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The Vintage Baker: More Than 50 Recipes from Butterscotch Pecan Curls to Sour Cream Jumbles

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This keepsake cookbook features fetching retro patterns and illustrations, luscious photography, an embossed foil cover, and—surprise! —a tiny, vintage-style, booklet inside. Blue-ribbon recipes inspired by baking pamphlets from the 1920s to the 1960s are rendered with irresistible charm for modern tastes in this sweet package. Here are more than 50 cookies, pies, cakes, b This keepsake cookbook features fetching retro patterns and illustrations, luscious photography, an embossed foil cover, and—surprise! —a tiny, vintage-style, booklet inside. Blue-ribbon recipes inspired by baking pamphlets from the 1920s to the 1960s are rendered with irresistible charm for modern tastes in this sweet package. Here are more than 50 cookies, pies, cakes, bars, and more, plus informative headnotes detailing the origins of each recipe and how they were tweaked into deliciousness. For home bakers, collectors of vintage cookbooks or kitchenware—really, anyone who loves beautiful, quirky gifts—this is a gem.


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This keepsake cookbook features fetching retro patterns and illustrations, luscious photography, an embossed foil cover, and—surprise! —a tiny, vintage-style, booklet inside. Blue-ribbon recipes inspired by baking pamphlets from the 1920s to the 1960s are rendered with irresistible charm for modern tastes in this sweet package. Here are more than 50 cookies, pies, cakes, b This keepsake cookbook features fetching retro patterns and illustrations, luscious photography, an embossed foil cover, and—surprise! —a tiny, vintage-style, booklet inside. Blue-ribbon recipes inspired by baking pamphlets from the 1920s to the 1960s are rendered with irresistible charm for modern tastes in this sweet package. Here are more than 50 cookies, pies, cakes, bars, and more, plus informative headnotes detailing the origins of each recipe and how they were tweaked into deliciousness. For home bakers, collectors of vintage cookbooks or kitchenware—really, anyone who loves beautiful, quirky gifts—this is a gem.

30 review for The Vintage Baker: More Than 50 Recipes from Butterscotch Pecan Curls to Sour Cream Jumbles

  1. 4 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    Lackluster. Much of the charm of the vintage recipes here is diluted with unnecessary trendification. I see the point of modernizing recipes (adding salt where there is none, using butter rather than lard, etc.), but this book took the idea a little too far to still call itself "vintage." Lackluster. Much of the charm of the vintage recipes here is diluted with unnecessary trendification. I see the point of modernizing recipes (adding salt where there is none, using butter rather than lard, etc.), but this book took the idea a little too far to still call itself "vintage."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This book reminded me so much of my Grandmother and her way of cooking. The author has a passion for old cookbooks and list many of them from the early 1900's thru the 70's. She als0 gives a little history about the amount of spices that were used at different times through those years. Great pictures of the finished product along with pics of the old cooking pamphlet covers. Fun read. This book reminded me so much of my Grandmother and her way of cooking. The author has a passion for old cookbooks and list many of them from the early 1900's thru the 70's. She als0 gives a little history about the amount of spices that were used at different times through those years. Great pictures of the finished product along with pics of the old cooking pamphlet covers. Fun read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I borrowed this through Prime Reading in my Kindle app. I like the concept of this book: modernizing old recipes, many a century in age, to make them more approachable for modern cooks. However, this involved more than just figuring out oven temperatures beyond hot/very hot and switching out ingredients like lard for butter. It also updates ingredients with things like extra doses pepper, curry, and other other trendy ingredients. This is where the book lost me. None of her new twists resonated w I borrowed this through Prime Reading in my Kindle app. I like the concept of this book: modernizing old recipes, many a century in age, to make them more approachable for modern cooks. However, this involved more than just figuring out oven temperatures beyond hot/very hot and switching out ingredients like lard for butter. It also updates ingredients with things like extra doses pepper, curry, and other other trendy ingredients. This is where the book lost me. None of her new twists resonated with me--I didn't find a single new recipe I wanted to try. I think I would have liked more straightforward technique updates to the original recipes much more. In the ebook, there were also a lot of recipes without any photographs. This would be a perfectly fine cookbook for other bakers, but it just wasn't for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    "Happy is the home with a fat cookie jar stuffed full of goodies." -cookies cookies (1959). This book is a fun book of vintage recipes from pamphlets given to housewives by the companies vying for them to buy their products. The recipes are updated with modern adds such as a sea salt fudge. There is also a small pamphlet in the book with pre-stained pages to look authentic. I think cinnamon red hots popcorn balls would be so delicious. "Happy is the home with a fat cookie jar stuffed full of goodies." -cookies cookies (1959). This book is a fun book of vintage recipes from pamphlets given to housewives by the companies vying for them to buy their products. The recipes are updated with modern adds such as a sea salt fudge. There is also a small pamphlet in the book with pre-stained pages to look authentic. I think cinnamon red hots popcorn balls would be so delicious.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I liked the aesthetic of this cookbook, and the premise of "refreshing" vintage (1920s-1960s) recipes to be appealing to a modern day baker. However, I felt the modernizing was a bit overdone, and the recipes lost their vintage charm and personality. I like the idea of this cookbook, but the execution wasn't there. I liked the aesthetic of this cookbook, and the premise of "refreshing" vintage (1920s-1960s) recipes to be appealing to a modern day baker. However, I felt the modernizing was a bit overdone, and the recipes lost their vintage charm and personality. I like the idea of this cookbook, but the execution wasn't there.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shipshapeeatworthy

