I knew instantly upon picking up this book that I would love it. After all, this is a time of year when my oven seems to be constantly warm and butter is nearly always on my shopping list, and here comes a book offering me dozens of fabulous new ways to keep up my baking momentum. But it's also in the way this book feels in my hands, the curling serifs in the font, and the simple beauty of each and every photograph — it's one of those cookbooks: one that's as much a pleasure to page through while tucked on the couch as it is to cook from.
• Who wrote it: Tammy Donroe Inman
• Who published it: Running Press
• Recipes for right now: All of them! But especially these — Ginger Apple Crumb Cake, Pear Cardamom Crostada, Asian Pear Sorbet, Maple Walnut Babka, Pecan Praline Bark, Warm Baked Persimmons with Honeyed Mascarpone, Gingersnap-Crusted Pumpkin Cheesecake, Winter Shortcake with Maple Creme Fraiche, Butterscotch Bourbon Bread Pudding
• Other highlights: Wintersweet feels like a breath of fresh air amid the already-crazy holiday baking frenzy. There are recipes that, yes, are grand enough to grace any Christmas or Hanukkah table, but the focus here is less on the holidays and more on simply celebrating what this season has to offer.
What does this dreary and snow-bound season have to offer, you might wonder? In Tammy Donroe Inman's opinion, it offers these special joys: apples; pears and quinces; nuts and chocolate; persimmons, pomegranates, and cranberries; citrus; roots, tubers and gourds; cheese; dried fruits; and dairy. Each chapter focuses on one of those ingredients (or a group of them), spinning their flavors in ways that are wonderful and surprising. She also begins each chapter with an in-depth talk about that particular ingredient: choosing the best winter apples, why we should think beyond pumpkin pie when baking with squashes, what we need to know about dried fruits to make truly special treats.
Inman also has a magical way of matching familiar, beloved flavors with familiar, beloved desserts in ways that nonetheless feel completely new and surprising — and also, somehow, inevitable. To wit, dishes like Maple Walnut Babka, Pear Cranberry Clafouti, and Rum Raisin Cheesecake Bars. Honestly, all the recipes in this book sound incredible. I feel like I need to just close my eyes and pick a page so that I stop changing my mind about which to make first.
• Who would enjoy this book? Bakers, especially those with a particular fondness for the winter months
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman
• Visit the author's website: Tammy Donroe Inman
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)