I like baking more than cooking so a cookbook focused on baking also catches my eye. I also know that the Midwest is known for delicious bakes that aren’t pretentious or complicated; I was sold.
Another draw to the book, but also problematic, was the Eurocentric nature of the recipes. I’m not from the Midwest, but my grandparents were part of the Volga Germans who settled the Great Plains. Some of their recipes have been handed down and actually showed up in this book. Baking a recipe with tradition makes me feel like I’m touching history, making it come alive. At the same time, since the cookbook is supposed to represent the 12 Midwestern states, I was surprised there was no mention of any recipes from the Native American, Black, or Hispanic communities that are also a part of the Midwest. So really what this cookbook represents is the White Midwest.
The recipes are arranged in typical categories like cookies, cakes, pies, and tray bakes. I liked that there was a section on savory bakes. As someone who’s a fan of pretzels, I’m looking forward to this no-lye recipe. Finally, there’s a section just for Christmas bakes. So if that’s when you do most of your baking, then there’s a section just for you.
The recipes that are included sound delicious while not to difficult to prepare. And while some do come from odd food crazes of the past (I’m looking at you dessert salads) she does update them for a 21st century palate.