Cooking Reviews | June 15, 2013

This month’s cookbooks have all the information readers need to throw a memorable backyard gathering. For those who like to keep things simple, the proven crowd-pleasers in Mixon’s Everyday Barbecue and Klivans’sSlice & Bake Cookies are sure to appealThose who prefer a challenge can tackle one of the showstoppers in Michael Chiarello’s Live Fire or Boetticher and Miller’s In the Charcuterie.

Fan, Shirley. The Flying Brownie: 100 Recipes for Homemade Treats That Pack Easily, Ship Fresh, and Taste Great. Harvard Common 2013. 176p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781558328037. $17.95. COOKING

The first “CARE packages” were charity parcels distributed at the end of World War II that contained staples such as liver loaf and powdered eggs. Here, the term refers to edible gifts that are shipped long distance. Fan, a former Food Network employee, expertly explains how to select recipes that will withstand shipping, package the creations securely and attractively, and ship them domestically and internationally to both civilians and armed forces members. Less epicurean than those in Lucy Baker’s Edible DIY, these nostalgic and comforting dishes include brownies, cookies, confections, snack mixes, and more. VERDICT This title easily straddles the cooking and crafting genres. Highly recommended for readers looking to indulge faraway friends and family.

Klivans, Elinor. Slice & Bake Cookies: Fast Recipes from Your Refrigerator or Freezer. Chronicle. 2013. 120p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781452109626. pap. $18.95. COOKING

Former pastry chef Klivans (The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook) has written several popular single-subject baking books. Like Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, Klivans’s latest features recipes organized by texture and taste. These 40-plus sweet and savory cookies (e.g., orange-scented alfajores, bacon and cheddar crisps), baked from portions of premade dough, will please readers who like having a variety of cookies on hand for care packages, afterschool snacks, and entertaining. Most recipes yield two to three dozen cookies and require a minimum of three hours chilling time. VERDICT Busy bakers should stockpile a few of these easy doughs, which marry superior homemade taste with store-bought convenience.

Boetticher, Taylor & Toponia Miller. In the Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf’s Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pates, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods. Ten Speed: Crown Pub. Group. Sept. 2013. 352p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781607743439. $40. COOKING

According to husband-and-wife team Boetticher and Miller, founders of the Fatted Calf Charcuterie, those who long to revive the traditional craft of preserving meats cannot take shortcuts. Should readers undertake their tantalizing recipes—mostly classics with contemporary flavor profiles—they’ll need to render fats, simmer stocks, grind whole spices, stuff and link sausages, and patiently wait for meats to age, cure, brine, and smoke. Advanced home cooks and slow-food devotees will appreciate the authors’ broad coverage of butchery and preserving techniques, often accompanied by step-by-step photos. VERDICT Informative and ambitious, this charcuterie collection blends gourmet recipes (e.g., duck liver mousse with Armagnac cream) with precise, readable instructions. Fans of Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie and Salumi, take note.

The following titles are reviewed in the June 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Arias, Tessa. Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways To Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich. Running Pr.2013. 224p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780762447671. $18. COOKING

Chiarello, Michael & others. Michael Chiarello’s Live Fire: 125 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors. Chronicle. 2013. 225p. photogs. ISBN 9781452101811. $35. COOKING

Flay, Bobby & others. Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. Clarkson Potter: Crown Pub. Group. 2013. 288p. illus.ISBN 9780307461391. $35. COOKING

Good Housekeeping Eds. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Grilling Cookbook: 225 Sizzling Recipes for Every Season. Hearst: Sterling. 2013. 448p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781618370501. $29.95. COOKING

Library Journal Reviews starred review Lepard, Dan. Short & Sweet: The Best of Home Baking. Chronicle. 2013. 561p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781452114460. $35. COOKING

Mixon, Myron & Kelly Alexander. Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America’s Favorite Pitmaster. Ballantine.2013. 256p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780345543646. pap. $23. COOKING

Wilkinson, Matt. Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables: A Cookbook To Celebrate the Garden. Black Dog & Leventhal.2013. 304p. illus. index. ISBN 9781579129347. $27.95. COOKING