202 of 205 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2012
I stumbled upon this book a few weeks ago and fell in love with it! I am a scratch baker myself, self taught just for the love of it! Thankfully I come from a family who helped show me the way. I love everything about this book. I've made six recipes so far from this book - Brown Sugar Banana Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Red Velvet Cake, Cherry Pie Bars, Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Bacon Jam. I also had the pleasure of going to a baking class here in California with the lovely Cheryl and Griffith Day and got to sample their Chocolate Heaven Cake, Blueberry Buckle, Drunken Blondies, Coconut Cream Pie, Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting, and they made the Bacon Jam too. Everything that I have baked myself from the book as well as what they baked for us that day has been beyond delicious! Most to the point of incredible!! I have to say the Coconut Cream Pie was the best I have ever tasted as well as the Red Velvet Cake. I have made about 5 different red velvet recipes trying to find one that is perfect and their recipe is finally the winner! I tried Paula Deen's, Bobby Flay's, Alton Browns, etc. and their recipe blew them all away. I also have to say that I made the Cherry Pie Bars thinking they would be good but wasn't expecting anything spectacular but they were. I wound up using a mix of cherries, blackberries and raspberries from Trader Joe's and the guys that tasted it said I should enter it into a contest somewhere, it's that good! Don't even get me started on the Bacon Jam! It is one of the best things I have ever tasted! I personally thought it sounded weird and thought the bacon might be rubbery or something after all that cooking down with the liquids but it isn't.
Truly this is the first book I have ever owned that I feel I could bake everything from. Everything! There is so much love in this book and the recipes are ones that you will treasure. There is nothing really fancy about it, they don't try and reinvent the wheel, these are just incredible good old fashioned American desserts that have stood the test of time and will hopefully continue to inspire new generations to get back to scratch baking rather than buying manufactured baked goods that are filled with artificial ingredients and certainly made with no love. Do yourself a favor and get this book!!! It's written for anyone, whether you bake all the time or haven't ever made anything from scratch. This is certainly one that will never sit on a dusty shelf!
Update June 2014 - I've now made 30+ recipes from this book and it remains my very favorite baking book! They've all been great recipes! Many I have made several times over.
98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
My husband is from North Carolina and we have lived in Hawaii for 40 years. I'm always on the lookout for good Southern cookbooks because he's very appreciative when I make Southern food. Cheryl and Griffith Day, authors, own Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, so this cookbook caught my eye. I took a chance and preordered it back in March. And boy am I glad I did! My husband says it's "just like back home cooking!"
I've tried several recipes so far and every one has turned out beautifully. The recipes are very easy to follow, ingredients are "every day" items you probably already have in your pantry. All I had to purchase was mace, whole nutmegs, and cardamom. But it's well worth it because these are used in several recipes in this book. I've made the sweet potato pie twice and my family absolutely loves it. I'd never even eaten a sweet potato pie before, so I had no idea what it would taste like. Wonderful! So easy to bake. Their homemade jam recipe is so easy and instructions are thorough and detailed. I made it using strawberries, both fresh and frozen. Turned out great both times. So much better than store bought. I've made the Southern Corn Cakes, Baked Vanilla Custard, Bourbon Pecan Pie (to die for!), Bourbon Bread Pudding (my Mom's favorite), and Blueberry Biscones with Lemon Glaze. Their special recipe for shortcut piecrust is amazing - buttery, flaky and so very easy to prepare. My next treat will be the lemon bars. Can't wait!
Everything I've baked so far was perfectly yummy! I never considered myself a baker, but with successes like these, I've come to love baking and making treats my family enjoys.
66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
With so many cookbooks that I've lost count, with most of them focusing on baking, it is not often that I come across a baking book that has interesting or innovative takes on the same old cookies, bars, and cakes. I was on the fence about adding a new book to my repertoire and actually used the "Look Inside" option on Amazon to try a recipe before purchasing. I made the Doughnut Muffins, and purchased the book immediately that day. I've had the book for one week and already made five recipes: the Doughnut Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Mocha Oatmeal Muffins, Pecan-Chocolate-Espresso Coffee Cake, and Brown Sugar Bundt Cake. I can say with certainty that every recipe has been a winner. The baking times are almost true to what is written, which is also not something you find often.
