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November/December 2010: Baking Cookbook of the Month Nominations (Through Wed., 10/13)

With great enthusiasm, we now open the nomination thread for a Baking Cookbook of Two Months.

In order to serve as many bakers as possible, please divide your nominations into two categories: General Baking and Holiday Baking. The line between the two is fuzzy but a general baking book might include breads, muffins, and pancakes, while a holiday boook would have a dessert concentration with cakes, pies, and, of course, cookies.

When making a nomination, please include the book type and the name of the book in ALL CAPITAL letters. [General: BAKING WITH JULIA]

There will be a limit of two nominations per book type per poster (for a total of four.) If you change your mind please use the following example as your guide: MINUS General: BAKING WITH JULIA. I will remove your minus nomination and change it to your new one.

The Baking Cookbook of The Month is open to anyone who wants to participate. Simply make a nomination, then vote and then cook. There are no dues to participate; no secret handshake to learn. Join us!

Please note that nominations are counted and only the top vote getters make it to the voting round. If you want your choice to advance, make sure you participate in the nomination round.

TheDairyQueen created a list of previous Dessert Threads here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7351...

But tell us in ALL CAPITALS, if you want your nomination to be counted, please. Nominations will be open until Midnight, EDT on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13.

Let the nominations begin!

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  1. smtucker, I laughed when I saw your instructions on what to do in case you change your mind--very patient of you! I think I would just warn everyone to *choooz carefully*..

    David Leibovitz mentions this lady once in a while--Flo Braker. I have one of her books, "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking". It has recipes, but is maybe 50% a how-to/the-science-of type book. So I'll just put her name out here ** Flo Braker ** and wait to see if anyone might be interested enough to nominate her, is familiar with her other books. The recipes I've tried (via David Lebovitz) have been excellent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: blue room

      I've had Flo Braker's "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking" since it was first published in the mid-80s. That book is exclusively cakes and pastries--no breads, no cookies. And no photographs, which some might find disturbing especially in a baking book.

      That said, her recipe for Crystal Almond Pound Cake is probably my favorite cake of all time. I'm not sure this would be the best book for COTM just because the subject matter is somewhat limited, but I would heartily recommend that anyone not familiar with it remedy that pronto.

      1. re: JoanN

        I received this book as a gift from someone who used to work with me back in the mid-80s, but I have never tried the Crystal Almond Pound Cake. I will have to remedy that. And I agree that it is not the best choice for a BCOTM.

    2. smtucker, I love that you've created a mechanism to accommodate us changing our minds!

      Do you wish for us to do all four of our nominations at once? Or can we do them piecemeal as long as we keep track and don't go over two+two? For instance, using our previous procedures, I would have replied to blue room's post and seconded (or firsted, I guess, since blue room didn't formally nominate it) the nomination for Flo Braker by typing art of perfect baking+flo braker in all caps, except that I'm not sure I can do them one-off like that or if you want them all at once.

      Thank you for organizing us!

      ~TDQ

      3 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Piecemeal is fine. I keep a spreadsheet so my counts can be documented in the Court Of Chowhound, District of Cookbook of the Month, Judge Beef Bourguignon, presiding. :-)

        1. re: smtucker

          Yikes! Just hope Chef BB doesn't wield a cleaver instead of a gavel!

          Revenons a nos moutons*, I only have one dessert cookbook: Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich which was Dessert COTM a while ago.

          1. re: oakjoan

            Judge Dan Dan Noodle wields the cleaver. Judge BB uses a simple 10" chef's knife. :-)

      2. Wow! This just made me realize I only have one cookbook devoted to desserts- CLASSIC SOUTHERN DESSERTS from the editors of Southern Living. From their cover: All time Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Puddings, Cobblers, Ice Cream & More. I find their recipes are very well tested & therefore provide good instructions that work well in the home kitchen. Not all are from scratch recipes, but I can easily sub scratch where appropriate.

