There's a bumper crop of baking books this season, big, little and in - between. Venerable, veteran baker Nick Malgieri covers the baking scene with The Modern Baker: Time - Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes, and Cookies. Nick's technique - oriented approach, illustrated with full - color photos, is aimed at making baking a fun, everyday event, not something you save for special occasions. The 150 recipes feature both sweet and savory, from Rosemary Olive Knots and Crisp Cornmeal Flatbread to Breton Apple Pie, Triple Chocolate Cake and Macadamia Shortbreads. Nick's instructions, thorough and thoughtful, will encourage a novice and inspire a pro and put everyone in the mood and in the mode to bake up a storm.

Baked: New Frontiers in Baking is both the title of Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito's debut cookbook and the name of their bakery in Red Hook, one of the new frontiers of Brooklyn. These guys are super - inventive, with a penchant for thinking outside the box: root beer stars in Root Beer Bundt Cake with Root Beer Fudge Frosting; there's a cup of malted milk powder in Milk Chocolate Malt Ball Cake; in Sweet and Salty Cake, their signature creation, whipped caramel ganache frosting tops salted caramel - infused layers. You'll also find spicy Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits, a grown - up, decadent take on Rice Krispies Treats and Grasshopper Cake among their greatest hits. Thank goodness you can't gain weight looking at pictures - they're so tempting, you'll want to gobble up the pages.

Now, a little something for the holiday baker. Christmas Cookies by Lisa Zwirn serves up 50 recipes for these beloved bite - sized sweets that shape memories and conjure up the magic of the season. Traditional treasures, such as Sugar Cookies stamped into shapes and decorated with Royal Icing, buttery Viennese Crescents and Swedish Dreams share the stage with new favorites like Baci Brownies, Eggnog Cookies and Sachertorte Bars. And Lisa offers good advice on storing, shipping, gift wrapping and baking with kids.

In the grand hierarchy of super - chefs, Jo

Though the once "Naked Chef" is now fully clothed in celebrity, Jamie Oliver remains easygoing, chatty and creative. In his eighth cookbook, Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life, a real delight with gorgeous full - page photos, he admits he's fallen in love with his garden and it, in turn, has inspired "the best cooking year" of his life - and Jamie's aboveboard affair with Mother Nature has even upped his unique enthusiasm. The 100 - plus new recipes are divided into four sections, highlighting ingredients that best suit each season: asparagus in a creamy soup or crispy tart sing spring; Beautiful Zucchini Carbonara and The Mothership Tomato Salad showcase summer; Spicy Pork and Chili - Pepper Goulash augers autumn and Roasted Whitefish and Leeks keeps off the winter chill. If Jamie's infectious joy in growing his own gets you in its thrall, you'll find advice, tips and lists of seeds to plant in the yard, in window boxes high in the sky or in planters on your living - room floor.

comments powered by Disqus