Festive Baking

Sarah Kelly Iaia, Author, Sarah Kelly Iaia, Photographer Doubleday Books $19.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-19731-1
Iaia is methodical at the kitchen counter and plainspoken at the writing desk. Forgoing upscale photographic fanfare, she presents 150 recipes for classic German and Austrian holiday cookies, pastries and cakes simply and clearly. While her words occasionally take on the flavor of an imperfect translation from the German (``cheese curd'' cookies must taste better than they sound), Iaia, an American food writer, in general chooses her words carefully and infuses her book with logic and order. She groups her recipes by type of batter, starting with lebkuchen and honey cookies, and then proceeds to butter cookies, macaroons, meringues and, at length, tortes and strudels. Though many sweets are rich and buttery enough for a feast, others could almost be called health food. Especially appreciated is the cook's presence of mind in offering tips to her readers that some master bakers would have overlooked. Sections on utensils, ingredients and gift ideas are equally useful. Attractive line drawings sate our visual hunger. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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