Top 10 Books I Can't Live Without: #8


I can’t say that I have a lot of baking books that are dear to my heart. It might be because I’m just not a big baker, or at least I wasn’t until my kids started school and the relentless call for bake sale items and birthday party treats forced me to become intimate with the ways of flour, butter, and sugar.

I don’t like to ever rely on boxed cake mixes or the like, but starting from scratch when I didn’t even know how to make a decent layer cake was also pretty frightening. Thankfully one book came along not that long ago and has become my manual for all things sweet. I love the recipes in this book so much, and was making them so often, that at one point my husband noticed and said, “so, are you a baker now?”

8. THE CRAFT OF BAKING by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox

Within pastry circles DeMasco is highly revered for her imaginative and sophisticated (yet simple, no crazy fondant creations for her) takes on classic desserts. She became famous for the sweets she created at the restaurants Craft, Craftbar, and ‘wichcraft (which you may know as the the establishments run by Top Chef judge Tom Collichio), and now she has translated these delights into The Craft of Baking, whose subtitle is: “Cakes, Cookies & Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own“.

I have made many items, with a goal to make everything at least once, but my favorite recipes (thus far) are the truly delicious banana cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream, the apple fritters, the lemon olive oil cake, and hands-down the best dessert of all time (whenever I make it people practically fall on the floor in ecstasy) the brown sugar cake.

You won’t want to wait for a  bake sale to try it.