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Nov 29, 2007 02:00 PM

Cookbook wishlist

I was asked to compile wishlist for the holidays and I found my eye wandering towards cookbooks. I made a short list:

Pure Desserts by Alice Medrich
Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma
The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali
Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt

I'm gravitating more towards dessert cookbooks and I'm not afraid to try new or difficult techniques. I'd like to think of myself as an intermediate cook... I've learned quite a bit in the kitchen, but still have lots more to go.

What do y'all think? Anyone used these books before? How do you like them? Would you add/take away anything from the list?

And for the fun of it: What's your cookbook wishlist?

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  1. el Bulli cookbook and Ducasse's (i forget the name) That is probably it for now. Especially as those 2 cost as much a a whole list of others.

    1. If I had to pick just one - Harold McGee's 'On Food and Cooking'.

      Not a cookbook, per se, but it's fascinating to read, and seems like it might really help give one the tools to cook more thoughtfully and independently (for me, at least, once I understand the properties of the ingredients and methods I'm using, I get much better at improvising and being creative with them).

      3 Replies
      1. re: chloe103

        Have it and love it. Great story behind it... my BF's mom gave us a copy because they were handing them out as "swag" for one of her org's events. Talk about a great party favor! :)

        I totally agree about understanding the principles behind the methods/ingredients. One of my first books was "On Cooking" by Lebensky and Hause. It's more of a textbook and I learned a lot from it.

        1. re: chloe103

          Good choice, this is one of my fave food related books ever! Everytime I cook something I end up looking up the ingredients and/or techniques in here and learning a lot...


          1. re: chloe103

            I love my copy of Harold McGee, and Shirley's Corrihers "Cookwise", but I am eagerly awaiting her "Bakewise" book. It is already 3+ years behind and I have been told that it might be 1 more year before it is on the shelves.

            It has been a very long time that I have discovered a cookbook that I want to add to my collection. Most recipes I see are variations on a very old theme.

          2. If you're interested in dessert cookbooks you should add The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chantarelle by Kate Zuckerman to your list. Marvelous recipes, and terrific on technique and ingredient info.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JoanN

              Joan --- I just got this book (The Sweet Life) and it looks beautiful. Any recipes you'd recommend in particular? I think someone on another thread had mentioned a simple apple cake with a crunchy top but I don't see that in the book.

              1. re: karykat

                I've only made three recipes from it so far, but every one has been a winner. The apple cake is called Spiced Apple and Sour Cream Cake and it's wonderful! The Meyer Lemon Curd Tart is the best I've ever had. And it's Meyer lemon time so I'll be doing it again very soon. I don't usually make candy, but the Almond Honey Caramel Chews are positively addictive. I'm not big on cheesecake, but a friend of mine made the Goat Cheesecake Enrobed in Hazelnut Brittle and he said that, too, was a huge success at one of his dinner parties.

                1. re: karykat

                  Just remembered, I have a photo of the Meyer Lemon Curd Tart.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Sold! Joan, you happen to hit on my all-time favorite dessert: lemon tarts. I'm a huge lemon fan and I especially love Meyer lemons. That picture is gorgeous! I'm also intrigued by the Goat Cheesecake.

              2. My mom, who is an amazing baker, recently bought the Tartine Cookbook on a visit to my brother who lives 2 BLOCKS away from the bakery, lucky guy. She's made 4 things from the book, was disappointed by two, liked one and loved the 4th (scones).

                1 Reply
                1. re: heathermb

                  I thought the scones were really good; the gingerbread tiles (I even bought a springerle roller from Sur La Table) were ok, though beautiful -- something about the spices made my tongue a bit numb. Not as delicious as soft gingerbread cookies I've had in the past.