are clearly popular since I've had to get on the waitlist for both of them from my library system.

                                  I've found Martha's magazine recipes to be hit or miss, but several hounds have praised this book and it was on many top cookbook lists when it came out. Based on JudiAU's comment, I want to drool over the photos too!

                                  1. Dorie Greenspan for sure!

                                    1. Oh I have just got to suggest one that until this afternoon I did not know existed. It now has a place in my kitchen. How I missed Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duiguid's Home Baking I don't know. Published 3 years ago. Wow! What a book! It is a gorgeous and thorough as thier other books and I am itching to get baking from it. It covers all of the bases savoury and sweet. Great clear instructions and inspiring photos. What I can't figure is how I never knew about this super book.

                                      1. Ok, so what's the final tally? I'm dyin' to get ahold of the chosen book and start drooling (excuse me, planning!)

                                        1. Oh, no, we have a tie! Martha Stewart and Dorie Greenspan each have seven votes, with Marion Cunningham coming in very close with five.

                                          My own vote would be for Dorie Greenspan, but I don't feel comfortable casting the deciding vote for all the hounds in the cookbook of the month project (especially since the Greenspan book is so new-- though I saw it at Costco the other day for $24.99).

                                          Bear with me folks-- there will be a run-off voting thread between Martha and Dorie. Please vote AGAIN if you voted here (and if you didn't vote here, feel free to vote there). Only the votes on the other thread will count. I'm also hoping the chowhound mods will lock this thread after this post. Sorry for the delay!