I received a copy of this book early in October and spent days paging through it looking at the full colour photos that accompany many of the recipes. Then I started reading the actual recipes. Along with a complete ingredient and measurement list, there are step-by-step instructions, and variation suggestions when appropriate. There is also a 'Tips' section with each recipe. This is where you'll find those helpful hints of when parchment paper is recommended, comments on whether to use salted or unsalted nuts, whether the item freezes well and much more.
It was only after I had stuck about twenty post-it notes on the recipes I wanted to sample that I turned to the front of them book and read the introduction and the sections on: Baking Basics, Baking Equipment, Baking Tips and Techniques , and Making Perfect Cakes.
Bakers will appreciate that this book has a unique 'concealed wire-o hardcover binding', this means that it easily lays flat open on your counter while you are baking.
I tried ten recipes in total from this book and all of them were a success. I tried to stay as close to the ingredient list as possible, though a few times I used unsalted butter, but I'll tell you about that later.
I loved this book and it's recipes. The binding method is so practical and the hardcover has a shiny surface that makes it easy to clean off any stray cooking splatters. This is a perfect book for a new baker with little kitchen experience, or for one who is limited in the number of cookbooks he or she can purchase. There are also ample recipes to attract the more experienced baker. (over 250 recipes)
I used this for the shell for my pumpkin pies. I made the 'double crust' amount. I followed the recommendation of using Cake & Pastry Flour, as I happened to have some, and handled the dough as little as possible. Again, the crust was actually light and flaky. I had made the same pumpkin pies a week earlier using the recipe on the vegetable shortening box and the pastry was kind of tough. This is a much better recipe.
Oat Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Butter
I was skeptical when I spied this recipe. I have been baking ripe banana muffins for years and I thought they were excellent. Well, these were much, much better. The top was crunchy, yet the insides were nice and moist. This is our new, favourite banana muffin recipe. Note, this is a very thick batter. We added a half cup of chopped pecans.
Cheddar, Bacon and Corn Muffins
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
• 13- by 9-inch (3.5 L) cake pan, greased
2 cups Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour 500 mL
1 cup packed brown sugar 250 mL
1⁄4 tsp salt 1 mL
1 cup butter, softened 250 mL
1 egg yolk 1
11⁄2 cups butterscotch chips 375 mL
3⁄4 cup corn syrup 175 mL
3 tbsp butter 45 mL
21⁄2 cups salted mixed nuts (12 oz/375 g) 625 mL
1. Crust: Combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Using two knives, a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk. Press into prepared pan.
2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool.
3. Topping: Combine butterscotch chips, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. Cool slightly. Spread over cooled crust and sprinkle with nuts; press nuts gently into topping. Refrigerate until topping is firm, about 1 hour. Cut into squares.
If you can bear to part with them, these chewy squares, which are chock‑full of nuts, make a perfect gift.
The look and taste of these squares depends entirely on the nuts you use. You can buy mixed nuts, with or without peanuts, or you can make your own mix.
Be sure your butterscotch chips are fresh for easy melting.
Excerpted from Robin Hood Baking © 2010 Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. & Robert Rose Inc. http://www.robertrose.ca/ reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Thank-you to Robert Rose Inc. for my review copy. You can also join Robert Rose on Facebook and learn more about baking and ask your baking and food related questions.
Visit Robin Hood for more baking information and additional recipes.