        I look forward to seeing all the nominations & then hopefully I can get to my library in time to scoop up any winners before anyone else does :)

        1. I'm new to the COTM group, but I'd really like to try Sherry Yard's DESSERTS BY THE YARD. Also, I was just at the Orlando Food and Wine Festival and the guys from Baked in Brooklyn were promoting their book BAKED: NEW FRONTIERS IN BAKING. They like to to a lot of twists on traditional desserts.

          8 Replies
          1. re: jindomommy

            jindomommy: I'm going to have to look up those Brooklyn guys.

            I looked at Desserts by the Yard a while ago and found it to contain too many recipes that were difficult or required lots of work. It seemed more of a pro book. She had recipes for desserts she made, e.g., for the Academy Awards dinner, etc.

            1. re: oakjoan

              The recipes in BAKED are nice but they are big (as in they make one large cake, 2 loaves, 24-30 cupcakes etc) and often expensive to make. I would rather see a book nominated that is really written for the home cook, rather than scaled down commercial recipes.

              1. re: oakjoan

                Hmmm. I just got the Baked books (raffle luck!) and I don't see outsized anything. One 9' pie, 24 brownies/cookies, etc. looks standard. The choices look very down to earth to me - unfancy, updated homey and I like their informative conversational writing style. Haven't BAKED from it yet, but I'd like to . . . I just don't bake that often.

                So I'll nominate BAKED (along with their new one BAKED EXPLORATIONS, which I'm guessing is too new for easy access, libraries etc)

                For the sake of comparison, my go-to sweet book is David Lebovitz "Ready For Dessert", and I like Regan Daley's In The Sweet Kitchen but find that one a little too too for me sometimes. Everything I've made has been a success, but she does require beyond-my-pantry ingredients.

                I'M WONDERING: do folks want a more professional-leaning/complicated book? I'm not looking for the challenge, but most of you all are more experienced I think...

                1. re: pitu

                  pitu, in response to your "I'm wondering" question--books like David Lebovitz's (desserts) are exactly right--he is a professional who knows good stuff, but also knows how to make it in a regular kitchen.

                  1. re: blue room

                    Agree. Also, David Lebovitz books have a nice little twist but aren't too exotic or complicated.

                    Also like In the Sweet Kitchen.

              2. re: jindomommy

                Welcome Jin!

                Can you post your nominations with either GENERAL or HOLIDAY? I am not a baking cookbook expert and don't have the knowledge to divide them into their appropriate types. Thanks!

                1. re: jindomommy

                  Since jindo mentioned Sherry Yard, I will nominate her earlier book which I think is a really good one. (We've talked about it on the other thread.) It's less of a "pro book" than Desserts by the Yard but still has interesting twists along with solid foundations on the basics. I looked in the index to the book on Amazon and there are lots of cookie recipes there. And lots of other things for those less interested in cookies. There are also lots of used copies available on amazon at good prices.

                  So I hereby formally nominate:

                  HOLIDAY: THE SECRETS OF BAKING, SIMPLE TECHNIQUES FOR SOPHISTICATED DESSERTS, BY SHERRY YARD.

                  Table of contents and index available here from amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Baking-...

                  1. re: karykat

                    Karykat, I'm feeling a little stingy with my one remaining "holiday" nomination, but I did think this book looked pretty great, so, I'm going to second your nomination:

                    HOLIDAY: THE SECRETS OF BAKING, SIMPLE TECHNIQUES FOR SOPHISTICATED DESSERTS, BY SHERRY YARD

                    ~TDQ

                2. HOLIDAY: THE GOURMET COOKIE BOOK: THE SINGLE BEST RECIPE FROM EACH YEAR 1941-2009
                  (for those who don't have access to a copy of the book http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7316...

                  )

                  HOLIDAY: CHEWY GOOEY CRISPY CRUNCHY Alice Medrich

                  GENERAL: GOOD TO THE GRAIN: BAKING WITH WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS Kim Boyce
                  EDIT: Here's a link to Caitlin's thread about this book: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7028...

