The first Williams-Sonoma store opened in 1956. Since then, the brand has expanded to hundreds of products from around the world, more than 250 stores nationwide, a direct-mail business that distributes millions of catalogs a year, and a highly successful e-commerce site.
I stumbled accross this cookbook at Borders this weekend and upon flipping through it decided I needed to have it. I already had the William Sonoma Dessert book, but this has SO MANY more recipes. And the beautiful thing about it is that I want to make most of them!!! I can't tell you how many cookbooks I have that waste space on my shelf for a recipe or 2. I've already made 3 recipes out of this in 3 days. I've never been disappointed in any of their recipes. I love that many of the ingredients are listed in both volume (cups) and weight (oz) measurements and there is a ton of reference material included as well. Definately worth the investment for a home baker and a beautiful book with great pictures too!
I first picked up this book at the local library. Wow... beautiful color pictures accompanied many of the recipes, plus a sprinkling of helpful cooking tips throughout the book. The recipes are very well-explained and don't require you be a trained chef with culinary skills. I tried several of the recipes and loved them so I went ahead and ordered the book for myself plus I bought an extra copy for my grown daughter.
I love to bake. In fact I bake nearly every day. I absolutely hate wasting time and money on books or online recipes that miss the mark. I first started out with a W-S baking book that is a little smaller than this book. It too is a great buy. This book has some of the recipes that appear in that book, plus hundreds more.
I bought this book for myself as a birthday gift this year and started using it immediately when we had a house full of guests for Memorial Day weekend. So far all of the muffins I have made from this book are the best I've ever tasted! Then the other day I did the brownie recipe...not anything like your typical chewy box brownie but oh SO much more! I find myself cutting an inch by inch square for a taste because I can't stop thinking about how good they are and I end up eating a full size piece with a cup of coffee. They are that good! Or my will-power is that bad?! Either way, the best I've ever had! Then last night I made the Beer Batter Bread, and let me just say I have never had anything like it before in my life...soooo simple to throw together and just the perfect slice of comfort!
Even if you are not a serious baker, this book is worth it's weight in gold! You can pick from involved recipes if you're looking for a challenge or you can go for the easy, quick recipes. The photos are amazing and you can get lost drooling over the choices for a good hour or two. This will most definitely be an heirloom in our family!
Also, if you like to play at recipes and try new things out with an old favorite recipe, this book has a lot, I do mean a lot, of extra room on it's pages to write yourself little notes about variations you've tried and how it went, what you would do differently.Read more ›
I've been baking out of this book for several months now and have LOVED nearly every recipe. Several of their recipes - the angel food cake, blueberry muffins, wheat bread, blackberry cobbler, and pineapple upside-down cake, to name a few - have replaced my previous go-to recipes. I've also tried some of the less common recipes (Mexican chocolate cake with ancho whipped cream, cranberry and pear crumble, strawberries and cream cake) to great success. Nearly everything tastes stellar!
But the main drawback is the measurement conversions. I prefer to use weight measurements as they're more accurate, but this book's volume-weight conversions are completely off. A cup of sugar (scooped and leveled) weighs far below the printed weight equivalent. And for that matter, their metric conversions are even more off. My scale is properly calibrated (I just tested it), so it's not a problem with the equipment. If I were to make a cake using only their weight measurements (which I have), it would come out completely dense (which it did). The same cake using volume measurements came out perfectly light and tender. So the moral of the story is to only use the printed volume measurements and keep the scale for a more precise cook book. Otherwise, this is a great book!
I haven't been lucky in finding a good book that was exclusively baking until I bought this book. It provides great recipes that you can use everyday, including recipes for breads, muffins, etc. Other cookbooks like Southern Living and Paula Deen provide good recipes but not many of them are baking. This book was the exact one that I was looking for to provide me with alterative sweets and treats that don't come from a box mix. It's a great baking reference book and I see it being a part of my go-to collection for many years to come.