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Timeless Recipes for Cakes, Desserts, Ice Cream, and Candy
By Jennifer Lindner McGlinn; Photos by Béatrice Peltre
ISBN: 0811861910
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication date: October 2009
Format: Hardcover
Number of recipes: 60+
List price: $19.95
Type: Desserts: Gingerbread
Sample recipe: Burgundian Spiced Caramels
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: all breakfast/brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color all/mostly color
Art contribution: disappointing distracting decorative beautiful glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family food fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: eek cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy delicate years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writing history: beginner writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: Did we know there were so many gingerbread sweets that you could write a whole book about them? No, we did not. Pastry Chef Jennifer Lindner McGlinn has been saving gingerbread recipes since her childhood, though, and came up with enough and to spare.

Her book starts with an introduction to gingerbread (who knew there were gingerbread guilds in Europe?), and follows with whole chapters on cakes; cookies; "desserts" (puddings, pies, trifles, tortes, a Bûche de Noël, etc.); ice creams and confections; "Gingerbread for Breakfast" (pancakes, waffles, scones, doughnuts, etc.); gingerbread houses (complete instructions as well as designs for a church and Betsy Ross' House); ending with a chapter of accompaniments, including glazes, icings, and sauces.

The publisher makes the argument that gingerbread should not be viewed as only a holiday food, and with the variety of recipes in this book, it will be an easy matter to indulge your gingerbread tooth through the year.

We found the line length of the head notes that precede each recipe to be so long that it was hard for our eyes to confidently make the jump from one line to the next, causing us to skip a line here and there or read the same line twice. Otherwise it's a beautiful book.


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