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Good basic baking cookbook for a teen?

I need to get a present for a 13-year-old girl who likes to bake sweets. I'd like to get her a good baking cookbook that will move her to the next level. Something that explains techniques as well as recipes.

The party is tomorrow! Help!

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  1. "Bakewise" great recipes, with thorough explanations of why they work and how to apply their techniques to other recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      I think Bakewise would be terrific - that will set her up to be an even better baker for life. I would not worry AT ALL about it being intimidating.

    2. Fannie Farmer, Joy of Cooking, even Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cookery.

      13 year olds have a lot more interest, passion, and knowledge than most people think. There's no need to dumb it down.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caralien

        The Joy of Cooking ought to be handed to every high school kid when they start grade ten IMO.

      2. I'd recommend Nick Malgieri's cookbook " How to Bake" because it would not be intimidating introduction for a teen.

        I love Bakewise and Rose Levy Beranbaum's book but the detail might intimidate a beginning baker, unless they have a detail oriented personality.

        1. Bakewise is good if she loves details and wants to know the "whys" of what she's doing. I like America's Test Kitchen's Best Recipes series, too--there is a Best Baking. They talk about different recipes, what happened when they tried different things but isn't as detailed on the scientific explanation as Bakewise. Everything I've tried from the Best Recipes Baking has been good. I've read Bakewise but haven't tried the recipes (library book and didn't have time).

          1. Thank you everyone. I looked at all the recommended books, which were all really good and decided on Malgieri because it had more photos that I thought she'd appreciate.

            Of course, every time I go cookbook shopping, I end up buying one for myself. I found a used copy of "One Pot Spanish"(stews and paellas) by Penelope Casas which looks good.

            Thanks, Chowhounds!