                  I'm reserving my second general nomination for now.

                  (I'm sorry to be full of questions, smtucker, but you say to put the "type" in all caps, but in your example, you have the type in lowercase...).

                  ~TDQ

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    You are right. I have been inconsistent. To be honest, as long as the title is in CAPS I can find the type if it is there. But, I think your nominations above are the pinnacle of nominations, and can be an example to all! ;-0

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      My hesitation with regard to your first two nominated books, TDQ, is that they are brand new (although I gather that many or most of the Gourmet recipes are available online). This means that they will be less available used and from libraries, and also that there is little testimony regarding their overall quality and consistency. (Not that I don't have faith in Medrich.)

                      Have you looked at or used the Medrich book yet, TDQ?

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Caitlin, both excellent points.

                        I think nearly all of the recipes for the Gourmet Book are in that link I posted along with my nomination (I counted one year missing. I think there might be one or two recipes that have been swapped out, but I think it's almost a 1 for 1 correspondence between the recipes in the link and the recipes in the book. I have the book coming from the library and will do a comparison when it arrives, but if someone who already has the book and wants to cook from it wants to do that check for us, my toes would not feel stepped on!)

                        Here the link is again: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7316...
                        Also, here's another helpful link re: the Gourmet Cookie Book:
                        http://www.gourmet.com/search/query?k...&

                        As for testimony on this book, I think if you wanted to look up the ratings on epicurious you could get a sense of whether these recipes work or not. I know pikawicca has cooked a recipe or two from the book with good success (refer to the same thread I linked), so, I'm encouraged. In addition, when that cookie issue from Gourmet came out, people reported back on some of the recipes in alkapal's thread (there's a link to THAT in that same thread, too) with good results.

                        And, nope, I haven't cooked from the Medrich book, but she is coming to town and I know I will be cooking from the book, so, I thought I would nominate it. I like and trust her recipes, so, I am taking the chance that I'll lilke this book too and that other Medrich fans might feel the same way. But, I understand if people don't, of course.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Well, clearly access isn't much of a problem with the Gourmet book, provided people are up for using recipes online! I do think access might be more of an issue with regard to the Medrich book, given that its release date is November 12. This means that, if my library system has ordered it, it will not be in circulation until mid-November, and there are unlikely to be used copies at decent discounts until at least after the holidays. Not that this disallows the book; but it will be a barrier for those not already planning to buy it right away.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            You know, that's a really good point about the Medrich book. It won't even be available for 25% of the time we'll be baking, which doesn't make sense at all. I think I'm going to withdraw my nomination on that using smtucker's new mechanism:

                            MINUS Holiday CHEWY GOOEY CRISPY CRUNCHY Alice Medrich

                            ~TDQ

                    2. So many decisions already! I see 2 all-cookie choices, the Gourmet book which has one cookie deemed "year's best" from every year since 1941. (1946 is a stand-out obvious holiday cookie!)
                      Also "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy", not out for sale yet, but arranged by *texture*-- fun, good plan.
                      The "Baked...New Frontiers..." loox a little gimmicky, not all that new...?
                      A friend swears by Sherry Yard. No clear choice for me yet, but I'll nominate
                      HOLIDAY: THE SIMPLE ART OF PERFECT BAKING by Flo Braker
                      to add to the mix. Most of all, it looks like really solid dessert baking, but I sure noticed the make-ahead cranberry sorbet topped with make-ahead chocolate meringue mushrooms (or bells, or stars, or ?) What a pretty thing for the table.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: blue room

                        I haven't a single baking book (well, maybe a bread book my husband bought me years ago that I really haven't looked at). I like making cakes/desserts and did it fairly often (mostly from magazines, other cookbooks) until the last year or so. So I really just don't have any idea what books are out there and available. I have to say that my drothers leads me to want a cookie book for the holidays, and the Gourmet book looks like it could be a real winner. The more info I read, the more I'll know what I want to vote for - so bring it on!

