I have been looking for six months for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and have tried dozens of variations. I bought my Blue Ribbon Cookbook several days ago. I tried the Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookie recipe...wow, what a winner! It is absolutely the best recipe I've ever tried. If you have leftover cookies, they are excellent several days later. The recipe calls for several steps that make it slightly more time-consuming; however, the difference is worth the effort. Another plus, each recipe explains what the chefs tried that didn't work, then what they tried that did work, some discoveries by sheer accident. Included are 101 tips for successful baking including measuring, equipment, creaming, etc. This dessert cookbook is by far the best cookbook I've seen. I look forward to baking more of the recipes!
The book is a sturdy spiral-bound hardcover. It lays flat when you bake from it which is great! With more than a 120 recipes to choose from, it'll keep you busy for a while :o) Almost every recipe contains a section in which they explain how they went about developing the recipe, the pitfalls they ran into, and most importantly, how they resolved them or worked around them. I also enjoyed reading "The American Table" sections which talked about the history of a particular dessert. There are about 7 broad "chapters", containing a vast array of dessert recipes, from pies and puddings, to (cup)cakes, bars and cookies. There's even a chapter called Holiday Cookie Swap! Almost every recipe is accompanied by a gorgeous photograph of the final product and/or helpful step-by-step pictures. Unfortunately, the ingredients in this book are given in volume measurements only. However, there's a page at the end of the book that can be referenced for weight measurements for the most commonly used ingredients in the book. That helped me a lot since I like to use my scale when I bake.
Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of Cook's Country Blue Ribbon Desserts from the editors at America's Test Kitchen. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.
My girlfriend loves to watch America's Test Kitchen and wanted a new dessert cookbook, so I knew that this one would be a good fit for her. Here's her review:
So far so good. I've tried some of the cookie recipes and they've all been successful, but you have to follow the directions. These recipes are "tested" so it doesn't work as well if you don't follow the directions that they spell out for you. For example, if they say to whisk the batter and let it sit for 3 minutes then repeat 3 more times, do it. It's these odd directions that lead to a successful cookie. I originally got the chocolate chip cookie recipe that's in this cookbook from watching it on the show, pausing, and writing down all of the instructions. It's worked every time. Now that I have the actual recipe in this cookbook, I can read exactly what they were "showing" on the TV show. I also really like the brown sugar cookie recipe, and so does everybody else who ate them up.
The downside to this book is that there aren't photos for every dessert. I'm a visual person and it's hard to know if the dessert came out right if I don't have something to compare to in the end. Also, sometimes I choose what recipe to try out next by the way the photo looks or makes me salivate. You can't do this with this cookbook. Other than that, I have not complaints. I'd highly recommend this cookbook.
I've had this cook book for a while. When I first got it, several months ago I was thinking of a way to use up some cranberries in the freezer, I had two packets. I made the Upside Down Cranberry Cake, it was absolutely fabulous, so good I made another with the rest of cranberries. Now I cannot wait until cranberries are in season again.
About a month ago I decided it was time to try out some more cakes. I saw a picture of the Wellesley Fudge Cake, it looked so delicious, I had all the ingredients I decided to make it. It was an overwhelming success, the best chocolate cake I'd ever tasted, everyone loved it.
Last week I got the book out again and made the Tres Leches Cake, I'd never heard of it. As I followed the instructions for the cake, the batter was quite runny, it had a cup of milk in it. I thought this can't be right, but it came out perfectly and I'm still enjoying it!
I'm very glad I bought this book, it is packed with all sorts of interesting helpful information, and lots of lovely recipes for people like me who have a sweet tooth.