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Complaint re December 2006 Cookbook of Month - D. Greenspan

I have a pretty big complaint about the Greenspan baking book. I have searched my local libraries and have found that ALL of them have waiting lines (SF was, I think, 17 people) and it is quite expensive. I can't afford to pay big bucks for a baking cookbook unless I really know it's great and have tried it. Since I can't get my hands on a copy, and since there seem to be NO online recipes, even from her earlier books (unlike Nigella and Wolfert and Oliver, et al), I'm going to have to bow out of the competition.

Unless I can sneak into a bookstore, peruse the book and then copy down a recipe without being seen..... I give up.

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  1. I got my copy from Jessica's biscuit for about 22-25 dollars.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Becca Porter

      Mine came from Amazon amd was not excessive. I bought 3, 1 for me and 2 as gifts.

    2. The recipe that I'm going to use I found on-line (For Blondies) Dorie also was on NPR quite a bit this past week and they posted a couple of her recipes from the book:

      White out Cake:


      I dunno if these were in the book, but they look just WONDERFUL!! :) Especially if you want to experiment and make Marshmellows!


      I admit, I'm the biggest internet recipe fiend. I find the BEST source are usually Newspapers (That is where I found mine) and News orgs (like NPR) since they typically do stories where they just so HAPPEN to highlight a new cookbook. And in return they are allowed to post up recipes for their audience. ;)

      Hope this helps Joan!!


      1 Reply
      1. re: Dommy

        I believe there is a mistake in the recipe for marshmallows, both in the book and on the NPR website. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 c. + 1 Tbl. of sugar, but the instructions never tell you when to add the 1 Tbl. I'm pretty sure it's to the egg whites, because they'd never get glossy without it.

      2. Thanks Dommy. I had Googled D.G. and could find no recipes at all. I balk at paying $25+ for a cookbook I don't think I'd use all that much. I'm excited at trying some stuff but am not really anxious to own a whole book on baking.

        I also don't think I'll ever try to make marshmallows as I don't like them at all --- unless they're toasted over a campfire.

        Again, thanks for the lings and I'll try again online. I actually did find a recipe, but it was from her Parisian pastries-type cookbook.

        Just looked at your links and found that I might try the chocolate cake with a different filling/frosting. The autumn cake looks great as well.

        See, no matter what they say WHINING WORKS!

        3 Replies
        1. re: oakjoan

          You are welcome. I admit, I do have good searching skills as I used to work as a Science Library Librarian's Research Assistant and thanks to the world of bloggers... They can "paraphrase" for me... Here's a bunch more recipes DIRECTLY from the book..











          Oh, and there is always the saying "The squeaky wheel gets to the grease!" ;



          1. re: Dommy

            Very impressive research skills, Dommy! Can you give us recipe-loving hounds a couple of pointers on how you found so many recipes? Did you use any particular search engines, or some other technique?

            1. re: pilinut

              The best thing to do when looking for recipes from a specific book, is put the book title in quotes "Your Cookbook" This will limit the search to only that specific cookbook, then add the REQUIREMENT of Recipe (so search for "Your Cooking Book" +Recipe) this will clear away just any reference of the book that is for sale (There are TONS of these because amazon links are everywhere).

              Then when you get the results, look for the sources to be blogs, newspapers and food specific websites. Odds are they will have a recipe...

              I use Yahoo mostly, but Google is fine too...


        2. Global Gourmet usually has a short article and links to recipes. I made the wonderful pumpkin pie from this link. The French Lemon Cream Tart sounds so good too.

          1. How about if someone scanned the recipes and then emailed them to you? Everyone on this thread is very friendly.

            1. I am having the same issue as oakjoan. It's an incredibly popular library book and it's new. So, as a library user, I have two strikes. I also requested this early, before we did the initial vote, but it's still not close to coming in for me. However, I did find a number of additional sites to supplement Dommy!'s list. It's just as well, I don't think my waistline (or C's waistline) can stand a month of baking...