    Here is a gorgeous book about baking recipes inspired by recipes from vintage recipe books. Sheehan began collecting these pamphlets and booklets over a decade ago -- covering the period from around the 1800s to the 1950s. I really appreciate how each recipe has a photo of the booklet or pamphlet that Sheehan used for inspiration. I have a few of these types of booklets and I really love the colours, illustrations, and the history. Included with the book is a small "Vintage Recipes" booklet glue Here is a gorgeous book about baking recipes inspired by recipes from vintage recipe books. Sheehan began collecting these pamphlets and booklets over a decade ago -- covering the period from around the 1800s to the 1950s. I really appreciate how each recipe has a photo of the booklet or pamphlet that Sheehan used for inspiration. I have a few of these types of booklets and I really love the colours, illustrations, and the history. Included with the book is a small "Vintage Recipes" booklet glued into the introduction. This booklet is full of what she calls the "behind the scenes" -- the actual recipes that inspired some of the ones in her book. What a great idea and I love that extra bit of layering here -- it gives you a lot of insight into what a period recipe looked like. She does a really good job of incorporating historical information into the recipe head notes; and I realized while making up the "Everything" Buttermilk Biscuits that chemical leaveners were only introduced into baking in the late 1800s (not that long ago when you thing about it!). It was this bit of history which Sheehan included that made me thankful to not have to vigorously beat the dough to try to achieve the same effect that baking powder or soda would offer. I'm certain that some baking pre-1890 probably didn't have a really nice texture! The book is organized into 6 chapters: Sweet & Savory Morning Treats, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Refrigerator Desserts, and Confections. I found there are recipes to suit almost any occasion as well as any skill level (there are even a few recipes to entice and challenge even the most seasoned baker). While I'm yearning to try her Vanilla Yogurt Coffee Cake and the Cottage Pudding with Vanilla Sauce I've found myself waiting for an occasion (such as a birthday or anniversary) to try them. However there have been many smaller, single-serving treats that I've baked up for my family to enjoy -- Cornflake Macaroons with Chocolate Drizzle and the Butterscotch-Potato Chip Balls for example. The cookie recipes yield anywhere from a little over one dozen to three dozen and what I really appreciate is that her yields are very accurate. I always feel like I've done something wrong when I can't make the amount the recipe tells me I should be able to make. I've tried 5 recipes so far and have had five recipes turn out perfectly! What this tells me is that Sheehan really took the time to test these recipes well. The recipes themselves are easy to follow and the ingredient lists are not very long with ingredients that are easy to source -- save for the Malted Milk Powder used in the pudding and whipped cream recipes (for those of you who live in Canada, like myself, I've bought Malted Milk Powder while on vacation in the US, made Sheehan's pudding and will tell you how utterly delicious it is! It's near impossible to find Malted Milk Powder here so I do apologize for this). I made the Milk Chocolate Malted Pudding for a Father's Day treat (my husband is a chocolate fiend!) and it was the first time I've ever had or made homemade pudding! Such a beautiful glossy and smooth texture and it was so simple to make! It was just a matter of cooking the ingredients for a short time on the stove, pouring the pudding into containers that would then set in the refrigerator. Easy-peasy! The time for the pudding to set was a couple of hours so there was no instant gratification baking here! Speaking of which, what I've found with the recipes I've tried is that there is a time investment -- whether the dough needs to be chilled or the pudding needs to set -- there was considerable time devoted to it. But if it made cookies easier to scoop or give biscuits a better texture as they baked then it was totally worth it. I found I used the time while my baking projects were in the fridge or freezer to clean up the kitchen so that when it came time to put the treats into the oven everything was taken care of and I could sit and enjoy a coffee and a cookie without looking at a messy kitchen. What I've really enjoyed about this book is the fact that it really lends itself well to baking with children. My four-year-old daughter was able to help me with all of the recipes I tried -- mixing, scooping, and decorating (who wouldn't want a cookie that looks "super sparkly" like the Sour Cream Jumbles do??) and most certainly with the taste-testing part. I also think that when the holidays roll around I'll be using this book to organize a cookie baking/cookie exchange party. I love how the recipes keep the vintage-y vibe but keep the flavours modern (Cinnamon Red Hots Popcorn!!) by using spices, fresh herbs, even melted down cinnamon hearts. Full of great vintage-inspired recipes and photos The Vintage Baker is one baking book that I'm glad to have added to my cookbook library. Whether you want to try baking up old school treats like fritters or doughnuts or something a bit more challenging like a pie or cake there's something for everyone. This review is an excerpt of a longer review posted to www.shipshapeeatworthy.wordpress.com I would like to take this opportunity to thank Raincoast Books and Chronicle Books for providing me with a free, review copy of this book. I did not receive monetary compensation for my post, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vivien

