Monday, September 2, 2013

Cookbooks Anonymous

I'm addicted to cookbooks!! There, I've said it and I don't care who knows it!!

Over the years I have developed quite a collection, but not nearly enough to satisfy or even curb the craving. As I type this, my Amazon wish list is overflowing with titles I am dying to get my little mitts on, but all things in moderation...right?

I love everything about them and it's not just the mouth watering recipes...it's the pictures, the tips, the feel of the book's dust jacket. I know...weirdo right?!? Well, like I've said before...I love to learn and who better to learn from than the pioneers in the field who came before me.

Recently I gave into my desire and purchased The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco. Her name may or may not sound familiar to you. She is a James Beard Award-winner and former pastry chef for Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio's Craft and Craftbar (to name a few).

The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco & Mindy Fox
The cookbook addict in me loved it without question upon it's arrival, but then the rational side of me thought that maybe I should open it and I don't know, try a few recipes!

I decided to try out her Grandma Rankin's Cashew Brittle recipe since it was blistering hot today and it didn't require me turning the oven on. 

There was one catch though, I didn't have any cashews and i wasn't about to make a run to the store on Labor Day. No problem...the great thing about her book is that it's all about developing your craft.  She gives many tips on how to manipulate the recipe and even encourages you use your imagination.  I had pumpkin seeds on hand and after I toasted them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes to bring out the flavor I was ready to go. 

Pumpkin Seed Brittle Mise En Place
Butter, Sugar and Light Corn Syrup Boiling to a Dark Amber
Brittle Cooling on a Greased Cookie Sheet
Plated and Ready for Devouring
The Verdict: Delicious. They are buttery and have a salty/sweet thing going on.  Next time I may cut back the salt just a bit, but that's to my taste.  They would also make a great holiday or anytime gift for someone special.

Do you have a cookbook addiction? I would love to hear about your favorite cookbooks...for now I will be working may way though The Craft of Baking and many other titles while simultaneously developing my own craft.

Happy Baking,
Dani xoxo