Cook's Illustrated Baking Book: Baking Demystified with 450 Foolproof Recipes from America's Most Trusted Food Magazine by Cook's Illustrated Magazine

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Pumpkin bread

    • twoyolks on November 05, 2014

      This pumpkin bread actually has good pumpkin flavor (instead of just pumpkin pie spice flavor).

  • Quick cheese muffins

    • twoyolks on September 15, 2015

      The muffins have a strong cheese flavor but it would be better if there were some complimentary flavors in the muffin.

  • Classic blueberry muffins

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2016

      These were acceptable as blue berry muffins but there was nothing special about them.

  • Oatmeal muffins

    • twoyolks on June 17, 2015

      The muffins were moist but the flavor was lacking. Also, it's impossible to fully grind the oats so there are small bits of oats throughout the muffin which impacts the texture.

  • Popovers

    • twoyolks on January 23, 2015

      Despite the recipe specifying reduced fat milk, I successfully made these with whole milk. They rose considerably in the oven and were quite tasty.

  • Ultimate cinnamon buns

    • twoyolks on December 25, 2013

      These are enormous cinnamon buns. They are also very rich. They are not overly sweet. The tang from the cream cheese frosting is a bit weird.

  • New York-style thin-crust pizza

    • twoyolks on November 11, 2014

      The most important part about this pizza is getting just the right thickness of the dough. When it's the right thickness, it's very good. If it's too thick or too thin, it rapidly loses its appeal.

  • New York-style thin-crust white pizza

    • twoyolks on February 24, 2018

      This was just too rich and too much. I'd prefer a simpler white pizza.

  • Chicago-style deep-dish pizza with sausage

    • twoyolks on March 20, 2015

      This was pretty tasty. The only issue is that the bottom of the crust got very crisp such that it was hard to cut through.

  • Snickerdoodles

    • twoyolks on December 26, 2018

      This is a great example of a snickerdoodle. There’s not much more you could want.

  • Brown sugar cookies

    • twoyolks on February 10, 2014

      The cookies are very good. They have an almost toffee flavor to them. The recipe almost seems like it was written for a stand mixer but the use of one is never specified. It does become a bit difficult to mix the batter by hand.

  • French butter cookies (Sablés)

    • twoyolks on February 17, 2014

      The texture and flavor of these cookies was terrible. The dough is also very difficult to work with given that there is zero liquid in the dough. After one bite, we threw out the remaining cookies.

  • Spritz cookies

    • twoyolks on December 27, 2016

      Really good, if simple, spritz cookies.

  • Old-fashioned chocolate layer cake

    • twoyolks on December 07, 2017

      The cake and icing have a good amount of chocolate flavor without being particularly sweet.

  • Yellow cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting

    • twoyolks on August 15, 2018

      Basic cupcakes. I did have trouble getting the chocolate ganache to actual set all the way. In the future, I'd prefer a buttercream frosting just so it was more stable.

  • Fresh peach cobbler

    • twoyolks on September 15, 2015

      This recipe didn't work for me. The peaches didn't cook all the way through. The topping was under baked. I suspect that the recipe was designed for yellow peaches but I used white peaches.

  • Peach crumble

    • twoyolks on August 29, 2016

      This didn't work properly for me. I didn't have the full amount of liquid called for after macerating the peaches. When baking, despite baking for longer than the required time, the peaches weren't fully cooked all the way.

  • Classic crème brûlée

    • twoyolks on February 17, 2014

      Really good flavor in the creme brulee but it took longer for them to cook than the recipe called for.

  • Cinnamon babka

    • Analyze on February 17, 2019

      I LOVE this bread, which the author modeled after brioche; if you like the flavors of brioche and cinnamon, I would highly recommend this recipe! I add even more butter by buttering the finished brioche, lol. My husband isn't a big fan, but he doesn't like brioche, so I think that's why. I did have issues both times with the rise in the fridge, where it's supposed to double after "at least 1 hour"; mine didn't budge after 2 days (!), and the second time I gave it three hours and it didn't move. The good news is that the bread had risen as expected before and after this step, and turned out quite delicious both times. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't user error as I used the same batch of yeast for a ton of other recipes before and after, and have a temperature controlled proofer for bread dough as well as an oven thermometer. Anyway, this bread is really good!

