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The Family Baker: 150 Never-Let-You-Down Basic Recipes

The Family Baker: 150 Never-Let-You-Down Basic Recipes

by Susan G. Purdy, Susan G. Purdy, Susan Gold Purdy (Illustrator)

Whether you learned to make desserts standing on your tiptoes at your mother's side, or you think "batter" is only a baseball term, join Susan G. Purdy in the kitchen as she whips up a delicious collection of goof-proof, innovative recipes guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone. These easy creations conjure visions of flour-flecked faces and noses


Whether you learned to make desserts standing on your tiptoes at your mother's side, or you think "batter" is only a baseball term, join Susan G. Purdy in the kitchen as she whips up a delicious collection of goof-proof, innovative recipes guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone. These easy creations conjure visions of flour-flecked faces and noses dotted with icing, and say loud and clear, "homemade from the heart."

There's everything from simple shortbread and dense, fudgy brownies to cherry pie with an easy-as-pie quick lattice topping (baked separately and slipped onto the pie before serving). The Family Baker brims with such mouth-watering, buttery baked goodies as Blueberry Buckle and Chocolate Romance Cake, in addition to no-bake ideas perfect for even the youngest aspiring cook.

Try Susan's Ice Cream Sand Castle. Simply fill a sand castle mold with store-bought ice cream, unmold when frozen, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar "sand." Her Peanut Butter-Honey "Clay Dough" feels like clay and can be modeled into a collection of creatures straight out of your child's imagination.

Accompanying her exceptionally detailed recipes, Susan provides decorating diagrams, trouble-shooting tips, and timesaving techniques that guarantee your muffins, cakes, pies, and cookies will be perfect every time. In charge of the school bake sale? There are merchandising suggestions that guarantee a money-making event. Need a conversation starter? How about make-your-own fortune cookies? And of course, there are plenty of ideas for birthday and anniversary parties and everyday celebrations.

So put on your apron, get out the flour, call in the kids, and start baking with The Family Baker by Susan G. Purdy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Purdy (author of award-winning Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too) offers time-honored desserts from friends and family. Extremely helpful organization lets home bakers know what special equipment to get, how long a recipe will keep and tips for preparation. Chatty preludes create a tempting fantasy world in which women sit around tea tables crying over long-forgotten cookie recipes. The recipe for Gladys Martin's Sour Cream Coffee Cake alone may be sufficient reason to buy the book, and there are also fine recipes for classic pies, cakes (Basic No-Bake Cheesecake) and puddings (Pennsylvania Dutch Baked Apple Pudding with Warm Nutmeg Cream). Unfortunately, many basic recipes (Thumbalinas are just thumb-print jam cookies) have been covered in such compendiums as The Joy of Cooking. Everyone already has a recipe for Lemon Squares tucked away on an index card; as well, the author admits that Cookie Jar Oatmeal Raisin Cookies is a variation of the Quaker Oats recipe and that the chocolate chip cookie recipe is Nestle's. The Triple Chocolate-Nut Biscotti, an unusual inclusion here, complicates what should be a simple Italian cookie with too many ingredients. Many of the recipes in the "Kids in the Kitchen" chapter don't quite come together--waiting overnight for the Baked Banana-Coconut Ice Cream, only to find out that it is potentially too hard to scoop, will strain the patience of child and adult alike. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Almost an embarrassment of riches for dessert lovers, here are new books from four talented bakers. Gand and her husband, Rick Tramonto, are the pastry chef and chef, respectively, of their two popular Chicago restaurants, Brasserie T and Tru. Their first book, American Brasserie, included some of Gand's delicious desserts, and now they offer a generous collection of almost 175 recipes, from Millionaire's Shortbread to Sweet-Hot White Pepper Ice Cream. The writing style is slightly precious (e.g., "Butter is a true aristocrat--and a modest one"), but the recipe instructions are clear and the headnotes informative. For all baking collections. Medrich, the well-known author of Cocolat and Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, now presents 50 delicious recipes for favorite cookies and brownies, many of them shown in mouth-watering full-page color photographs. There's a good introduction, and each chapter opens with "Here's What I Learned," a brief but informative collection of clever tips. Many of the recipes are classics, and all of them seem irresistible. An essential purchase. Purdy's A Piece of Cake and As Easy as Pie have become classics, and her two recent low-fat cookbooks, including Let Them Eat Cake, have been very popular. Her new book features recipes for all sorts of homey desserts and other baked goods, from Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding to Blue Ribbon Cherry Pie to Sour Cream Spice Cake. The recipe instructions are detailed and thorough, and there are many thoughtful technique tips and other useful hints, as well as variations. For all baking collections. Wilson is a baker and food writer, and her specialty is wedding cakes, the topic of her first cookbook (The Wedding Cake Book). Unlike her extravagant wedding cakes, a number of the desserts in her new book are fairly simple, although many of them feature a "Bake It to the Limit" version, an optional final step for a more elaborate presentation or variation. (The cake recipes, perhaps not surprisingly, are far more complicated than the other desserts.) With recipes for sweets like Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart and Sour Cherry Bars, this is recommended for most baking collections. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Jennifer Wolcott
Susan Purdy's The Family Baker: 150 Never Let You Down Basic Recipes is one book that will quickly become soiled and dogeared (the true test of a cookbook's usefulness), as it's referred to time and time again for decorating cakes and cookies, making muffins, organizing children's ice-cream parties, or hosting a bake sale...Best of all, Purdy isn't too high and mighty to speak to the novice. Everyone has made rolls that don't rise, excessively doughy cookies, or pie crust that puffs up. She addresses such glitches with step-by-step diagrams and trouble shooting tips, taking the guesswork out of baking.
Christian Science Monitor

Product Details

Broadway Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.26(h) x 0.92(d)

Meet the Author

Susan G. Purdy, CCP, bakes for her family at home in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Purdy's Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too earned the IACP/ Julia Child Cookbook Award and Let Them Eat Cake was nominated for a 1998 James Beard Award. Purdy teaches baking at cooking schools across the country and in France, and she writes about des-serts for many national magazines.

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