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America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book- for 13yr old?

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I just saw this book at Costco the other day & realized later that this may be a good gift for DD's friend's upcoming birthday. Oftentimes when I've gone to pick up my girls from friend's house, they've baked some cookie or other (nothing fancy, yet :). I asked DD if friend uses a cookbook & she said "no, basically recipes from the internet or from back of packages". I didn't look through the book at Costco so don't know how appealing or complex the recipes are. Would this work for a 7th grader? Thanks.

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  1. It would be FANTASTIC for a 13 year old girl. The recipes are foolproof and detailed and the Cook's Illustrated books have the added benefit of being very scientifically based-- in many ways, they attack cooking and baking with a very systematic, hypothesis based approach, which may appeal to an inquisitive mind or budding scientist. But then, I'm a grown-up science girl, so I'm biased!

    1. I love all of the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks. I'm not sure though if they'd be good for a 13 year old. The two primary reasons I can think of is that the recipes are a bit labor intensive and tend to call for higher quality ingredients. I think a good old Better Homes & Gardens or Betty Crocker would be better, that's how I learned when I was that age. Another idea would be trying a Borders or Barnes & Noble, they have a lot of their cookbooks on sale this time of year, you could probably pick up a nice one that focuses on desserts and cookies with lots of pretty pictures for a decent price.

      1. I say go for it. If some of the recipes are too advanced for her, she can always come back to them later as she acquires more baking skills. It's not like a sweater she'll outgrow. :)

        1. I would have loved to get kind of present when I was 13 years old. Heck, I'd love to get it now. It makes me think of a Sunday when I was 12--my folks let me stay home alone and bake chocolate cookies from scratch. Buy the book!

          1. When I was about that age, my aunt gave me the Mrs. Fields cookie cookbook. I have to confess, I still use it. There's a wide variety of cookies, and none are too overwhelming. It's also printed very clearly.

            1. I would definitely buy it. Even if some of the recipes are too complex, she'll treasure it.

              My birthday is coming up. hint.. :)

              1. ATK has a Family Cookbook as well - this would have both baked goods and other basic info for newbie cooks so it might be more useful in the long run.

                1. Thank you all for your input, I decided to go ahead and get the ATK Family Baking Book. Thumbing through the pages, it seemed intimidating at first; however, a closer look revealed well written traditional recipes, many with relatively easy to follow instructions. In other words, a great teaching cookbook.

                  BTW, friend's daughter & few other girls was baking up a storm this past weekend for a bake sale to help two kids in Uganda & were using 500 cookies & 500 cupcakes cookbooks. Some cookies/cupcakes didn't turn out so well & some came out okay.

                  Birthday girl may not be interested in the more complicated recipes at this time but hopefully as she tries the simpler ones, she'll gain confidence to try new things. Hopefully, the ATK book will point her in the right direction & she'll treasure the book for years to come :)