Category Archives: Cookbook Reviews

COOKBOOK REVIEW Food Network Magazine Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun & Fast Recipes

By Food Network Magazine

Food Network Magazine Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun & Fast Recipes is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores. For more information on this cookbook please visit HarperCollins Canada 

 


Cookbook review written & photographed by
Stay-At-Home-Chef

Put together by The Food Network, this cookbook (published by Hyperion, $24.99 USD) is a compilation of quick and easy dishes all geared towards busy weeknights when a lot of people find themselves reaching for takeout menus. Recipes offer a wide variety of options that are easily adaptable depending on dietary requirements or specific food cravings.

Helpful hints are scattered throughout the book, such as tossing cooked pasta with milk to prevent it from getting gummy. Works like a hot damn! However, if you purchase this book specifically because of the blurb on the cover that says it includes kitchen tips from Food Network stars, prepare to be disappointed. The insertions are not so much tips as personal trivia, which may be interesting to Food Network fans but is rather misguiding from the consumer’s perspective.

Side dish suggestions are often included at the bottom of recipes, allowing you to easily complete your meal. I tried a number of side dishes, including the Tomato-Basil Lima Beans, Bacon-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, and Black Bean Salad. All of them were fantastic.

Not sure what to do with the leftovers? At the bottom of some of the recipes you will find a variety of tasty options, which are also designed to help you use up a particular ingredient that may have only called for a sparse amount.

If you are familiar with The Food Network Magazine, you will recognize the Mix & Match feature which offers a variety of different flavour options for the same basic recipe. For example; with chicken soup the book outlines a Mexican, Italian or Asian option outlined in a flowchart layout.

For those with more visual tendencies when it comes to preparing food, you will be happy to hear that there is a corresponding photo for each recipe. Even the index is arranged with a thumbnail pic of each dish. The overall layout and photographic elements are all bright and fresh, making you feel as if you’ve just stepped into a clean kitchen full of great light.

I really, really enjoyed reviewing this cookbook. Everything I tried turned out great, and I will definitely be keeping this one within easy reach for those busy weeknights. I appreciate the level of detail that went into the recipes as well as the overall layout. Highly recommend this one folks!

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

COOKBOOK REVIEW Fabulous Brownies

By  Annie Rigg

Fabulous Brownies is available for purchase through our online store or at local book stores. For more information on this cookbook please visit Thomas Allen & Son Ltd.

 


Cookbook review written & photographed by contributing writer Anuradha Sharma

When it comes to brownies I know most people like to stick with their tried-and-tested recipes, which are usually quick and tailored to their own palette. Their idea of experimenting is trying a different nut or substituting spices. I know this for a fact because I used to be that person.

But people change. Nowadays I rarely go back to the same recipe twice! And as for brownies, I say life’s too short to stay in the comfort zone. Experiment. That’s my new mantra when it comes to food. So now that you are aware of my enlightened approach to cooking, it should put into perspective my excitement when CookThatBook asked me to review a cookbook dedicated entirely to brownies.

As you flip through Annie Rigg’s Fabulous Brownies (published by Ryland Peters $15.95 USD), you will come across a few cute ideas that can take your basic brownies to the next level. But my happiness was short lived because there are only 27 recipes. Honestly, I was expecting more.

I had to pick three recipes to test for the review and I wanted to make sure there was a variety of different brownies; something for everyone. A simple Salted Caramel Brownie to keep you warm on a rainy day, luscious Gingerbread Brownies for some late night indulgence, and delectable Cupcake Brownies which are perfect for not sharing.

Now you should know that when it comes to brownies, there are three things that I absolutely need to have present:

1. A cracked top

2. A gooey core

3. Easy to bake

Overall while I did like the book, there were some issues. The photography by Laura Edwards is good but from a design perspective I found not enough importance was given to the layout of the recipes. Personally, I think cookbooks must have a clean design with a decently sized, readable font. This book falls short on both counts. And even though the recipes themselves provide great inspiration for experimenting with new and exciting brownie flavours, I was disappointed in the limited number of recipes.

The instructions are fairly simple but the author provides no tips for serving suggestions or storage. Sure, there is one short line included in the introduction that tells you the brownies should last 4-5 days at room temperature but this is not a universal rule. For instance, I think the brownies with ganache would be better stored in the fridge or at least kept in a cool place.  A variety of flavors and combinations would have taken this book to the next level.

