The Brown Betty Cookbook: Modern Vintage Desserts and Stories from Philadelphia’s Best Baker

Linda Hinton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat, photos by Alison Conklin. Wiley, $22.99 (185p) ISBN 978-1-118-14435-0
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Grandmom Betty’s namesake Philadelphia bakery, the Brown Betty Dessert Boutique (est. 2002 by daughter Linda and granddaughter Norrinda), has birthed a cookbook featuring desserts and the kinfolk who inspired them. Matriarch Betty and the ladies whose family kitchens three generations of Hinton and Brown women grew up in have moved lawyer-turned-baker Norrinda and former school teacher Linda to create a collection that preserves family recipes along with the special memories surrounding them. Sweet treats are paired with recipes named in their honor, such as “Hey Thelma” chocolate caramel coconut cream–filled cake and “Jean’s Road Trip” red velvet cake. “Betty’s Plain Cake” serves as the springboard for pound cake variations of buttermilk, sour cream, or pineapple. A pie crust recipe instructs cooks to use fingers when mixing eggs and when cutting butter, shortening, and cream cheese into flour. Each recipe is well-tested and made exclusively from scratch. Half the book contains cake recipes; a second chapter groups pies, puddings, and cobblers; a third focuses on cookies and bars. This collection promises to unite families in the kitchen in “love and laughter” and is a wonderful reminder that baking is a family affair. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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