    Out of the many recipes, I think I will only make 10 at most. I wish each recipe indicated how long it takes to make it, along with a list of equipment. Listing it out for readers is a lot easier than making a separate list while reading the instruction. I would like more ingredient explanations and comparisons. Sheehan does explain sometimes why she substitutes the ingredients, but I think it would also be interesting to know how a bake using baking soda vs. yeast turns out. Most recipes are mo Out of the many recipes, I think I will only make 10 at most. I wish each recipe indicated how long it takes to make it, along with a list of equipment. Listing it out for readers is a lot easier than making a separate list while reading the instruction. I would like more ingredient explanations and comparisons. Sheehan does explain sometimes why she substitutes the ingredients, but I think it would also be interesting to know how a bake using baking soda vs. yeast turns out. Most recipes are modernized (technique and ingredient wise.) I’ve seen some reviews critiquing the author for adding “trendy” ingredients. I don’t consider chai a “trendy” flavor or additive because it’s been here a while. Having everything brown butter/caramelized white chocolate would be “trendy.” I think the warm spices would add some complexity. However, I would like to see other flavorings like using herbs in more fun ways (like the basil-strawberry turnover.) I learned a lot of great baking tips, like using your cookie tray upside down. I like the book includes “vintage” pictures, but sometimes they’re tangentially related, so I would rather have more pictures for the actual recipes or the process instead. I don’t think the food stylization was the most appetizing. It’s cute. I didn’t salivate and wasn’t enticed to bake immediately. I guess it was the pastel. I like richer, higher contrast food pics.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eden

    2022 bk 85. A lovely, well put together book that I will enjoy going back and perusing for the memories. Ah, the memories. The Butterscotch Pecan Curls (we called them either rolls or pull-a-parts depending on which side of the family made them). Looking at the picture I can taste the soft glaze on the soft bread and the treasured little crunches of pecan. The Black Bottom Banana Dream Bars was one that our Scout leaders would bring for special celebrations (again we called them Chocolate Banana 2022 bk 85. A lovely, well put together book that I will enjoy going back and perusing for the memories. Ah, the memories. The Butterscotch Pecan Curls (we called them either rolls or pull-a-parts depending on which side of the family made them). Looking at the picture I can taste the soft glaze on the soft bread and the treasured little crunches of pecan. The Black Bottom Banana Dream Bars was one that our Scout leaders would bring for special celebrations (again we called them Chocolate Banana Bars.) AND Charlie Nachand's peanut brittle which he brought to church sales, using the recipe that almost perfectly mirrors the one in this book. Charlie may have passed away, but his brittle remains a standard as he shared the recipe found in this book with multiple church cooks. For the tastes of a boomer generation childhood (and earlier) and for the curious 21st century lover of sweets - this book is a joy. The only recipe that I had hoped to find bur didn't was the original for potato candy. (A treat throughout the depression-era midwest and used by 60's mothers to enthrall their children). Well done, Jessie Sheehan, for sharing all those company baking ideas with us through this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Brown

