Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Nook - Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

Hi readers,

I love to bake in the Fall.  So this time of year, even though I know it's still technically summer, I start to get the itch.  And, just this morning, I made the Bachsters and myself a big yummy batch of blueberry muffins, which are always a hit.  I got the recipe from (which is a great source for tons of recipes) & they turn out perfect every time.  The recipe for the muffins was originally published in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, which if you like to bake (or eat baked goods!), you must check out!

It's impossible to look through this book & not find something you want to bake - or eat!  There are so many yummy recipes & lots of pictures to accompany them (I love that).  There are cakes, cookies, pastries, breads, etc.  I've baked a lot of the recipes from the book & everything comes out great.

Probably my favorite recipe from the book is the pumpkin bread.  It makes 2 loaves, which is good for us because we demand generous portions here at the Bach Haus!  Martha says that the bread is even better the 2nd day & she's right.  If it can last that long.  If you make one recipe from this book, try this one first.  It will satisfy your need for Fall baking & your sweet tooth!

Earlier this year, I went to a grown-up-girls slumber party & I made the cherry-streusel coffee cake for breakfast for everyone.  It was soooo yummy & the ladies (& myself) all gobbled it up.  Since I had extra streusel, I turned around & made it again the following weekend for my family's Easter get-together.  I also made the yellow butter cake with chocolate frosting for my daughter's 5th birthday.  This cake recipe is really good & very flavorful.  I added some extra confectioner's sugar to the dark chocolate frosting, but just because we like ours a little sweeter.  The cake & frosting were delicious & held up very well in the fridge.

Another tried & true recipe from the book is the fudgy chocolate brownies.  Doesn't that just sound yummy, just by title alone?  These are not super-sweet brownies, but I make these when I want brownie sundaes.  These brownies, plus a really good vanilla ice cream, plus warm hot fudge, plus whipped cream.......oh my gosh!  We served this dessert at a big family get-together last year and there was not a morsel left.  Resistance is futile, people!

I've also baked the classic crumb cake & the marbled pound cake, but it's been a while since I've made them.  It wasn't for a specific event, just for fun.  They're good too.  If I do the crumb cake again, I might hold back a bit on the crumb topping - it was a lot, even for me.  But very tasty!  I almost forgot: the cornmeal drop biscuits have a really nice crunchy texture & they are a snap to make.  These are a great option if you want biscuits but don't have any buttermilk in the fridge.

There are a few recipes in the book that I have not yet made, but would like to try.  The macaroons are high up on the list - you will probably be hearing about these from me soon!  I also would like to try the cream cheese & chive biscuits.  My neighbor gave me some chives for our garden & I want to make these to share with her as a little thank you.  I'd also like to try the pear-spice bundt cake.  What a beautiful presentation this recipe has, with the pear chip garnish.  It would be perfect for a big get-together with family & friends.

Is all this making you hungry?  It is me!  And since I just ate 3 of those awesome blueberry muffins (yes, 3) I can't justify more baking today.  But there will be soon, I promise! 

One more thing about the book that I should note is that this is a handbook.  There's a good bit of basic baking information here - how-to's, equipment discussion, etc.  This would be very helpful to someone who doesn't do a lot of baking.  Me, er, I do too much!

This book will surely inspire any baker!


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