There were definitely some nice decorative ideas, such as the Brown(ie) Owls which are absolutely adorable and the Whopper Brownies which would be a surefire hit with the kids. There’s no denying this book contains lots of inspiring ideas guaranteed to expand your typical brownie repertoire. I just wish there were more.

In conclusion, everyone loves brownies. They are the ultimate rich, gooey and pure indulgent treat. With three recipes down, I’ll be surely trying more and eating my way through this book one brownie at a time while adding to my brownie repertoire. But is it the ultimate brownie book I’ve been waiting for? Not quite.

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

COOKBOOK REVIEW A World of Cake

By Krystina Castella

A World of Cake is available for purchase through our online store or at local book stores. For more information on this cookbook please visit Storey Publishing.

 


Cookbook review written and photographed by contributing writer Helena McMurdo

Krystina Castella, an art college professor, was inspired to begin work on A World of Cake following a bake sale she helped organize on her college campus. She asked her students to bring various cakes to sell and was surprised by the array of baked goods that her international students brought to the table. She became aware of just how narrow her definition of cake was and thought it would be an interesting project to explore this further. The result? A World of Cake.

Published by Storey Publishing, LLC($24.95 USD), this book is a 320+ page comprehensive look at cakes from around the world. It explores the subject matter through recipes, along with the various traditions and history that surround cake.


Some of the interesting and helpful features of this book include:

The world tour of cake holidays – in this introductory section, the author lists cakes under months of the year and pairs them with well-known and some lesser-known holidays. This is a great feature to inspire you if you are unsure of what to make or if you just need an excuse to bake a cake. Why not consider a French Opera Gateau for Bastille Day? Or perhaps some Zeppole for the Feast of St Gennaro?

The author lists traditional cakes for specific holidays, as well as other cakes whose suggested serving occasions are a bit more of a stretch. For example; I’m not exactly sure what Scottish Dundee Guinness Cake has to do with Super Bowl Sunday but I suppose any excuse for cake is a good one!

An international tour of cakes – the book is organized into geographic regions with several cakes being selected from each region and identified by their country of origin.  If when you think of cakes you think of France, Germany, Austria you will indeed find some of the well-known and famous cakes from these countries. I was much less familiar with the cakes of a host of countries from Asia and Africa, and some of the techniques used like steaming and frying. Most of all, I enjoyed the thoughtful excerpts at the top of each recipe that provided a better understanding of the traditions associated with each cake. There are also informative pages called ‘World Tours’ that focus on individual themes. For example; Christmas Cakes or Street Cakes which look at the traditions from various countries within that genre.

Layout and directions – for the most part I like the organization, layout and directions of the book. The recipes are well typeset with subheadings for cake, icing, filling, as well as preparation and assembly. Because many of the recipes have several steps, I found this to be a helpful feature. One thing I would have liked to see called out separately was the pan type. I often found myself digging through a recipe to find out what pan to use. The book also contains helpful sections about general baking and cake making tips, which as an infrequent baker, I found helpful as a reference.  Occasionally I found the specific details of the process to be lacking but for the most part the instructions were clear.

If you love to bake and are looking for new inspiration, this is the book for you. I was amazed by the sheer multitude of cakes, many of which were entirely new to me. But I was also very happy to find familiar favourites for which I had been lacking recipes.

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

COOKBOOK REVIEW Spilling the Beans

By Julie Van Rosendaal & Sue Duncan  


Spilling the Beans is available for purchase through our online store or at local book stores. For more information on this cookbook please visit Whitecap Books

 


Cookbook review written and photographed by contributing writer Helena McMurdo

When it comes to beans; I have good intentions. I have them in my kitchen but I might as well confess that mostly they serve to make my glass storage jars look good. Yes, I know that beans are good for you – which is why I have them in the first place – in the hopes that I’ll make something with them someday and become a better person. It’s not like I don’t enjoy them when fed to me but given the choice between a chicken breast and some lentils (technically a pulse) and barley (a grain) I’d go for the chicken breast every time. Part of this stems from the fact that I know what to do with a chicken.