                      2. Im confused about your categories SM Tucker. Are we going to have two books, one general baking and one holiday?
                        Where would a dessert book that is not dedicated to holiday desserts specifically fall.

                        And, many dessert books have stuff like crackers, quick breads, etc (im thinking about Maide Heatter's here)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Jen,

                          I tried to take this suggestion from the discussion thread. If it is a dessert book then I would consider it a HOLIDAY book. A book with dinner rolls, flatbreads, or perhaps breakfast buns and scones would be GENERAL. I am relying on those that bake, i.e. people who are nominating books, to make this determination.

                          So in short, you decide!

                          1. re: smtucker

                            thanks - but the end result is going to be two books, a GENERAL book and a HOLIDAY book? sorry to be dense. The sorts of things I think about are stuff like cookies, pie or stollen or similar scandinavian christmas pastries.. The latter I would eat as a breakfast pastry but it would be a holiday treat.

                            So I guess unless the book is bread/savory baking only or a general baking book (sweet and savory) it would fall into the holiday category.

                            on the assumption that the above is correct, I nominate for HOLIDAY two books by Maida Heatter: the BOOK OF GREAT DESSERTS (her original) and MAIDA HEATTER'S COOKIES.

                            for General, I nominate Carol Field's THE ITALIAN BAKER. and THE GREAT SCANDINAVIAN BAKING BOOK, by Beatrice Ojakangas.

                            I guess i was hoping wed concentrate on cookie and holiday recipes - this seems to be covering the whole baking universe!

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              That is the hope! But as they say on some TV station "Watch what happens!"

                        2. I don't know if I'm going to officially nominate, just because I think I'd be happy with any choice. But, just want to throw Carole Walter's Great Cookies out there if anyone else wants to officially nominate it.

                          And I think it's funny that I can go on Amazon, and pretty much see all of these books being discussed on the front page because 'customers who viewed this also viewed...'! Hhmmm... wonder who those other customers are?! ;-)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Katie Nell

                            Yes, and it works the same way with "customers who bought this also bought..." I always think, wow, look at that string of COTMs!

                            ~TDQ

                          2. Hope I am doing this right...MINUS: Holiday...DESSERTS BY THE YARD and BAKED: NEW FRONTIERS IN BAKING.

                            I am using my vote for: HOLIDAY: THE SECRETS OF BAKING, SIMPLE TECHNIQUES FOR SOPHISTICATED DESSERTS, BY SHERRY YARD.

                            GENERAL: MAIDA HEATTER CAKES. This book has a section on yeast cakes and buns.

                            I'm thinking the Maida Heatter nomination is timely because I'm willing to bet that she will appear on Top Chef Just Desserts and well, she's like in her 90's... I think she would be tickled if she found out that a bunch of Chowhounders picked her book for BOTM. I love Maida Heatter.

                            1. I'm really confused - is there going to be a COTM for November as usual, or is it being replaced by the Baking/Holiday books?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: greedygirl

                                greedygirl, my understand is the Baking COTM will be for Nov & Dec and in addition to the regular COTM.

                                And, now, I hate to do this, but I'm going to withdraw my nomination for my general COTM. I would still love to cook from this book as a group, but, who am I kidding re: Nov and Dec? With regular COTM and "Holiday" Baking COTM, there's no way I'm going to have time for a significant of general baking on top of it, so, while I'm happy to bake along to books others nominate, I don't think I should be the primary advocate of any "general" baking book.

                                So, apologies to all for any confusion and to smtucker for any additional work, but:

                                MINUS GENERAL: GOOD TO THE GRAIN: BAKING WITH WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS Kim Boyce

                                ~TDQ

                                1. I need some help here. I would like to nominate one of Maida Heatter's cookie books, but after reading various reviews on Amazon I am totally confused. It seems as though one title (which?) is a compilation of recipes from a number of other titles. And then there's the paperback coming out early next year. Which book is that one? I have her "Great American Desserts," but would be happy to add one more. Which one should it be and why?