    I can only echo what has already been said. I checked this book out from my local library because I like all things vintage and I’m a hobby baker who enjoys reading CBs. The idea of this CB is great, clarifying vintage recipes and giving them minor updates, but the inclusion of some many trendy ingredients caused it to fall flat for me. I want to bake like my grandmother baked, and in my experience that is what most people want to eat. They are classics for a reason. Also, not every recipe had a I can only echo what has already been said. I checked this book out from my local library because I like all things vintage and I’m a hobby baker who enjoys reading CBs. The idea of this CB is great, clarifying vintage recipes and giving them minor updates, but the inclusion of some many trendy ingredients caused it to fall flat for me. I want to bake like my grandmother baked, and in my experience that is what most people want to eat. They are classics for a reason. Also, not every recipe had a picture, which is my biggest pet peeve for any cookbook, but was especially aggravating here. You need a picture of the finished product—especially when many of these recipes are not commonly seen anymore. I shouldn’t have to Google image search a dish’s name to help me better understand what it is.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a fun idea for a book. It even comes with a fake vintage baking pamphlet, so you can get a feel for the source of these recipes. The cookie chapter was the highlight for me - those are the things I'm most likely to bake. I wish that there was a picture for each recipe; I also thought that the recipes could have been laid out a little better - often the recipe was across three pages, but the 3rd page could have fit on the earlier two pages. And finally, while I appreciate some of the mode This is a fun idea for a book. It even comes with a fake vintage baking pamphlet, so you can get a feel for the source of these recipes. The cookie chapter was the highlight for me - those are the things I'm most likely to bake. I wish that there was a picture for each recipe; I also thought that the recipes could have been laid out a little better - often the recipe was across three pages, but the 3rd page could have fit on the earlier two pages. And finally, while I appreciate some of the modernizing, sometimes she went a little far - I don't want chai anything, and I'm still not sure about the rum/black pepper combo. However, most of these are fun, and it made me want to go out and check out the original recipes. So, in that sense, it was inspiring, too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Book Grocer

    Purchase The Vintage Baker here for just $12! An adorable cookbook that felt like a trip down memory lane with all of the beautiful photos of the classic desserts that I ate growing up but with a twist. Providing lots of fun recipes that are great to make for any occasion or for just an afternoon snack, The Vintage Baker is a very cool book. Alicia, The Book Grocer Purchase The Vintage Baker here for just $12! An adorable cookbook that felt like a trip down memory lane with all of the beautiful photos of the classic desserts that I ate growing up but with a twist. Providing lots of fun recipes that are great to make for any occasion or for just an afternoon snack, The Vintage Baker is a very cool book. Alicia, The Book Grocer

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    Goodreads Giveaway winner. This is a beautiful vintage-inspired dessert cookbook. Jessie Sheehan has taken recipes from a collection of vintage recipe booklets from the early 1900s and going forward and tweaked them into her modern day version. Approximately 1/2 of the recipes have a picture of the finished product. There are concise directions for these involved recipes that are sometimes 2 to 3 pages long.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    Vintage baker not recipes. These are “revamped by the author”. What photos there were are great but it needs more. I was expecting recipes for items that have gone out of habit with the home cook and there were a few but I really only found one recipe I wished to make. It really annoys me when cookbook are not designed so the ingredient list is on one page. Turning a page causes foul ups in gathering ingredients and making grocery lists.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Rogers

