Maida Heatter’s Cakes and Maida Heatter’s Cookies

In the hipster baking rush to altoids brownies and Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies, we shouldn’t overlook the Maida Heatter, the original baking obsessive. She’s earned icon status with both reliable recipes and indulgent concoctions.

Maida Heatter's Cakes foreword by Nancy Silverton, Andrews McMeel 2011, $19.99 paper, 354 pages

So thats why its great to have her recipes reassembled in Maida Heatters Cakes and Maida Heatters Cookies. From plain cakes like a Buttermilk Loaf Cake to a birthday-worthy Black and White Layer Cake, and from everyday cookies like Raisin Oatmeal to elaborate, only-made-by-nana-once-a-year Maxines, these books, from basics to specialties will school the beginner and tempt the expert.

Chapters on Chocolate Cakes, Layer Cakes, Fancy Cakes, Cheesecakes, Fruit and Nut Cakes, Yeast Cakes, Sweet Breads, Gingerbreads will answer every craving and suit every pantry, from a gentle slice of Hollywood Honey Cake for breakfast to a whipped cream-filled Paris-Brest for a celebration.

Heatter is likewise exhaustive with her cookie choices. Sometimes you just want a plain, biscuity cookie; a nibble of something slightly sweet to set alongside a cup of tea. Heatters recipe for Cornell Cookies are lovelyas she explains in the headnote, developed by home economists to be healthy, but theres nothing to stop you from dipping them in a jacket of dark chocolate or serving them with a good blue cheese.

Maida Heatter's Cookies foreword by Wolfgang Puck, Andrews McMeel 2011, $19.99 paper, 322 pages

Whether its all-American Chocolate Chip or the spicy, old world flavors of Viennese Marzipan Bars, theres a small sweet here for you. The recipes are organized by energy levelplenty of simple drop cookies and bar cookies when you need to move fast. When youve got more time, try 8-Layer Cookies or roll out delicate Les Petites and sandwich them with chocolate. Theres even a chapter on savory crackers that includes Melbas and Knackerbrod.

In both books, Heatters headnotes will tell you what to expect. Her directions are preciseseasoned bakers will find their own way through, but beginners will appreciate the hand-holding. And everyone will appreciate what you make from these books.

About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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