By RAMONA PRICE
It’s that time of year! Time to turn on the oven, pull out the mixing bowls, crank up the holiday music and get baking. Everyone loves homemade bakes for the holidays, here are some books for delicious, beautiful, and family-pleasing treats. All of these titles are available to request at www.dcl.org.
“Christmas Baking: Festive Cookies, Candies, Cakes, reads and Snacks to Bring Comfort and Joy to Your Holiday” by Joyce and Laura Klynstra: We all have our holiday favorite bakes, traditions passed down from generation to generation. Make some new ones with the delicious, festive, and homey recipes in this book. You’ll find cookies from around the world, candies perfect for gifts, breakfast bakes for your Christmas morning feast and much more. Get the whole family involved by experimenting with new recipes and finding your favorites.
“Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads” by Nancy Baggett: 2020 has been the year of the sourdough. If you haven’t joined the trend because making bread seems scary and hard, this is the book for you. Nancy Baggett details a simple technique to make bread in a single bowl with minimal effort. From sourdough to classic cinnamon raisin to elegant rosemary focaccia, you’ll find the perfect recipe to jump into the world of bread baking.
“Cookies Are Magic: Classic Cookies, Brownies, Bars and More” by Maida Heatter: There’s just something special about homemade cookies, maybe because they remind us of baking as children with our families. The late, great Maida Heatter understood that feeling and her 50-year career as a chef and author influenced legions of home and professional bakers. This book collects 100 of her best recipes that will bring you back to your childhood and inspire you to make new memories with your family.
“Cake, I Love You: Decadent, Delectable and Do-Able Recipes” by Jill O’Connor: This has rapidly become my go-to source for new and unique takes on classic cakes. A local San Diego author, Jill O’Connor breaks down complicated multi-part cakes into simple steps, encouraging us along with her helpful tone. Unique flavor combinations, beautiful photos and recipes designed for a wide range of skill levels make this an indispensable resource. Whether you want to make simple loaf cake or a multi-layered frosting extravaganza, there’s something here for everyone.
“The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies” by Erin Jeanne McDowell: Many people are intimidated by pies, but the expression “easy as pie” exists for a reason, and this book is a great choice for newbies and experienced bakers alike. Author Erin Jeanne McDowell takes you through detailed tutorials on making crusts before jumping into a wealth of unique, delicious recipes for both sweet and savory pies. Once you get the basics down, use her decorating tips and the beautiful photos for inspiration to take your pies to the next level.
Looking for more book recommendations? Staff from San Diego County Library have been recording short book review videos for you to watch, where you can get a handful of curated picks in just a few minutes. Historical fiction, thrillers, bedtime stories for kids, and more, recommended by folks who know their stuff. Visit the website at www.my.nicheacademy.com/sdclbookshorts.
— Ramona Price is a librarian at the La Mesa branch of the San Diego County Library.