Back in the Day: Review

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I have books that languish on my shelves for ages before I make something from it. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is different. I keep reaching for it when I’m looking for something to make. To be honest, it had me as soon as I saw the “s’more pie” recipe. I was even willing to buy a kitchen blowtorch for it.

Cheryl and Griff Day own a bakery in Savannah and have compiled the recipes from the bakery into one sweet book. Southern comfort food is instantly obvious when you begin to flip through the pages. The recipes draw you in and you’ll want to make everything out of the book. I love the gorgeous photography and the way the authors take the time on instructing you on how to get the best results out of your baking.

The first recipe I tried was the s’more pie for my Western themed party. This chocolate was deeply intense (I used 70% cocoa) and I think a standard bittersweet (50-60%) would make the pie less rich. I had to scale back in using all of the meringue topping because it was already starting to look like it was a mile high. You can easily just make the chocolate pudding portion as a quick dessert option. This pie screams showstopper:

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The blueberry muffins turned out moist, delicious and sweet but not overly so. It borders between morning muffin and dessert.

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The corn pancakes made with cornmeal gave them a nice crunch and more substantial than regular pancakes.

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When I wanted to make something pumpkiny (but not pumpkin pie), the pumpkin crunch bars was exactly what I was looking for. To be honest, I was a bit worried about the sugar content. I was expecting something that would make my teeth hurt from all the sweetness at first bite. The cream cheese tempered the sweetness and they were readily gobbled up when I brought them into work.

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Other recipes I’ve tried were the spiced nuts that takes no time to make and would make a perfect hostess gift. The banana bread was nice and dense and includes the spice mace that added an interesting variation. I did the chocolate version, but I think the banana bread would be best with a combination of nuts and chocolate.

The cookbook also has a savoury section that gives balance to the sweets in the book. The bacon jam empanadas make for easy on the go snacks and the roasted chicken and vegetable cobbler could fit into your dinner meal rotation.

Cons? The pan sizes that are needed aren’t really standard sizes. The chocolate bread that I would like to make needs a 10″ loaf pan. Most bread recipes I’ve come across use a 9×5 or 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 pan. Making the recipe would require doing some math or (more likely) baking the excess in an extra pan. Other downsides are a few ingredients that aren’t accessible to me. Like sorghum syrup or fennel pollen.

With summer approaching, I’m excited to try out the more seasonal recipes like the peach cobbler muffins and blueberry buckle. The recipe that’s calling my name right now is the lemon meringue pie.

Note: I received this as a review copy. As always, my opinions are my own.

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