                                  I'll also nominate Kate Zuckerman's THE SWEET LIFE because I think it's a terrific book and I've made very little from it.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    Oooh, I have The Sweet Life, JoanN, and would love to cook from it. If it's a "general" baking book, I can second the nomination. But, if you consider it a "holiday" book I cannot, because I have "spent" my two allotted nominations.

                                    Maida Heatter sounds fantastic, too!

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I didn't know how to characterize Kate's book so I just avoided that question altogether. It's really a dessert book as opposed to a baking book since it has fruit, sorbet, custard, and soufflé recipes. No breads or muffins or waffles, though, so I guess that puts in the "holiday" classification.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to put you on the spot! Still, I would love to cook from it.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I would love The Sweet Life too. Have had it for a long time and not used it yet. Many enticing options crying out to be tried.

                                    2. re: JoanN

                                      the new book is I think simply a new edition of the Cookie book I nominated which is a compilation from her earlier books. Maybe a simple nomination of Maidda Heatter's cookie recipes would work given that many of the recipes are repeated in a couple of books as well as being on line. Great American Desserts has many for example as well as a lot else

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        Okay. Let me see if I’ve got this right. There’s Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies (1977), Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (1995), Maida Heatter’s Cookies (1997), and the forthcoming paperback which will be a reprint of the 1997 book. The book you were nominating was the 1997 book? And that's the same book that buttertart is nominating below?

                                        Okay. I'll go along with that. But I like your idea of just nominating Maida Heatter's cookie recipes and not limiting them to a specific book. Since "Cookies" has been nominated twice, I'll nominate a generic MAIDA HEATTER'S COOKIE RECIPES NO MATTER WHAT BOOK OR WHERE ONLINE THEY MIGHT BE.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          The book I nominated above, which I believe is being reprinted next year, is the 1997 Maida Heatter's Cookies. It states that the recipes in the book were originally published in her Book of Great Cookies (1977),New Book of Great Desserts (1982) and Book of Great American Desserts (1985) Im in total agreement with your revised nomination above as a reasonable course of action. I just want to use these recipes!

                                    3. I'm having a heck of a time with this. Still thinking!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Me too. There are so many great possibilities!

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          I'm going to nominate READY FOR DESSERT by David Lebovitz. It's pretty new, but both my local libraries have copies.

                                          I subscribe to his blog and the recipes seem fantastic. I think it also includes recipes from his out of print book Room for Dessert.

                                          I highly rec. his blog to you guys. Funny and informative and includes recipes.

                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                            If READY FOR DESSERT, how about making it a double with Lebovitz's out-of-print ROOM FOR DESSERT and his blog, for those of us looking for an excuse *not* to buy it?
                                            : )
                                            Some of the recipes are duplicates, I think.

                                      2. Classify them as you will:
                                        READY FOR DESSERT David Lebovitz
                                        COOKIES Maida Heatter (I have all her books, I'm sure anything in the compilation is in one of them).

                                        1. Oh this is going to be so hard. I love baking and desserts books and own a lot of them but would also be happy to get ones I don't have from the library to test-drive them. I'm so torn - nominate one I already own so I use it more, or try out a new one so I add to the collection?

                                          Actually there is one I own that I know I want to cook more from, so I'll nominate it now
                                          GENERAL - READY FOR DESSERT by David Lebovitz

                                          I'm going to spend the next 5 days dithering before I nominate the rest.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: JaneEYB

                                            GENERAL - READY FOR DESSERT by David Lebovitz

                                            I've used both of my "holiday" nominations up, so I can't nominate any Maida Haetter books, but I would love to cook from Maida Heatter cookies, too! Love, love, love! I will confess though, I'm not sure which exact one is being nominated. Are we effectively nominating all 3? Here's the problem: the one jen nominated, Maida Heatter's cookies, the one that is being pre-printed in the Spring of 2011, has only 2 copies available on Amazon, one for $63 and one for $184 (and, speaking for myself, my library doesn't have that one either.) So, I respectively request that it be all three in order to enable broader participation.