              1. Joan,
                I'm one of the 17 who reserved the book in S.F.....however after having made the "Cranberry Upside Downer" ...which came together well....You can take my reservation..
                This 'cake' had no redeeming qualities for me.....I didn't care for the cake, not the taste, not the texture! The other recipes which Dommy found (way to go Dommy!) held no appeal for me whatsoever...but then I have a slight aversion to the texture of mushy cooked fruit in recipes...and this seemed a common theme.....there was always something in the recipes that didn't appeal to MY taste (a very personal opinion ofcourse !)...ex. cinnamon and chocolate (don't like Mexican Choc. combination) or Marshmallow as a frosting for chocolate cake, or whiskey in Butterscotch pudding...these may work for you,...so I give you my reservation for this tome!

                6 Replies
                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                  Dear CFD

                  Thank you ever so much for giving me your res! I, however, was talking about the Oakland Library list. I also checked SF and Berkeley. Thanks to Dommy, I have more than enough recipes to choose from. I partially agree with your assessment of this book. As I said above, I also don't like marshmallows, either alone or in any recipe (espec. cake filling - yuck). But I did see a few things I'd love to try which are online.

                  So, Derek, you might want to put the word out that there's an extra res at the SF Lib. Thanks again and again to Derek and Dommy and any others who posted recipe links here.

                  What a bunch of sweeties you guys are!

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    The recipe that CFD is referring to doesn't literally use marshmallow as filling or frosting on the cake. It's basically an Italian meringue buttercream. But, instead of adding butter, it's just the egg whites, simple syrup and (I think, don't have book in front of me) some vanilla. I actually think it sounds quite appealing. To each their own.

                    I'm not sold on the book as a whole (I've read it pretty extensively thinking about what I'll make in December!), and I doubt I would buy it (I was able to check it out of a local library). But there are definitely some recipes I'll be trying.

                    1. re: Smokey

                      I've already been cooking from this cookbook and I'm not entirely sold on it either.

                      I've made 4 recipes in the last week. So far I've got one home run, way far out of the park in the Corn Muffins, a solid triple with the Cranberry Upside Down cake, which I made with a few modifications (cooked in a 10" fluted tart pan w/removable bottom and glazed with raspberry jelly, not currant) and took it to a meeting this afternoon to rave reviews. The pumpkin bundt cake would probably rate only a single but it was good with excellent texture and crumb, but very mild flavor, there are better versions out there. And one clear strike-out with the Salt & Pepper Cocoa cookies which were....uh......basically AWFUL. Not sure where I'll go next with it, but I will keep cooking from it for a while.

                      The one thing I've been struck by with the book is the ease with which the recipes come together and the exceptionally light, airy and tender texture and crumb most of these recipes have produced.

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        Oh, too sad about the salt and pepper cookies... I was wanting to try those ones out!! :-(

                  2. re: ChowFun_derek

                    Derek, I cannot believe you didn't like this cake. I made it last night thinking I might not like the combo of cinnamon/cranberries. I absolutely loved it. The cake was really tender and soft with some crispy edges, and the cranberry/nut topping was tart and crunchy.

                    I used to not like cooked fruit. I am so glad I kept trying, because I can't get enough of it now.

                    Btw, did you try the Worldpeace cookies before you took your book back?

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      I never got the book...it is still on reserve...but the other recipes in the links provided don't appeal to me either...and her brownie and Chocolate chip cookie recipe seem quite ordinary....
                      Different tastes...... the cranberry thing was revolting......nothing melded into a harmonious whole for my taste buds...quite assaulting...
                      Finally...a book I don't have to buy!!

                  3. I'm sure other Chowhounds, including myself, would be happy to post a paraphrased version or e-mail you a version of any recipe you are wanting to try! Don't hesitate to ask me at least! :-)

                    1. Kudos to everyone for stepping in with links to recipes! This was the issue that worried me most about this book-- that it's so new and popular it might be difficult for some folks to get hold of. I am on the road right now, visiting relatives, but I noticed that the Nov/Dec 2006 issue of AARP magazine has an article by Ms. Greenspan with several recipes, including some chocolate mini cakes, a pie, and a bundt cake. Might be worth checking out-- I'm not sure if these are in the book, but they definitely seem to be the same kind of cooking. Hope that helps.

                      1. I don't think anyone has posted this Library of Congress link with several recipes.


                        But I hereby nominate Dommy! as "Official Cookbook of the Month Online Recipe Searcher"! Wow, great search skills.

                        1. Julesrules. I already thanked Dommy for the help. Now thank you as well. The Lib. of Congress site had several recipes, including the BROWNIES all are raving about.

                          You certainly do rule!