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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cookbook Review: Classic Home Desserts

I found this huge compendium of desserts at my local library (my favorite place for cookbooks).  I am first and foremost, a dessert maker.  I cannot help myself.   If you look on my recipe page, you will see that a large portion of my posts are devoted to sweets.  So, naturally I gravitate more toward dessert cookbooks.

Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax is just about a baker's nirvana.  With over 300 recipes on almost 700 pages, it contains just about every single dessert recipe ever created.  Ever.  Originally written in 1994, it has been reprinted with updated covers twice since.  The recipes, covering the history of all things sweet, covers sweets from all over the world.

There is a wide pink sidebar (oops! that's blogger speak for margin) throughout the book next to the white of the main contents.  In the margin, Mr. Sax includes quotes, bits of trivia and even excerpts from journals and books from various ages of time.  These little snippets are as much fun as the recipes.

As the title infers, this book includes only desserts you would make at home; things your grandma made, foods that made family traditions.  Homey foods.  There are no fancy restaurant items included.  There is no nouveau cuisine.  Even the photos, what few there are, are simple and unpretentious.  Because of the magnitude of this project, Mr. Sax only gave single examples of many desserts.  You won't find every single kind of fruit pie.  You won't find every single kind of cookie.

Instead, you will find a chapter on cobblers and crisps wherein the author explains the differences between cobblers, betties, crisps, crumbles, pandowdies, buckles and slumps, giving a very decent recipe for each.  There are even a few little history lessons thrown in here and there for good measure.  Each other chapter follows a similar pattern.  All of the basic kinds desserts are represented.

This is the kind of book I would love to bake my way through!

15 comments:

Emily Malloy said...

That is a fantastic review!!! I would love to watch you bake through it, and even better, to eat as you bake through it.

...My address is...

;o)

Pattie T. said...

I make full use of the library too, in fact, embarrassingly so as sometimes I can't cart all of the books out by myself. I'll have to look into getting this one as I enjoyed reading your review. I'm now following you just in case you do decide to bake your way through. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Do try the cheese puffs and don't skimp on the topping.

katerina said...

This is such a great review Kristen. thanks for all this info.

es65 said...

Sounds like a cookbook I would thoroughly enjoy!

All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

I am glad to see that I am not the only one to get lots of cookbooks out at the library. The librarians are always asking me if I bake a lot. I think it is a really smart way to see if you really want to buy the book or not. I do have this book but it is the second edition.

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Cookbook reviews are such fun! I STILL haven't hit the cookbook section of my library, maybe that needs to be on my resolution list!

Island Vittles said...

It sounds like my kind of cookbook -- I'm more interested in the hows, whys and whens of food. You've inspired me to look at the cookbook section in our little island library. Who knows what I'll find! Theresa

Drick said...

like the homey sound of this one, gonna have to check it out, thanks

Diethood.com said...

Great review - thank you for the information! Since it has a recipe for every dessert possible, I am going to go and get it! :)

BakingWithoutABox said...

Oh wow. That book looks great. My kind of recipes. And I love tips, history, and trivial snippets in cookbooks!

Debra "Deb" Dresden Disney-Dior said...

Kristen, you should write reviews professionally! I adore cookbooks that focus on dessert. When people, online, ask me where I live, I usually reply,"In Tucson --in the dessert. 99% of the time, they'll correct me and type, "the desert"? No, the "dessert!" I could bathe in dessert! I don't understand why they didn't name the dessert, Baked Alaska...Baked Arizona? Baked Arizona is fitting.
As always, great review, Kristen. :) Thank you!
So far, I'm keeping to my New Year's resolution. I'm only commenting on the blogs I read daily -- there are 2 that I read 2 - 3 times a day. I don't know WHY I keep checking back so often throughout the day. Maybe I'm just hoping you and Marie will have "after thoughts." Yes, I read a LOT of blogs. Too many, but I love reading them in my spare time. I prefer blogs to novels! I adore your blog and Marie's "English Kitchen and "A Year at Oak Cottage." They are my daily "must reads.' Don't get me started on the fashion and home decorating blogs. OMGoodness. It's a great way to spend a "sunny" Sunday afternoon. Gosh, Kristen, I apologize for rambling.

Claudia said...

I also love the cookbook section of my library - there are wonders I haven't heard of - and there they are - for free to check out! Lovely review - enticing. I am not huge baker although I do love desserts. I also love "hows" and "whys" of cooking so thi book would be of interest.

Kim Kelly said...

I love getting cookbooks at the library! I'll have to put this one on my list, I like to just read them sometimes. Then I make a few copies for later!

Cristina {Teenie Cakes} said...

Sounds like my kinda cookbook...I do love desserts too. Great review - thx for sharing about it.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Which recipes did you try?

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