This is the first major baking cookbook that Better Homes and Gardens has published since 1998, and if you've been in the market for a baking compendium, this one is definitely worth a look or three. From the intro chapters that show you exactly what equipment you need for your kitchen to how to roll the perfect bûche de noël come Christmas time, this book has it all.
• Who wrote it: Better Homes and Gardens
• Who published it: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
• The angle: Bake what you love. And make it amazing.
• Number of recipes: Over 350
• Recipes for right now: Zesty Lemon Tea Sandwiches, Dulce de Leche Fluff Brownies, Raspberry French Silk Pie Bars, Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake, Spiced Sugar Cream Pie, Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Coffee Ice Cream, Almond and Fennel Wheat Bread, Banana-Multigrain Streusel Muffins
• Other highlights:
I really like that each chapter in this book starts off with a "Basic Technique" recipe. These are recipes for things like Chocolate Chip Cookies and New York-Style Cheesecake — they're great stand-alone recipes, but they also give you the building blocks for other recipes or techniques. Recipes also include step-by-step photos, useful tips, or "make it mini" suggestions for smaller servings in the side bars.
This feels like both a teaching cookbook and a discovery cookbook. By this I mean, it's a cookbook that shows you how to do tricky things and gives you lots of great tools for heading off on your own in the kitchen, but there are also plenty of recipes in every chapter that just look good. The kinds of recipes you'd flag for a co-worker's birthday or for the next time your family visits.
• Who would enjoy this book? New bakers starting to feel their way around the kitchen
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Baking by Better Homes and Gardens
• Visit the author's website: Better Homes and Gardens
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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)