    Very fun book. I have no idea if I'll try any of the recipes but it's an amusing approach. The author takes 50 recipes from the past and updates them with some more modern flavor combinations (no Chai spice in the US mainstream in the 1950s, for instance). I probably won't be trying the wide variety of recipes including black pepper into desserts (like whipped cream? Not happening), but some are definitely on the maybe level. Very fun book. I have no idea if I'll try any of the recipes but it's an amusing approach. The author takes 50 recipes from the past and updates them with some more modern flavor combinations (no Chai spice in the US mainstream in the 1950s, for instance). I probably won't be trying the wide variety of recipes including black pepper into desserts (like whipped cream? Not happening), but some are definitely on the maybe level.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    What fun! The author collected many old recipe pamphlets and updated the recipes for the modern baker and modern tastes. To my delight, she also included many original recipes in a section in the back (I appreciate her updates but not always taken with some of the taste additions). Loved the pictures of the pamphlet fronts but my only complaint is that there weren't enough photos, especially of the finished baked goods. What fun! The author collected many old recipe pamphlets and updated the recipes for the modern baker and modern tastes. To my delight, she also included many original recipes in a section in the back (I appreciate her updates but not always taken with some of the taste additions). Loved the pictures of the pamphlet fronts but my only complaint is that there weren't enough photos, especially of the finished baked goods.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Burton

    Fun What a fun fun fun little book. Yummy takes on vintage sweets of all sorts. Some recipes require heavy editing to be healthy in today's world where basic corn syrup and cereals are not what they were back in the day, but the author's take on many of these is surprising, unique and delicious. Fun What a fun fun fun little book. Yummy takes on vintage sweets of all sorts. Some recipes require heavy editing to be healthy in today's world where basic corn syrup and cereals are not what they were back in the day, but the author's take on many of these is surprising, unique and delicious.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Poor 1) fonts did not convert to my choice. Cannot read serif fonts, vision impairment. 2) these are not the original recipes. Author says she has 'improved' them. I read as far as "added salt and pepper to the caramel recipe" and quit. Adding salt or pepper to ANYTHING should be a felony. And why ruin perfectly good caramel???? Poor 1) fonts did not convert to my choice. Cannot read serif fonts, vision impairment. 2) these are not the original recipes. Author says she has 'improved' them. I read as far as "added salt and pepper to the caramel recipe" and quit. Adding salt or pepper to ANYTHING should be a felony. And why ruin perfectly good caramel????

  18. 5 out of 5

    virginia thomas

    Was impressed with the book. She altered the recipes so they are not true vintage ones.I would not ever buy it again. I do not recommend this book to anyone looking for true vintage recipes. I'm sure there are better books out there. Was impressed with the book. She altered the recipes so they are not true vintage ones.I would not ever buy it again. I do not recommend this book to anyone looking for true vintage recipes. I'm sure there are better books out there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ronda Elliott

    Great book! If you are interested in learning to bake from scratch and really like vintage recipes you are going to want this book. I have truly enjoyed playing around with old recipes that look and taste amazing. But and enjoy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bookish

    I loved the stories behind the recipes. I would have liked seeing the originals alongside the updated ones, too, though.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Some cool ideas to revisit, but nothing spectacular. I wish there were more photos of the desserts as it's hard to visualize some of the finished products. Some cool ideas to revisit, but nothing spectacular. I wish there were more photos of the desserts as it's hard to visualize some of the finished products.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    Interesting recipes. Love the concept of the collection but I wish it also listed which company originally sponsored the recipe, or that it was more clearly stated.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Loved the clever variety of recipes and the detail explaining her through process with her changes to the recipes. Lovely pictures too!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I would rather have classic recipes than newfangled recipes made from the old ones.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    I love how inspired Ms. Sheehan was by old cookbooks that she just found in bookshops. And she did do a really good job putting a modern twist on the classic recipes.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    A delightful cookbook full of wonderful antidotes, vintage covers of books and booklets and best of all many great recipes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    What a fun book. Updated recipes that the author found in old books & pamphlets. Made the Vanilla Yogurt Coffee Cake. Delish!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rickee1368

    A delightful book, chock full of historical whimsy and delicious recipes!

  29. 4 out of 5

    ReadWithE

    LOVE this idea. The recipes weren't to my personal taste. LOVE this idea. The recipes weren't to my personal taste.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    Too many updates and changes to be really be considered vintage

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