Thankfully there’s a new cookbook on the scene to help ease me out of my bean rut. With Spilling the Beans, authors Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan have succeeded in making even a reluctant bean eater like me change my tune. This book provides a host of simple recipes that make it easy and enticing to cook with beans and answers the fundamental question of “what on earth do I do with these things?”

Julie Van Rosendaal is a resident of Calgary (AB) and the food correspondent for The Calgary Eye Opener on CBC Radio One, co-host of TV’s Just Food and the food editor for Parents Canada magazine. Many readers will know her from her award-winning food blog; dinnerwithjulie.com. Already an accomplished author, her previous titles include Grazing, Starting Out and One Smart Cookie. For her latest release Julie has teamed up with her good friend Sue Duncan, who lives in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. You can learn more about Julie and Sue in the recent interview conducted by our very own Stay-At-Home-Chef (click here for full interview).

Although titled Spilling the Beans, this is really a book about beans AND grains. Julie and Sue explain that beans and grains work well together as a protein source because beans contain the amino acids that grains lack and vice versa. Beans are high in fibre, low in fat and full of nutrients. These benefits, along with those of whole grains, are discussed more fully in a small section authored by Julie’s father who happens to be a gastroenterologist. This is all well and good – but what will the recipes be like? Will I want to eat any of this stuff?!

Flipping through the book, I was pleased to see that there are lots of recipes that caught my eye right off the bat – from Savoury Hand Pies with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lentils to scrumptious sounding snacks like Roasted Chickpeas & Pecans with Bacon & Maple Syrup. Even Black Eyed Pea and Kale Soup sounded great to me – yep I was feeling myself get healthier just by turning the pages.

The book contains a useful introduction that covers the various types of beans and bean definitions, legumes, pulse etc. as well as information on grains and how to cook them. The rest of the book is organized into chapters for various meal types. In addition to what you might expect (salads, soups, one-dish meals), there are also less expected sections including those for breakfast, sandwiches and even an extensive section on baking with beans. Did you know that you can make bread with beans? Or how about some waffles?

I see the recipes as falling into three broad categories – those that feature beans (i.e. with other ingredients), those that contain hidden beans and those where beans are the stars. I have mixed feelings about the hidden bean dishes. While I don’t believe in the ‘hide the vegetables from your kids’ school of thought, admittedly I don’t have kids and have never spent any time pleading with a six year-old to eat their broccoli. I can see how ‘hidden beans’ help add nutrition in areas we might not ordinarily see it. My preference would be to eat the dishes where beans are the star and where they are allowed to shine. Lucky for me, there are lots of those recipes in this book.

The recipes are simple and easy to understand and prefaced with summaries or anecdotes which bring a personal touch to this book. The authors encourage modification, a feature I always appreciate in a cookbook, and provide solid bases from which to work. Dishes have many different flavour profiles including those found in Indian, Mexican, French and Italian cuisine. And don’t think that because this book talks about beans as a source of protein that it means that it excludes meat dishes. Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Lentils & Barley, Pulled Pork & Beans and Roasted Sausages with Braised Lentils are just some of the heartier examples. There is plenty here for vegetarian and carnivore alike.

I think this is the type of book that you could cook from every week and always have something new and delicious to try.  The meals are simple, easy to prepare and surprise, surprise – they taste great.  This book is a great way to turn good intentions into real meals.

  CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

REVIEW Canadian Living: The International Collection

By Canadian Living Test Kitchen


Cookbook review written by contributing writer Aimée White

Canadian Living: The International Collection is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores

For additional information on this book please visit Random House Inc. 


Canadian Living
 has come out with a brilliant new cookbook, titled The International Collection: Home-Cooked Meals From Around the World (published by Random House Inc., $27.95 CDN). Its premise is a beautiful one. In the opening pages, Canadian Living’s Food Director, Annabelle Waugh, explains how a multicultural team of first and second generation Canadians assembled the contents of this cookbook in the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. Not intentionally, but simply because they represent a microcosm of present-day Canada: a rich array of cultures, ethnicities, and traditions. In Waugh’s words, “Canadian cooking has been largely built upon a foundation of recipes that were brought to this country by immigrants… [their] cooking styles have become integral parts of the beautiful mosaic that makes up Canada’s culinary culture.”

