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Cookbook Review of the Month - March 2008

This month's selection is A Baker's Tour by Nick Maugeri. I love watching Nick Maugeri when he is a guest on many of the Food Network's many shows.  I love the interaction between him and Sara Moulten, as he is a frequent guest on her show.  Although, I ama salt-a-holic, watching the desserts that Nick prepares could easlity sway me into becoming a sweet-a-holic.  Nick directs the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Edication in New York City.  While this cookbook is primarily filled with recipes for desserts and sweets, there are also some delicious savory recipes as well.  Nick includes recipes from all over the world in his seventh cookbook.  This book will make a great addition to your collection.


  • Introduction
  • Ingredients
  • Equipment
  • Bread
  • Yeast-Risen Cakes and Pastries
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Pies and Tarts
  • Savory Pastries
  • Puff Pastry, Struedel, and Filo Dough
  • Fried Pastries
  • Sources
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Recipe Index by Country
  • Index

This book is filled with so many wonderful recipes that you will want to try. Some are simple, some very complex.  What I also like about the book is that Nick gives you a section on the ingredients and the equipment that you will need to make your baking a success. He suggests the proper flour, leavenings, spices, eggs, cheeses, etc.  He tells you the type pf baking pans, specialty pans, hand tools, measuring tools, etc. that will make your job so much easier.  Even if you never make a single recipe in the book, you will find it an invaluable source of information for the "must have" kitchen.


Sample Recipe from the book: Viennese Fritters Made from Cream-Puff Dough

I choose this recipe because  I like the consistancy of cream puff dough and thought that a "doughnut" made from this dough might be a little lighter than the standarad fare doughnut. Nick says that these are more suited to a snak than a dessert as they should be eaten as soon or soon after they are made.

Viennese Fritters Made from Cream-Puff Dough

Makes about twenty-four 3-inch round fritters




  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose-flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


One Jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, plus 1 lined with paper towels for draining the fritters

  1. To make the dough, in a heavy-bottom saucepan combine the milk, butter, and salt.  Brng to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter melts.  Remove from the heat, stir in the flour with a wooden spatula and continue stirring until the dough is smooth.  Return the pan to the heat and beat the dough vigorously until it leaves the side of the pan and the bottom of the pan is slightly filmed with the dough.  Scrape the dough into a bowl and stir for a minute of so to cool it slghtly.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating smooth after each addition.  Beat in the rum and the sugar.

     2. Place half the dough into a pastry bag fitted with an open star tubs (Ateco #824). On the prepared pan lined with parchment, pipe out circles of dough 2 1/2 inches in diameter, in straight rows.  Use the point of a paring knife

to cut the paper into 5 or 6 pieces, cutting around the piped dough.

     3.  In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil to 350 degrees. When the oil is hot, carefully invert 1 piece of paper into the oil.  Use a large kitchen spoon to baste the top side of the paper with hot oil so that the fritters float away from the paper.  Use tongs to  remove the paper from the pan.  Cook the fritters on both sides to a delicate golden color.  Remove and drain on the paper-towel-lined pan.  Repeat with remaining piped dough.

      4.  Mix the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon together and slft a  thick laer over the fritters.

Serving:  Serve the spritzkrapken as soon as possible after they are fried, while the are still warm.

Storage:  As with a souffle, you only have one opportunity to eat these.  If left to cool, they will become heavy and greasy in just a few hours.


Book Title:

A Baker's Tour


Nick Maugeri

Category: Celebrity Chefs
ISBN: 978-0-06-058263-0
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publisher address:

10 East 53rd Street

New York, NY 10022

Website or e-mail of publisher:
Published: 2005
Edition: First
Description: Hard Cover
Illustrated: no
Photographs: Beautiful Color Photos
Price: $34.95
Reviewed by: Elise Feiner
  February 16 , 2008


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