From Publishers Weekly
Originally published in 1945, this cookbook has sold over 3.4 million copies in Sweden, according to the publisher, and is now available in the U.S. for the first time. In a country that celebrates most special occasions with a coffee klatch that includes seven different kinds of cookies, this guide has served as a culinary bible. With more than 300 recipes — many of which have been culled from bake-off contest winners—the book is divided into categories like Sweet Breads, Rolls, Rusks and Cakes. Among the popular treats are the buttery wreath and pretzel-shaped cookies familiar to collectors of cookie tins; several variations on Danish pastry; puffy, raisin-studded saffron buns eaten around Christmas time; and Prinsesstärta, an elaborate sponge, preserves, marzipan and cream confection typically found at the coffee klatch. Also included are several gluten-free, egg-free and sugar-free sweets. Though the recipes themselves are short on direction, tips for using the proper equipment and ingredients, and strategies for achieving the desired look and textures, are interspersed throughout. As many American readers have tried Swedish cuisine only at their local Ikea store, this cookbook provides a window to a celebratory culture and its many intriguing flavors. (Apr.)
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Originally published in 1945 as the outcome of a baking contest held right after the end of World War II, this book has been revised almost every decade, supplemented by new contest winners and updated with instructions for using new appliances (for instance, convection ovens); and now it makes its English-language debut. In nine chapters are presented its offerings, many of which will be familiar to U.S. bakers, such as spice muffins, thumbprint cookies, and jelly donuts. Directions are straightforward, headed by yield and appropriate temperatures, with ingredients and steps outlined; color photographs appear in groups as illustrations throughout the text. Best are the introductions to each chapter, giving bakers the right tips to ensure the best results; use cold dough, for instance, for Danish pastry. Are there truly Swedish-only sweets? Try fashioning a variety of braids and wreaths, rosettes, and gingerbreads, among others. --Barbara Jacobs