I had the great pleasure of meeting Rosanna Pansino briefly during her book release tour for Baking All Year Round. It was clear from listening to her speak about her book, that she was very passionate and proud. The quality of the recipes, the stories, the photos, were all of great importance to her. I was convinced after that, that this cookbook was the first one I wanted to review for this new section of Candidly Delicious.
WHAT’S INSIDE Baking All Year Round focuses on annual celebrations. That gives it a really fun feel! Inside is filled with themed recipes that go along with different times of the year. If you keep those holidays, then I imagine this is really helpful! Featured at the start of the book is a visual graphic of EVERY tool you will need for the entire book. That is really an amazing feature and an attractive image. She also includes a visual guide to every candy from the book. There’s a lot of candy in it… Each recipe includes a full-page photo, and some of the more complicated recipes also have step-by-step photography. At the end, Rosanna has included a helpful conversion chart, resources for buying equipment, and templates for all of the cutters used. This is NOT a KOSHER cookbook, so be mindful and make substitutions as needed.
EASE OF USE Since I don’t celebrate most of the holidays in this book, I opted for a Thanksgiving recipe to test out. I think another time I might try some of the other recipes and just not decorate them the same way. For this review, I made Pumpkin Pie Cookies on page 142. The “Things You’ll Need” section is very thorough including which decorating tips and mixer attachments you need. I found the instructions to be complete and easy to follow. I did add a pinch of cinnamon into my whipped cream. I just couldn’t resist! The cookies came out beautiful and held together just as they were supposed to. I had enough extra dough and filling that I think I could have almost made a second batch! Most importantly though, they were delicious. I love pie dough anyway, and this was like eating the edges of the pie crust with a scoop of the filling. (Am I the only one that uses my pie crust to clean my plate?) I couldn’t stop eating them!
WHAT I LIKE I love all the effort that went into making everything clear and easy to follow: from the helpful reference guides, to the instructions for individual recipes. Each recipe has a full-page photo, which makes it really easy to see what you are making. The recipes are also simplified, so that anyone can make these creations.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE The photography is overly enhanced for some of the recipes. I understand the reason for doing that, but I don’t personally like it. Though the pictures are stunning, I was disappointed that the pumpkin filling in the photos is much oranger than real life. I’m ok with the fact that cooked pumpkin is brown. Lastly, and I’m not sure it’s a con necessarily, but these are not “simple” recipes. They are well explained and thoroughly broken down, but they are moderately difficult.
CONCLUSION I highly recommend this cookbook. Even though the holiday shapes and decor don’t apply to the Jewish cook, the recipes are very good and well explained. There are many reference notes and resources designed to take complex recipes and break them down so a home baker can easily follow along. I think that you will be surprised what you can create! Check out this link to purchase Baking All Year Round. And if you haven’t already, take a glimpse at some of the fun baking videos on Rosanna Pansino’s YouTube channel!
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