The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook by Kathleen King is one of my favorites. It is a wonderful cookbook chalk full of recipes for yummy home-style baked goods that never seem to go out of style.
The Cookbook’s foreward is written by Ina Garten, who carried Tate’s Bake Shop baked goods at her Barefoot Contessa Shop for years.
If you are not familiar with Kathleen King or Tate’s Bake Shop, here’s a little background. Kathleen started baking cookies and selling cookies at her family’s farm in Southampton when she was eleven years old so she could buy her own school clothes. She opened her bake shop just a few years later at the tender age of twenty and it is still going strong. She now sells a delicious line of her cookies that are available in specialty shops and high end markets around the country.
This warm and friendly book begins with some basic information regarding tips and techniques for baking success. Some of Kathleen’s favorite baking tools are Silpat baking mats, an oven thermometer, and microplane zesters. Probably her best advice is given in the last sentence where she says, “Most of all, have fun! Don’t take it seriously. If you screw up, don’t worry about it–they’re only cookies!
The recipes are easy to follow and relatively simple. There’s nothing fancy or pretentious here.
The book includes chapters for:
- Muffins and Scones
- Pound Cakes and Breads
- Cookies and Bars
- Pies, Crisps, and Cobblers
- Healthy Alternatives
Everything that I’ve made from this book so far has been delicious. And there are so many more recipes that I can’t wait to try. Just reading about them makes me want to run into the kitchen and get baking, which is not something I can say about most baking books.
Favorites to date include mocha pecan muffins, banana chocolate chip muffins, oatmeal scones, apricot ginger scones, sweet potato pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, apple cranberry crisp, chocolate mousse cake, chocolate chip cake and chocolate fudge cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, chocolate chip coconut macadamia nut cookies, chocolate chip pie, and the crispy chocolate chip cookies for which her bakery is so famous.
One word of caution, the book includes a few editorial missteps. For example, the recipe for toffee pecan cookies doesn’t list pecans in the ingredient list (1 cup, chopped). However, I haven’t run into anything that can’t be overcome with a little research and/or common sense, especially if you have some baking experience.