The goal of this cookbook is to introduce a rich array of home cooked, international dishes into Canadian kitchens but without going broke at speciality food stores in the process. The idea is to make foreign dishes accessible and attainable, and that’s definitely a goal I can stand behind. There is just so much to explore in international food culture, and Canadians can benefit greatly from the traditions and recipes that new (and not so new) Canadian families bring with them.

As you can see by the yellow sticky notes in my first recipe test, there are countless recipes in this book I’m dying to try! Canadian Living provides a wide variety of recipes that represent every region of the world. One element of the book that really stood out to me was on the very last page:  12 regionally inspired or country-specific menus drawn from the recipes in the book. These meal plans are great inspiration for people who may not have dabbled much in international cuisine, or if you just don’t have enough energy or time to think about putting together a plan of your own at the end of the day. And let’s be honest, that can happen!

Unfortunately there were also a few minor things I didn’t like about this cookbook, including the fact that I didn’t love the overall layout of the recipes. Several of the recipes I looked at worked in reverse order of the ingredient list when explaining the method. The method was also written in paragraph form in the middle of the page, with ingredients on the outer margin. At times it made for recipes that didn’t read smoothly or feel intuitive. There were also many occasions when I wished the recipes included details on preparation time. I walked through many of the recipes in my head in order to get an estimate on time, and on more than one occasion I guessed wrong.

That being said, in terms of the general content and layout I really liked the fact that they made two mains sections: the first being for every day mains, the second category being for entertaining. A nice distinction, because there really is a difference is most cases.

At the end of the day, once I got past the layout of the recipes I saw that they were well-written and informative. Each one I tested met with great success, which is a credit to both the recipe writers and the editors. I would thus highly recommend buying this book. It is diverse enough to challenge even the most adventurous cook, while still being accessible enough for a newcomer to international cuisine. It’s an excellent collection of recipes and a cookbook with heart; a winning combination if you ask me.

For a sample recipe from this cookbook, please click here

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

COOKBOOK REVIEW Martha Stewart’s New Pies & Tarts

By Martha Stewart Living Magazine


Cookbook review written by
Stay-At-Home-Chef


Martha Stewart’s New Pies & Tarts is available for purchase through our online store or at local book stores

Whereas the year 2010 was dedicated to cupcakes, 2011 has been globally touted to be the year of the pie. As a result, foodies (professional and amateur alike) have been hell bent on making pie one of this year’s top culinary trends. Who makes this stuff up is beyond me, but nonetheless as a lover of pie who am I to argue?!

Either cleverly predicting or influentially dictating this focus on pies, the team at Martha Stewart Living has put together an incredible collection of classic and updated pie and tart recipes in Martha Stewart’s New Pies & Tarts (published by Clarkson Potter/Publishing, $24.99 USD). Beautifully photographed with a corresponding picture for each of the 150 recipes, this book includes detailed step-by-step information that guides you painlessly through the process of creating stunning pastry. From classic pies to free-form tarts, modern creations and savoury treats to special occasion pastries, this book has it all. In fact, I would go so far as to label it the quintessential cookbook for pies. Basic dough recipes are included with detailed and visual instructions, along with a variety of flavour twists and decorative techniques that will appeal to bakers of all levels. At the back of the book is included a comprehensive list of baking staples and equipment, along with pastry techniques, tips and tricks. This book also includes a feature that is near and dear to my heart; a comprehensive index allowing you to search by ingredients or flavour.

I love baking from this book, and above and beyond the three recipe tests for this review I have had other successes including the Peach & Crème Fraîche Pie and Pumpkin & Ricotta Crostata. With recipes drawn from two decades worth of some of the most requested recipes from Martha Stewart Living along with editor favourites…how can you go wrong with this book? The answer is; you can’t.

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

COOKBOOK REVIEW Seasons

By Donna Hay


Cookbook review written and photographed by contributing writer Helena McMurdo

 

Seasons is available for purchase through our online store or at local book stores. For more information on this book please visit HarperCollins

Australian food stylist, cookbook author and magazine editor, Donna Hay, brings together the best of Donna Hay Magazine in her book Seasons (published by HarperCollins, $39.99 CDN).