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              I've been looking for an excuse to buy READY FOR DESSERT, and here it is!

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                The book I own shows 18 used copies for sale on Amazon.
                                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin...

                                                Im all for an ALL MAIDA COOKIE RECIPES choice, however.

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  Jen, that is so weird. When I type that the exact name of that book into the search on Amazon, that option that you link to does not come up, only a link to the book that is coming up. But, clearly, that option exists. Thank you for bringing to to my attention! That's very acceptable!

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                    Jen, I just want to thank you for this link. My book arrived today and I am so very pleased with it. According to the dust jacket, Maida Heatter's Cookies "collects every single cookie recipe from three of Maida's long-out-of-print cookbooks" which are her "Book of Great Cookies" and "New Book of Great Desserts", and "Book of Great American Desserts".

                                                    Had you not provided this link, I'm not sure I would have found this wonderful book! Based on the way the books are named, it's nearly impossible to tell which book is the most definitive. I cannot wait to bake from it. Thank you!

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      the amazon site has some complaints about the indexing and organization of this book, but not about the recipes. So glad you found it and enjoy!

                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                        Interesting to know about the organization being a problem. I'm sure that could be a little frustrating, but since the recipes are great, I'm sure I can overlook it!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                              2. Does anyone happen to know if Ready for Dessert contains a few candy recipes too?

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  According to EYB, there are 10 candy recipes: Almond and candied bacon bark, Almond ding, Apple paste, Candied cherries, Candied ginger, Candied orange peel, Chocolate-port truffles, Pistachio, almond, and dried cherry bark, Quince paste, soft-candied citrus peel

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Thank you, Dairy Queen--that EYB is handy, I can see.

                                                2. HOLIDAY: MAIDA HEATTER'S COOKIE RECIPES NO MATTER WHAT BOOK OR WHERE ONLINE THEY MIGHT BE

                                                  GENERAL: READY FOR DESSERT, David Lebovitz

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    This is getting confusing--the Lebovitz dessert book is a "general" choice?

                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                      You know, according to what smtucker said, I'd probably have classified it as "holiday," but the others who mentioned it and chose one classified it as "general," so I thought it would be MORE confusing to do the opposite.

                                                      I don't really understand the need to divide up the books this way, personally. It seems as if people would choose, through nominations and voting, the kind of books they most want to bake from in Nov/Dec, whether they're cookie-specific, dessert-focused, or also include casual baked goods (and I know lots of people do give, for example, muffins or quick breads as holiday gifts, or serve them when entertaining, as well as cookies; I certainly have). And it IS confusing to differentiate. I hope that nominations that people haven't classified will be counted, as I think some have given up on that aspect.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        smtucker said it was up to us to decide how to classify the books. Jane, bless her heart, took a stand on Ready for Dessert and the rest of us are just rolling with it. I would love to cook from it!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Yes, I was "just rolling with it," too, though what I was referring to was this, in smtucker's OP: "The line between the two is fuzzy but a general baking book might include breads, muffins, and pancakes, while a holiday book would have a dessert concentration with cakes, pies, and, of course, cookies."

                                                          Ready for Dessert falls squarely in the latter category, but I'm finding these classifications kind of arbitrary, and I'm not the only one, given that others have said, "classify it how you want." I'd rather see us just do the two top vote-getters, or a cookie book and a non-cookie-specific book, than try to divide it between a "holiday" and a "general" book, when people have different ideas about what that means, or don't care. smtucker will let us know what she wants us to do, but I don't get the feeling that these categorizations are important for this project to the baking hounds who are interested in participating; rather we're choosing them only because we've been asked to, and it's causing a bit of confusion and frustration for some.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            I think a cookie and a general dessert book would be a good idea too

                                                            we can always to a bread/savory baking book at another time.