Aside from the recipes that I've tried, what really caught my eye with this book was the interesting take on cookies, savory foods, and bars. We've all heard of Mexican chocolate, but Back in the Day Bakery has developed a cookie made with almond and all-purpose flour as well as chocolate and cayenne pepper for kick, which is one recipe I cannot wait to try. They also include a recipe for Bennecake Thumbprint cookies, which uses Benne flour, local to the Low Country of South Carolina/Georgia. If that doesn't pique your interest, then the Lemon Pie Bars, Drunk Blondies, Almond Crunchies, and homemade Sno Balls might catch your eye. Still not convinced? Savory foods such as Pancetta-Fontina Bread Pudding and Vegetable Potpie are also included!
The biggest complaint for cookbooks are those that don't include enough photographs. Back in the Day Bakery has a photograph on nearly every page, and you can clearly see what the end result should look like. Every recipe is incredibly easy to read and follow- just ask my 7 year old, who helped make the Espresso cake and Bundt cake. I can't say enough good things about this cookbook, and I am so glad that I purchased it. Highly recommended.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2012
I bought a Southern Living Magazine with a cupcake recipe from Back in the Day Bakery and loved how it turned out (and so did my family). So I looked up online to see if I can get more recipes on their website. When I discovered that they were publishing a cookbook in Mar 2012, I immediately ordered a copy on Amazon. I received my copy late in March with no problems. I never been so excited to read a cookbook, I read it like it was a novel. I read each page and was in wonder with all the recipes and pictures. I was smiling at my husband while I have the cookbook open to a page with a picture of a lovely coconut cake. I told him "Wouldn't be great if we can go to Back in the Day Bakery and have this cake?" (pointing to the coconut cake). My husband replied and said "Let's go! Where is it?" We do not live no where close to the bakery, in fact we live hundreds of miles away. But my husband got online and checked on flights. Because my husband works for an Airline company, he and I have flying benefits to fly anywhere on standby for free. We picked a date that week and he ensured me that the flight to Savannah was available and crazy enough we got on the plane, landed in Savannah airport, took a taxi and found the bakery. When we entered the bakery I felt like I stepped into the cookbook. The decor and shelf was exactly as the pictures on the book's cover. We approached the display counter filled with cupcakes and scones and bread pudding and cookies and brownies. My eyes just lit up. I had asked the young lady behind the counter who took our order if she wouldn't mind asking if Mr. and Mrs. Day to come out and sign my cookbook (yes I took my cookbook with me). Cheryl was nice enough to come out of the kitchen a few minutes later to talk to us. She was so tickled that we flew out to visit her bakery. What a lovely lady. She was very nice to sign my book and take a picture with me. Little did I know that I became her fan that day? After we got home I was so inspired by my visit to the bakery, that I made 3 recipes from the book. The Sno ball, chocolate cake and Bourbon Bread Pudding and boy oh boy were they delicious! The recipes were very easy to follow even though the Sno Ball had several steps to make but man! was it worth it. I made the Bourbon Bread Pudding again for Easter Brunch and my family asked for seconds after seconds. I am looking forward to this weekend to bake more recipes. Cheryl and Griffith Day, if you ever get to read my review, just wanted to say thank you for sharing this beautiful cookbook and sharing your recipes so that I may relive my visit to your bakery and able to bake delicious baked goods in my own kitchen. Hope to see you both more often for I'm sure this book will make you famous.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2012
I lived in Savannah for 5 years and recently moved away. Quite honestly, the thing I miss most about Savannah is Back in the Day Bakery. Before this book came out, I often wished I could just teleport a bacon jam sandwich, a Cheryl's brownie, or a cupcake from the bakery directly into my mouth, a thousand miles away in Chicago. Even though I'm a baker myself and I could make my own versions of my favorite Back in the Day treats, they just wouldn't be the same. And then this book happened. I got it on pre-order and have made tons of the recipes in it since it came out. Every recipe I've tried has been absolutely stellar. Some bakeries that release cookbooks cut corners on the recipes--not here.
Every time I need to bake something special, I turn to this book because I *know* it'll be fantastic. It's absolutely packed with fabulous recipes, and I find that the amount of story and commentary woven into the book is perfect: not too much or too little. Plus, the design of the book is gorgeous, and if you've ever been to the bakery, you know that the aesthetic of the book and the photography takes you right back there. I remember seeing Cheryl sitting at a booth in the bakery and working on this book during several of my last visits there and eagerly anticipating its release, and I'm so glad it's completely exceeded my expectations. I still miss Back in the Day for the friendly owners, staff, and atmosphere, but at least now I can replicate their incredible sweets and savories anytime I want.