  • Applesauce snack cake

    • Analyze on March 12, 2019

      This is SO good! The base cake has a wonderful apple flavor and a great texture. I tried both this recipe, and the Oat-Nut Streusel variation. My husband, who doesn't normally like oat streusel or sweet quick breads, loved the streusel variation. I actually preferred this original version with the cinnamon-sugar topping, as in my opinion it complements the apple flavor in the cake better, and actually makes the cake taste more apple-y. You can't go wrong with either version, or try half and half like I did :) I already have several apple cake recipes that I love, and didn't think I needed another, but I did! I'm excited to try the ginger-cardamom version next. Personally, we had it for breakfast, but this would be great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream too.

  • Applesauce snack cake with oat-nut streusel

    • Analyze on March 12, 2019

      This is SO good! The base cake has a wonderful apple flavor and a great texture. I tried both this recipe, and the original (no streusel). My husband, who doesn't normally like oat streusel or sweet quick breads, loved the streusel variation. I actually preferred this original version with the cinnamon-sugar topping, as in my opinion it complements the apple flavor in the cake better, and actually makes the cake taste more apple-y. You can't go wrong with either version, or try half and half like I did :) I already have several apple cake recipes that I love, and didn't think I needed another, but I did! I'm excited to try the ginger-cardamom version next. Personally, we had it for breakfast, but this would be great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream too. P.S. A tip I read online and am eager to try next time: Leave the applesauce in the fridge. Instead of waiting for the dried apple & cider mixture to cool, blend them at once, to bring both to room temperature sooner.

  • Triple-citrus bars

    • mrsmadam on October 22, 2018

      Excellent bars. Very sweet. They disappeared before the block party was over.

  • Raspberry streusel bars

    • macfadden on December 20, 2017

      These were a bit disappointing. They looked great in the oven, but I found them a bit dry and bland. The filling was thin and leathery, which is exactly what the description said it wouldn't be.

  • Classic lemon tart

    • themarybaker on September 15, 2014

      As a time saver, use Pillsbury crust.

  • All-season blueberry cobbler

    • damazinah on June 17, 2016

      A really good cobbler. Thawing the berries first then concentrating the juice was a bit of a pain, but worthwhile.

  • Quick and easy cream biscuits with crystallized ginger

    • damazinah on May 13, 2016

      These are fantastic, especially on a cold frosty morning! They're more of a scone than a biscuit, and great with a bit of orange marmalade.

  • All-butter single-crust pie dough for custard pies

    • Smokeydoke on February 25, 2017

      My favorite pie crust so far. I love the taste and I used half water, half vodka to help it along. It wasn't hard to work with, probably due to the sour cream.

  • Deep-dish apple pie

    • Smokeydoke on February 25, 2017

      This is the pie you find at really good cafes all around the US. It's the quintessential apple pie. The technique is perfect albeit labor-intensive. However the flavor is not for me, I felt it lacked something. The apples get cooked down quite a bit and it lost a lot of apple flavor. No need to buy expensive Braeburns for this pie, it turned into mush. Next time, I'll quadruple the cinnamon and maybe add another ingredient, I'm thinking caramel.

  • Lemon chiffon cake

    • Partyof7 on March 20, 2018

      Fabulous, bakery quality cake. Universally beloved by young and old!

  • Molasses spice cookies

    • Partyof7 on October 01, 2018

      Excellent flavor. Baked for 11 minutes they are soft and chewy. May increase time a little looking for a bit of crunch.

  • Wicked good Boston cream pie

    • Partyof7 on March 18, 2019

      Really delicious. Pastry cream has nice body that supports the top layer well. Not too sweet

  • Lemon bundt cake

    • Judyi333 on March 25, 2019

      Great if you add poppy seeds.

  • New York-style crumb cake

    • edybwad on February 07, 2020

      The crumb topping became a crumb bottom when it all sunk during baking. Not sure what I did wrong, but the flavor was there.

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  • ISBN 10 1936493586
  • ISBN 13 9781936493586
  • Published Oct 01 2013
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Cook's Illustrated
  • Imprint Cook's Illustrated

Publishers Text

The third book in the bestselling Cook's Illustrated series, The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book is an authoritative baking reference and recipe collection for those who want to learn how to bake and for those who want to bring their baking skills to a higher level. Fifteen chapters cover anything you've ever wanted to master--from cookies, cakes, pies, and tarts, to biscuits, breads, pastry, and more.

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