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Hardcover Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters: More Than 100 Years of Recipes Discovered from Family Cookbooks, Original Journals, Scraps of Paper, and Grand Book

ISBN: 1579125883

ISBN13: 9781579125882

Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters: More Than 100 Years of Recipes Discovered from Family Cookbooks, Original Journals, Scraps of Paper, and Grand

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

*JAMES BEARD AWARD FINALIST IN THE BAKING/DESSERT CATEGORY* We all have fond memories of a favorite dessert our grandmother or mother used to bake. It's these dishes that give us comfort in times of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings


I got the book yesterday, made the brownies with cream cheese in the middle and almonds on top; despite using a much bigger pan than they said to use they were hands down the best brownies I have made. Made the biscuits this morning and wonderful taste- I prefer mine in a cake pan touching each other, but they were the perfect taste- no sugar- yea!..... can't wait to make the tart/cookies with raspberry jam inside... and I have to say I have SHELVES of baking books I have never tried any recipes from.

Superb Home Baking for Experienced Cooks. Buy It.

`Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters' by the Boston-based duo of Marilynn Brass and Sheila Brass promises, at the first look-see to be a glorified church social, self-published work, especially since the publisher is the very unfamiliar `Black Dog & Leventhal' Publishers. This belittling first impression vanishes as soon as one notices the blurb from uber-teacher of baking, Nick Malgieri on the back of the dust jacket. All memory of this notion disappears as soon as one opens to a typical recipe and appreciates that while all the recipes are rescued from hand-written notes by amateur bakers, they are thoroughly modern in presentation and in results their original authors should be justly proud. My second impression from these recipes is the sense that the authors, or at least the recorders of these recipes were exceptionally skilled amateur bakers. They had to be, if only because of the erratic qualities of their ingredients and oven. They had to possess in abundance an art that may be lost among amateurs today. That is the art of adapting to ingredients, conditions, and the need to substitute when expensive ingredients were not available. Another strong impression I get is how attractive the book is designed. Aside from being expert amateur bakers, the Brass sisters own a Boston area antiques business which specializes in culinary antiques. They are also affiliated with WGBH/Boston in the This Old House/Yankee Workshop/Victory Garden production unit. And, they serve as experts in culinary antiques for the PBS show, `Antiques Roadshow'. Photographs of the sisters' culinary antiques make superb decorations of the text in this book, alongside pics of the original handwritten recipes and expert snaps of the recipe results. A quick look through the recipes will confirm the logical suspicion that most of these recipes were born and live a nice life in good old New England. None of my favorite Pennsylvania Dutch or southern specialities such as Shoofly pie, apple dumplings, Moravian sugar cake, corn bread or red velvet cake are here. It does have, however, other southern staples such as buttermilk biscuits and Dixie dinner rolls. I was especially happy to find an especially useful recipe for traditional strawberry shortcake that will work well for large groups of people. One symptom of how `kosher' many of these recipes is found in the buttermilk biscuits recipe, which is virtually identical to my regular recipe from Nick Malgieri's `How to Bake' (however since this recipe is so generic, Professor Nick doesn't get credit for the recipe). The sisters Brass make the excellent point (and stay true to it) that none of the recipes in this book require any unusual ingredients. The least familiar ingredient I saw was Mace; however, I know this is an ingredient familiar to many amateur bakers, since a good baking friend of mine in Baltimore routinely made `Mace cake'. The authors also state that all their recipes were tested with inexpensive supermar

Real Food!

I am tired of recipes that call for no sugar, no butter, no cream. They taste like nothing. I'd rather eat a little, or even a lot, just less often, and have something that doesn't taste like cardboard with chemicals added. This is the kind of food my mother and grandmother baked, that made the kitchen smell incredible on an autumn day, and the whole house feel like a "home", not just a place where you happen to be. I am not fat, and I think that eating baked goods such as the Brass sisters make satisfies that inner longing for comfort food. In the end, perhaps it is even weight-loss food, because it meets our needs and we don't have to go on eating one thing after another in an unfulfilled search for a remembered dream.
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