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Today's baking books often exhort readers to produce technically advanced marvels. Not so The Family Baker, Susan G. Purdy's collection of 150 basic but delicious recipes. "These are meant to look as homemade as they taste," the award-winning baking book author says, encouraging whole-family participation in their creation--and everyone can get into the act with Purdy's reliable, take-you-by-the hand recipes. Readers looking for a fundamental baking companion, perfect for adult and kid use, or a "one-of-everything" source for American baking favorites will want the book.
In chapters devoted to biscuits, muffins and scones, quick breads, cookies and cakes, pies, pizzas (Purdy's term for thin one-crusted fruit-covered desserts), and more, Purdy offers treat after doable treat. Among these are superior versions of buttermilk biscuits, carrot bread, tapioca and chocolate puddings, old-fashioned sugar cookies, brownies, apple pie, carrot cake, chocolate mousse, and a no-bake cheesecake. Readers will also want to try Sour Cream Apple Crumb Pie, Anna Olson's Spritz Cookies, Chocolate Walnut Bread, and Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Gingersnap Crust, among other delights. Purdy also offers Kids in the Kitchen, a chapter that includes a blueprint for successful baking with grownups and children, along with recipes such as Baked Banana-Coconut Ice Cream and Caramel Nut Turtles. Step-by-step illustrations, tips, recipe variations, bake sale information, ingredients, and equipment notes round out this easygoing collection, sure to invite kitchen fun. --Arthur Boehm
My own family's old-fashioned favorites
Does the perfume of baking cinnamon and apple evoke memories of holidays past? Do you recall baking with grandma, a parent, or a teacher, when you were a kid? Taste - and scent -memories are among our most vivid. I hope you will enjoy the old-fashioned favorites in my book and pass them on to your children and friends, keeping alive taste traditions, perhaps starting new traditions in your own family. These are my personal family favorites, updated and streamlined. Techniques are easy, fast, and fun. Feeling blue? Cheer yourself up with Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce or Grandma's Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding with Warm Maple Sauce. Feeling under the weather? Instead of chicken soup, try my favorite Fluffy Tapioca Pudding; a cure-all, I promise. Love Chocolate? Try my easy To-Live-For Chocolate Mousse Cake. It definitely gives life a purpose, makes it worth living! Kids at home? Bring them into the kitchen, share the little time you have there cooking together. See the Kids in the Kitchen chapter: lots of tips to make it fun, not fussy. Many kids' recipes don't need a stove. Make quick and easy Peanut Butter Clay or Apricot Snow Balls, for example. Or try Impossible Peanut Butter Cookies - yummy but with only 3 ingredients! Show the kids how much fun it is to pack up Butter Mints or Chocolate truffles in a pretty jar with a recipe attached - they will enjoy sharing and feel every bit as proud as grown-ups do giving gifts from the kitchen - and from the heart. These are recipes to share - year round - with love. I hope you will enjoy them. I would like to hear comments and learn stories about your personal family baking memories.