                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                              A cookie book and a general dessert book is what I had in my head when I nominated Ready for Dessert as a general book. I had actually read smtucker's instructions but managed to interpret them the way I wanted to! Apologies for mixing things up but it all seems to be working out now. Thank you smtucker for being so patient.

                                                              The general dessert book will be great for 2 months of desserts and the cookie book will be good for the holidays (and cookies any time). Still dithering about my selections - I'm off today scouring second hand bookstores in Brattleboro, Vermont so hopefully will find a Maida Heatter cookie book which could sway my decision.

                                                  2. NOTE: New GUIDELINES!

                                                    I am big enough to realize that I blew this Baking Nomination thread. It seemed like a good idea in my little brain, but clearly, this isn't working for the people who want to bake together. There was some interest in having some savory baking in the original discussion thread, but this just isn't working!

                                                    Forget the book type. Just nominate up to FOUR books. If this changes your previously made nomination(s), please use the MINUS mechanism. This change of "rules" mid-stream will probably expand the number of books that make it to the voting thread. Better to have too many than too few that can't garner enough enthusiasm.

                                                    The point of these Baking Months is to have fun baking, so let's remove the silly obstacles. I do ask, however, that you continue to put the book titles in ALL CAPS.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                      OK, then, here's my fourth. Thank you, smtucker.

                                                      MAIDA HEATTER'S COOKIE RECIPES NO MATTER WHAT BOOK OR WHERE ONLINE THEY MIGHT BE

                                                      (P.S. SMTUCKER, i appreciate your creativity and flexibility on the fly!)

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                        smtucker, thank you for your patience and flexibility, and I apologize if my post above seemed like stirring things up, as that wasn't really my intention - I was just having trouble wrapping my head around the concept. I really appreciate your graciously taking on two concurrent COTM processes, too!

                                                      2. any and all MAIDA HEATER COOKIE BOOKS
                                                        READY FOR DESSERT
                                                        THE SECRETS OF BAKING
                                                        THE GOURMET COOKIE BOOK

                                                        1. MAIDA HEATTER COOKIE RECIPES of whatever provenance
                                                          READY FOR DESSERT David Lebovitz
                                                          THE FANNIE FARMER BAKING BOOK Marion Cunningham (has lots of very good cookie recipes, incl a section on "Christmas cookies" with a dynamite melimakarona recipe among others, and every single thing I've made from this book has been superb - every baker should own it).
                                                          One more...still thinking.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Fourth nomination: INTERNATIONAL COOKIE BOOK Nancy Baggett - have it, might as well use it - am a Christmas cookie baker from waaaay back when I used to beg my mom to get the butter out so we could make them after dinner.

                                                          2. I suppose Judge Bourguignon would frown upon using all four votes for the *same* book....

                                                            3 Replies
                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                That was a hypothetical observation--well, half hypothetical. Heady to think I might have 4 votes with which to sway an election, not just one. Others might divide their votes 1-1-1-1.
                                                                I've already nominated a Flo Braker book, because David Lebovitz praises her highly. But that went nowhere, so naturally I'm leaning toward D. Lebovitz's newest dessert book which is getting a decent amount of attention here. I think I'd rather Lebovitz than an all-cookie book, just for variety.
                                                                HOWever... it will be so easy and fine and fun to bake goodies--never mind the rest!

                                                              2. re: blue room

                                                                I think you could nominate Maida Heatter's cookie book four different times and not repeat the same title twice. HA!

                                                                I have to say, I'm very confused. I just ordered one of the copies from Jen's link, but now I see that the version I just bought is the ONE version of Maida Heatter's cookies that doesn't seem to be indexed on EYB. How did I manage to do that?

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                              3. BAKING FOR ALL OCCASIONS, Flo Braker
                                                                BAKED: NEW FRONTIERS IN BAKING, Lewis & Poliafito
                                                                READY FOR DESSERT, David Lebovitz
                                                                SWEET LIFE, Kate Zuckerman

                                                                I am really rooting for Flo -- her recipes are of consistently impeccable quality. I think she's enormously underrated (and she's a super nice lady to boot).

