by Nancy Baggett
Nancy Baggett set out to find the best homemade desserts in America, and she knew just where to look. She turned to small-town cooks who are locally famous for their specialties, innkeepers and bakers whose treats lure guests back year after year, and church and bake-sale ladies whose creations are always snapped up. Many of Nancy's finds have never before been published, or even written down. The All-American Dessert Book, by Nancy Baggett, is a luscious collection of 150 truly American favorites-each one with its own little morsel of history.
Nancy traveled to Vermont, where she tracked down a buttery blueberry buckle from a bed and breakfast. To Virginia, where she persuaded an apple grower to part with his secret for making the best deep-dish apple pie. To the Ozarks, where a home cook shared an amazing peach cobbler (the best Nancy has ever tasted) she had learned from her mother. To Mississippi, where Nancy dug up a particularly rich frozen chocolate mud cake. Down to New Orleans, for a famous whiskey bread pudding, and over to California, where she struck gold with an innkeeper's lemon filling for shortbread sandwich cookies. Nancy rummaged through her grandmother's and mother's recipe files and her own. She backtracked through history to resurrect all manner of wonderful desserts, from strawberry shortcakes to pumpkin cheesecake and apple pandowdy.
With her recipe box bursting. Nancy then began the testing in her home kitchen. She reworked every recipe she found, testing each one several times and having other cooks cross-test for perfection. She baked her way through 370 pounds of sugar, 130 pounds of butter, and 1,100 eggs, to get the pies and tarts, cakes, cobblers and crisps, puddings and custards, and ice creams, along with newly discovered cookies, candies, and confections just right.
This user-friendly volume also includes 10 pages of tips and techniques and a whole chapter on "family fun"—edible gifts you can make with your kids.
The All-American Dessert Book doesn't just appeal to your sweet tooth but also to your curiosity about our baking roots. You'll learn the difference between a crisp and a betty, and how pandowdy got its name. You'll discover why New York cream cheese-makers named cream cheese after the city of Philadelphia, and who invented the banana split. This collection is a treasure trove of fascinating information on our heritage and the rich, ever-changing American culture.
The All-American Dessert Book is a co-main selection of The Good Cook, a division of Book of the Month Club.
About the Author
Nancy Baggett, a leading authority on American desserts, is renowned for her clearly written, easy-to-follow recipes. She is the author of the best-selling All-American Cookie Book, The International Chocolate Cookbook, which was named the best dessert cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and The International Cookie Book.
The All-American Dessert Book
by Nancy Baggett
Hardcover, 448 pages
$35.00, fall-color photographs, 150 recipes
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created November 2005
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