As the name suggests, this book is organized in terms of seasons and hits the mark perfectly when it comes to the foods we crave at particular times of the year. Fresh, bright flavours in spring, grilled seafood and fresh salads in summer, warm soups and comfort food as we move into autumn and winter. I have had this cookbook for nearly a year and still love to pick it up and browse through all of the culinary delights held within the pages.

My favourite things about this book include:

The photography – I don’t mind telling you that I first purchased this book because of the photography alone. Even if I had never ended up making a single recipe from this book I probably would have still been happy with my purchase! Honestly, I think I gained weight just by leafing through the pages. Outdoor settings featuring picnic and other outdoor meal scenarios are interspersed with beauty shots of dishes, styled with a rustic and authentic appeal. Although I know they have been crafted with the utmost of care and attention to detail, the pictures appear to give the reader the impression that real life is happening – granted a very beautiful, farmhouse, countryside, back to nature type ‘real life’ packed with exquisite kitchen towels, oodles of parchment paper, delightfully aged baking tins, messy spoons and perfect natural lighting.

The simplicity – The photography belies the simplicity of the dishes, with most recipes using just a few ingredients and for the most part are easy to understand and execute. The results are solid.

It’s adaptable – Many of the dishes are also spring boards for further inspiration. For example; I modified a fantastic goat’s cheese and fig tart recipe with some mushrooms and red peppers due to lack of figs. Using the same main ingredients and basic method, my efforts resulted in a whole new meal that was satisfying and delicious.

Desserts – I am not really a dessert person, at least I didn’t think I was until discovering this book. Seasons makes me want to make dessert all the time, and I fear I’m already feeling the results as I try to button my skinny jeans.

The photography – Did I mention the photography?!

There is not a lot of detail in the recipes themselves, but most of the dishes are so simple further explanation is hardly required. At 317 plus pages, the sheer volume of recipes in this cookbook will keep me busy for years to come.


© 2011 Helena McMurdo

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

COOKBOOK REVIEW Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices

Edited By Barnaby Dorfman, Sheri L. Wetherell & Colin M. Saunders


Cookbook review written by contributing writer Aimée White

Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores

As much as I dislike the winter and being overly cold, there’s just something magical about putting on the first scarf, fleece jacket, or chunky, woolen sweater of the season. Something that makes you inch a little closer and talk a little lower. It’s also a convenient time of year to get back into books of all kinds. You know; the ones left neglected while the summer sunshine shone. Are you feeling guilty like me?

Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook (published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, $19.99 USD) is one such book which I’ve been dying to give some attention. It’s an interesting choice for my inaugural review, it has to be said, given that the book is written by 100 home cooks and not simply by one author.

“This book is for all the food bloggers and home cooks of the world. Your passion inspires us and we thank you,” (Foodista). 100 different palates. 100 different personal bests. 100 different recipe-writing styles and flairs in the kitchen. It’s difficult enough to give an overview and rating on a cookbook from one author, never mind one hundred, but choosing, testing, and eating three recipes from this cookbook was such an enjoyable venture. It was one I was able to share with several people close to me, including the wonderful friend who gave me this cookbook, who just happened to be in town during the testing period.

My overall impression of this cookbook is that it’s an excellent purchase if you’d like to up the ante in your kitchen with an eclectic array of challenging recipes, as well as support your blogging community. There’s an excellent assortment of dishes from around the world, as well as some new takes on classics. My guess is that, quite naturally, each blogger probably wanted to put in their most interesting or impressive recipe. As a result, I will say that for most recipes you’ll have to take an extra run to the supermarket or to a speciality food store. Very few of the recipes could be made sans an ingredient run – even with if you happen to have a very well-stocked pantry (if I may be so bold as to classify my pantry as such!) In that sense, the cookbook may not be the best for beginners. But if you want to take your cooking up to the next level with some tried and true personal bests and favourites from some amazing home cooks, this book is for you.

On an editorial note, I wished they had placed the photos of bloggers next to their recipes rather than indexing them in the back of the book. I often recognize some of my favourite bloggers by their avatar or logo, and not always (immediately) by the name of their website.  Having the photos with the recipes would create a stronger association and connection between the featured blogger and the recipe. That being said, it was great fun flipping through and seeing those familiar faces in the back and admiring them for having their recipes published in this great and inventive compilation.