                                                                My disclaimer: though I was an avid baker, I have developed intolerances to your basic baking ingredients. I still obsessively collect baking books, and still bake for others, but I need a trusted advisory panel to winnow through the recipes so I know I'm serving pure deliciousness -- that would be you!

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: maxie

                                                                  Speaking of Flo Braker, I've been dying to try her giant "pop tart" recipe http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                                                                  But, for those who want to get a sense of her recipes and who don't have any of her books, her columns appear almost monthly in the SF Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/columns/thebake...

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: maxie

                                                                    I don't have that Flo Braker book though I do have Sweet Minatures which I think is fabulous, everything I have done from there has been delicious. So for my second nominee (I feel like an Oscars presenter) I'm going for BAKING FOR ALL OCCASIONS by Flo Braker which I will now have to buy, just in case it wins (oh my, how I can justify those extra cookbooks),

                                                                    1. re: maxie

                                                                      I'm going to use my second nomination for SWEET LIFE by Kate Zuckerman.

                                                                    2. 2nd nomination -- THE SECRETS OF BAKING, SIMPLE TECHNIQUES FOR SPECTACULAR DESSERTS Sherry Yard

                                                                      3rd nomination -- READY FOR DESSERT David Lebovitz

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                        I get David Lebovitz' blog every day and notice that Ready for Dessert contains some recipes from the out-of-print book Room for Dessert as well as some from Ripe for Dessert.

                                                                        This makes me even more excited to bake from this book!

                                                                      2. NANCY BAGGETT "INTERNATIONAL COOKIE COOKBOOK".

                                                                        At least once in their lives everyone should try the Hasselnuss Spritzgebeck; this is what butter is all about. Then there is Gribee, the wonderful Lebanese pistachio cookie.

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                          Why don't I have that book? I love her All-American Cookie Book so this sounds like one I should have too.

                                                                          1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                            I got it at souschef's urging on ABEbooks for a song.

                                                                          2. re: souschef

                                                                            Just went and ordered it on amazon (along with Maida Heatter's Brand New Book of Great Cookies). You're a bad influence, souschef.

                                                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                              Well, if I'm a bad influence I shall NOT tell you about her International Chocolate Cookbook! Whoops! Sorry! I just did!

                                                                              Did you not get the cookie book for a song, as did Buttertart? Buttertart must be a good singer.

                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                Would that I were. Just a total pushover for cookbooks.

                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                  Since I have two nominations left and I have just bought two cookie books I feel I should nominate those:
                                                                                  MAIDA HEATTER'S BRAND NEW BOOK OF GREAT COOKIES
                                                                                  NANCY BAGGETT'S INTERNATIONAL COOKIE BOOK

                                                                                  Thanks again souschef (hint of sarcasm) though I did pick up the International Chocolate Cookbook for a song on abe too. $3.97 with free shipping was too good an opportunity to miss.

                                                                                  1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                    That's better than I did, I think. I find between ABE and Amazon (sometimes Betterworldbooks.com) I can fill those cookbook lacunae (percieved) for not much.
                                                                                    PS the oatmeal-crusted brownie with milk choc chunks in it in the Heatter is v. good, but it's not my favorite of hers - was a bit put off by all the biscotti recipes, am not a big fan of them.)

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      This book is not in my library, though, other books by Nancy Baggett are...

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        Buttertart, isn't it funny that despite the fact that you probably have several times the number of cookbooks I have, I usually mention one you don't have ..... and then promptly want :)

                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                          It's because you are a naughty, naughty man.

                                                                                      2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                        Glad to help you spend your money :)

                                                                                2. Two nominations from me:

                                                                                  SIMPLE ART OF BAKING by Sherry Yard
                                                                                  THE SWEET LIFE by Kate Zuckermann

                                                                                  I'll add one more:

                                                                                  READY FOR DESSERT by David Leibovitz. Wouldn't buy it but would bake from the other two I have.