36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2012
I agree with the reviewer who had trouble with the recipes, the recipes need a little improving on the writers part. I tried the old-fashioned cupcakes, followed the directions EXACTLY, even used the brand of ingredients suggested by the authors (listed elsewhere in the book), disappointed. Where steps left out to protect their secret recipes? I will also try again. Hopefully, the next go around will be better.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
I'm a good cook, but I love to bake. I bake something probably five days per week. I was flipping channels and came across an old episode of Paula Dean's show where she had Cheryl Day as a guest. I decided to look up Ms. Day and found this cookbook. I'm so happy I did.
The recipes are wonderful. I've made half a dozen already. I can heartily recommend the S'more pie, Pinkies' Chocolate Lunch Box Treats (yummy homemade version of Hostess Snowballs), Hummingbird Cake (I made half a batch), Old-Fashioned Cupcakes, and the Guava Cheese pastries (made with lower fat cream cheese...not that it matters. :)) They're all delicious. One nice feature is that none of them use any weird ingredients. I'll admit I've left out mace, but as it does appear in quite a few recipes, I might just pick some up at the store next time.
Most recipes use a mixture of cake and regular AP flour--although from reading the cookbook, I get the idea that they're trying to approximate White Lilly Flour which is available in the South. So, if you have that, you might not need to do the mix. (I've made some recipes with all AP and they turned out just fine...but I did end up buying a box of cake flour to see if there was a difference.)
There are a few savory recipes too--but I haven't gotten there yet.
Really wonderful cookbook. Can't believe I lived 2 hours away from Savannah and never made the road trip. Next time!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
Recently spent a long weekend in Savannah with my family, renting a house in the historic district. My husband and I brought our bikes along and decided to make the trip to the bakery, as it is a mile or so outside of the main historic district. The bakery is quite sweet and very retro. By chance when we arrived, Cheryl and Griffith Day were sitting at a table in the front of the bakery, which I found very amusing to watch as they mingled with the locals in to buy baked goods and a cup of joe.
My husband and I purchased several items including their Vegetable Tart, Cinnamon Biscones, Drunk Blondies and a couple of other items. Additionally, I purchased a signed copy of their book. We shared all of the items back at the house with our family. Everything was fabulous!! The Drunk Blondies were by far my favorite, and I was glad to see the recipe made the cut for the book. Needless to say, we needed work off a lot of calories biking after enjoying all of the treats!
Over our stay I spent time browsing through their book, and I am looking forward to trying a couple of the recipes. If the recipes are true to the items served at the bakery, this book will have been worth every penny! It is evident that this couple puts their heart into baking no nonsense, homey baked goods. No frills to be sure, but their baked goods are the real deal...just like my grandmother made back in the day. Keep in mind, this book is packed with recipes that are butter rich; whole grainers need not apply!
I am hopeful that this book will be released for Kindle (iPad) soon!! Keeping my fingers crossed.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2014
I waited and waited for Christmas hoping this book would be among the pile of beautifully wrapped packages under the tree. To my delight, it was the last one I opened and the only present I spent the rest of my night with. After reading it from cover to cover (essentially), I fell in love with the vintage flare, the authors, and the stories of how baking and cooking weave through their families.
After choosing a few particular recipes, I set out to our Amish grocery store to find aluminum free powder and a few spices I didn't already have. With excitement, I tried out three new recipes.
I have been baking since I was old enough to turn on my mom's old electric beaters. I've always been a scratch baker and feel very comfortable with recipes and what baking should look, smell, feel and taste like. So when the (easy!) hot cocoa recipe fell bitterly flat (completely undrinkable without significant doctoring), I was a bit concerned. In spite of that, I tried the marshmallow recipe. They were ok but were very gummy and obtained all of their taste from the powdered sugar they were rolled in. My old standby is Martha Stewart's recipe which is heavenly. Sadly, I scrapped my plans to deliver both of these to our neighbors and brought them chocolates instead.
Finally I decided to go for their best selling vanilla cupcakes. In fairness, I have been chasing the perfect scratch white cake recipe for years. It's not easy to find. This one will go in the pile of the others that fell short. The crumb was nice and it was fun to try a new technique. However the cake was very dry and tasteless.
While I do love the stories in this book, I can't help but be a little let down. I will give this book another recipe or two before it finds itself in the back of my stacks of cookbooks. After reading so much about the authors and learning to love their approach, I'm hopeful the next two will knock my socks off.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2013
After visiting the Bakery this summer, I had to have the book. I am slowly baking a new recipe each Sunday for family dinner. Thus far, there hasn't been a single one out of my ability range (I'm a kitchen moron) or that hasn't tasted like three degrees of heaven! A lovely baking cookbook with tremedously delicious recipes.