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS

REVIEW The Food You Crave: luscious recipes for a healthy life

By Ellie Krieger


Cookbook review written by
Stay-At-Home-Chef

The Food You Crave is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores

“To get people to eat well don’t say a word about health, just cook fantastic food for them.” Ellie Krieger

This quote perfectly sums up how I feel about Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, her recipes and overall approach to healthy eating. As a person who loves food, you’re not going to make me a fan of healthy eating by reciting facts and stats or scaring healthy food onto my plate. But give me healthy food that tastes incredible and I’ll be putty in your hands. The Food You Crave (published by The Taunton Press, $28.00 USD) will make a healthy food convert out of you without any bitter feelings of deprivation. The objective of the book is to take food you crave (such as pancakes, pasta, even sinful desserts) and recreate them in a healthier way without sacrificing any of the taste. So whether you happen to be lusting after creamy mashed potatoes or chocolate pudding, Ellie provides healthier alternatives that will satisfy your cravings.

This book follows the author’s food philosophy of Usually-Sometimes-Rarely. Anyone notice there is not a “never”? That is because Ellie’s approach to healthy eating does not include depriving you. Her goal is to teach you how to use ingredients that are typically off-limits when it comes to healthy eating, and use them strategically and in small amounts for maximum flavour impact. The Food You Crave is chockfull of creative recipes that are full of flavour and straightforward to prepare. The photography is fresh, and each recipe comes with a complete nutritional analysis. It also contains a list of essential nutrients for a healthy diet, along with suggested pantry items.

Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, food writer and host of the Food Network’s Healthy Appetite. Her passion for food came early, and at the tender age of two she could polish off a whole chicken by herself! An international modeling career introduced Ellie to new tastes and flavours, influencing her approach to cuisine and nutrition and giving her recipes an exotic flair.

Pick-up a copy of this book, flip through the pages and prepare to be inspired into healthier eating habits. With the stack of dessert books on my desk waiting to be reviewed, I know I will continue to turn to Ellie Krieger’s book! Balance – it’s all about balance.

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REVIEW: Flour

By Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson


Cookbook review written by
Stay-At-Home-Chef

 

Flour is available for purchase through our online store or at your local bookstore

Have you ever come across a cookbook with which you instantly hit it off and know that the two of you will be the closest of friends forever? A book that can do no wrong in your eyes and so you place them on a pedestal from which they never fall? This is the case for me and famed Boston pastry chef Joanne Chang’s Flour (published by Chronicle Books, $35.00 USD).

Co-written with Christie Matheson, this book is a collection of recipes from the Flour Bakery which first opened in Boston (MA) back in 2000. The drool worthy photographs of Keller + Keller help to create a whimsical, almost retro feel to the book that takes nothing away from the professional quality of the recipes. Each page is full of Joanne Chang’s passion for baking and her continued fascination with the transformations that take place when you combine simple ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs and butter. It is written in a casual manner, full of personal memories and anecdotes that will put even the most inexperienced baker at ease while preparing pâte feuilletée for the first time. Helpful baking tips are written in a clear, descriptive manner making intimidating techniques relatable for bakers of all levels. Lists of fundamental baking equipment and pantry essentials are also included, and ingredient amounts for recipes are given in both volume and weight measurements.

The cookbook market has always been inundated with baking books. So what makes Flour stand out from the herd? Clearly written recipes that produce successful results and include a variety of treats that range from a simple peanut butter cookie to more high-falutin’ creations such as Hazelnut-Almond Dacquoise. I dare you to open this book and instantly not want to make everything. In fact, I double dog dare you.

With the recipe tests for this book I opted for a commercial classic treats theme that included making Oreos, Pop-Tarts, and Fig Newtons. However I have also made the Raspberry-Rhubarb Muffins (delightful), and Flour’s Famous Banana Bread (is there a support group for addicts of this recipe?!) along with many other recipes – all of which turned out perfectly.

I read on The Kitchen that walking into Boston’s famous Flour Bakery is like walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and that the bakery’s cookbook is like winning the golden ticket. Not having had the pleasure of visiting a Flour Bakery I can only imagine the sweet pleasures held within its walls, but cooking from the bakery’s cookbook definitely made me feel like I won the lottery

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM RECIPE TESTS