There’s a game called Desert Island. The basic set of rules state: “You’re stranded on a desert island. You can only have three (or one or two) books with you. What are they?”

The rules can vary and one of the variations I’m doing is Top Three Books. I chose to do a themed version of it and choose my top three cookbooks

My First Baking Book

My First Baking Book (1)

Author: Helen Drew

Copyright date: 1991

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/First-Baking-Book-Helen-Drew/dp/0863186505

Why: Purely sentimental reasons for bringing this book along. I did a whole post on this book. You read it here [insert link]. I fondly remember reading through this cookbook multiple times, childish fantasies filling my head about making the cookies within. To date, the only recipe I’ve actually make from this book is peanut butter cookie recipe. (My dad’s favorite!)

TM 10-412 War Department Technical Manual: Army Recipes, August 1946

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Author: War Department

Copyright date: August 1946; post-WWII, and one year before the War Department became the Department of Defense; possibly the last version of this book.

Why: I’m fascinated by the quantities: Apple Crisp for 100 (40 lbs. fresh apples; 1 oz. nutmeg; 3 lbs. sugar, granulated; 7 ½ lbs. sugar, brown; 4 lbs. of flour; 4 lbs. butter).

I’m also fascinated by the hardware use: Mess Kit Spoons, No. 56 dippers, and No. 10 can. I wonder what the equivalent sizes are. I’ve been researching by haven’t found much. This book is very interesting to look through. It gives you an idea of what the food options were for soldiers during World War II. If this book could be converted to modern measurements, it could really work for a caterer. And my husband made a good point: if I was stranded on a desert island, there may be recipes in here for the tropical fruits I would find.

More information from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/SciRefGuides/technicalmanuals3.html

The Taste of Home Cookbook: Timeless Recipes from Trusted Home Cooks: from the World’s #1 Cooking Magazine

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Editors: Taste of Home editors

Copyright date: 2006

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Taste-Home-Cookbook-Editors/dp/B007K5DRQM

Why: This is a wonderful beginner’s cookbook! It would make a great gift for newlyweds or anyone who is interested in learning how to cook and bake. It has substitution charts and equivalent charts on the inner front and back covers, Kitchen Basics chapter, and each chapter, especially the meat ones, contain cooking charts and helpful hints. Lots of variety in the recipes! This would also be a good book to study.

© Cori Large Feb 12, 2016

Link

Adventures in Baking: Cake Pops!

My grandma’s birthday was last week, and I was in charge of making the cake. Well, back when my new husband and I were burning through our $200 in Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards, I picked up a cake pop maker. So I figured this was a great time to test it out! I had yet to use the machine, and had no idea how these things would come out.

I did the smart thing and read the instruction booklet, looking over the different recipes that came inside. No where in there did it say that I couldn’t use a store-bought cake mix, but I was still weary.

Cake Pops-GC bday (1)  I had everything set up, used a ziploc bag as an icing bag to pipe the batter into the irons.

Well, I overfilled them and my first batch turned into one big cake pop pancake:

Cake Pops-GC bday (3)  

This is what the pan looks like without batter in it. Cake Pops-GC bday (4)

The second go, I was better at the piping. Still over filled them somewhat, but not as bad this time.Cake Pops-GC bday (5) FYI, they’re supposed to look a little burnt on the bottom. No joke! The instruction manual actually addresses that!Cake Pops-GC bday (6) My handsome husband was taste-testing the first batch, and found that strawberry preserves work really well on them! Yes, it tasted yummy.Cake Pops-GC bday (8) After all the batches were done, I left them on the racks to cool completely before icing. (Another tip from the instruction manual.) The small crockpot in the background contained the screw up of chocolate ganache I was trying to make to dip these things in. The recipe I used was the one in the back of the manual. It didn’t work. Cake Pops-GC bday (9) I was started to panic, as I do when I’m making something for the first time and screw it up royally. But then I remembered! My mom gifted/I may have stolen from her the end-all, be-all Taste of  Home cookbook!!! I love that thing! Seriously, if I could only have one cookbook….wait, that’s an upcoming post, never mind!

Anyways, I looked up the chocolate ganache recipe in there, and IT WORKED!!! I have yet to find a recipe in that book that didn’t work the first time round. Again, that’s another post. Moving on…

Cake Pops-GC bday (10) I started dipping some of them, but stopped when it wasn’t working the way I had hoped. Surprisingly, I wasn’t disappointed. I put the few that had been dipped into the fridge, let the ganache cool, poured that into a mason jar, and took it to Mom’s to celebrate.Cake Pops-GC bday (11)So instead of arriving with beautiful dipped cake pops, I set up shop with plain pops with a various of dipping sauces: chocolate ganache, Tia Maria ganache that was in the fridge, and strawberry preserves.

Really wish I had gotten a picture of my set up. Oh well!

Now that I know how to use my cake pop maker, I’ll be using it more often!