Reviewed by Katie Allen
We all love a good cookbook and who doesn’t enjoy flicking through pictures of yummy cakes and biscuits?
The Vintage Baker, by Jessie Sheehan, is a delight to peruse. The retro photos remind me of the large purple Marguerite Patten tome my mum was given as a wedding present in 1969 and still uses to this day.
There are more than 50 recipes inspired from original vintage booklets given to housewives by brand-name ingredient and kitchen appliance companies between 1800-1970 in the US. They are split into Sweet and Savoury Morning Treats, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Confections and my favourite (because it involves no cooking) Refrigerator Desserts. There’s even a tiny vintage recipes booklet included with classics such as coffee cake and jumbles.
Each recipe is introduced with a short note regarding its heritage. I especially liked hearing about the peanut brittle recipe from the 1930s. Its lovely to think that this recipe has lasted almost one hundred years – I wonder how many generations have followed it?
You can tell this book is from America with the large number of recipes involving peanut butter(!). I quite like this though. It’s nice to have a book with new, different recipes in it that aren’t duplicated elsewhere. It does mean that the measurements used are cups but the metric equivalent is given too. You may also struggle to get some of the ingredients such as Graham crackers and “Dutch process” cocoa powder but I’m sure UK equivalents can be found.
This book will make a great, quirky Christmas gift to the cake baker or the vintage book/kitchenware collector in your family. I can’t wait to package mine up with some ingredients, a funky apron and a ceramic mixing bowl. The perfect gift for my Mother-In-Law this Christmas.
RRP: £18.99 (Hardback)
For more information or to buy visit www.abramsandchronicle.co.uk.