Say It. I Dare You.
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Join Date: Aug 2008
The reviews for this book pain me. One person maligns the lemon thyme shortbread and how it's just not a cookie and she could not get used to the idea.
I ended up trying the Lemon Thyme Shortbread. I think it's misleading to call it a cookie. It tastes like a cracker, rather than a cookie. It would be well suited to being served with vegetables and dip as an appetizer.
Well no kidding it's not a cookie! And yeah, it's not dessert. Again, sort of implied by the book title.
Even worse is that another reviewer points out how there are no crackers in the book:
My second observation was that there was no Spanikopita recipe - not the full-sized version, not the individual trianglular appetizer version popularized in California a few years back. Nothing. Nada. Zip. And that seems decidedly odd to me. If there was one single savory recipe that I would expect any volume of "savory baking" to contain, that one recipe would be Spanikopita, followed closely by Cheese Straws. There is no Cheese Straw recipe either. No crackers, no yeasted breads of any sort, very few tarts and no Mushroom Quiche.
Umm, what? Why on earth would the author have to put spanikopita in the book?
But this is where this particular reviewer really loses it:
]A goodly number of the remainder are for items that while they might be cooked in an oven, are not generally considered baked goods - bread pudding, claflouti, crumbles, betties and even souffles. I have an extensive cookbook collection - more than 350 volumes that date back well over a century. Nowhere in all of those books can I find a single instance of a
recipe (or any of these other "casserole" type recipes) given in a baking section. Thus, while the recipes here might be savory, many of them are not "baking" by any traditional definition.
I don't know what 350 volumes this person owns that doesn't have bread pudding or cobblers in the baking section!
Plus more comments along the lines of "ooh, fancy" that go on about how odd everything is because they've never had it.
Honestly, the book is just pointing out what people fail to notice. For example, a clafouti is really no different than a baked pancake (think Yorkshire pudding). Calling it a clafouti makes it seem more unusual than it really is. A cobbler has a biscuit topping which in itself isn't sweet, so it's no stretch from something like pot pie. A betty has toasted breadcrumbs, so really the book features a saucy chicken dish with crispy breadcrumbs.
Pate a choux isn't sweet, so Caprese-stuffed profiteroles is again, just a name. Think gougeres.