If there's one thing I LOVE, it's baked good that are sweet - things like cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and my list could go on and on. And to use a saying from my mom, when it comes to cookies and such, my eyes are usually bigger than my stomach (which means I sometimes eat too many). It's the same with books; I want to read them all - well, just the 'sweet ones' (the kind I like to read), of course! But what happens when I combine the two - cookbooks for sweets?
I recently received from bloggingforbooks a copy of George Greenstein's A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets: Recipes from a New York Baking Legend for Strudel, Stollen, Danishes, Puff Pastry, and More. My time is limited but I enjoy baking when possible, and this seemed exactly like the kind of book for my sweet tooth. The chapters cover such pastry staples as bundt, babka, strudel, puff pastries, and danishes (along with others I'd never heard of). The book itself is rather basic - no pictures, just recipes - but it's loaded with delicious recipes and variations on each of the pastries.
But, this book is not for beginners. Each chapter begins with a "master recipe" and then follows with several recipes which use that dough. Some of the recipes - the ones I became most interested in - use more than one of them! Many of the pages have a "baker's secret" box, giving additional tips and tricks to make your pastries look more professional and taste even better. Plus, sometimes the short backstory on some of the recipes can be enough to make your mouth water.
Unfortunately for me, however, I'm not that good at baking just yet. Not only are my skills lacking, but I lack the time right now to put into such recipes. No matter how good they sound, until my current responsibilities change I'll have to content myself with visits to the bakery. But the book will still be on my shelf when I do have more time.