Holiday Gifts Part 3 - Baking Made Easy

We all have busy lives. Whether we spend it at work, with our family, our friends, or just catching up on the latest posts on our favorite blogs, our time is precious. Most of us don't have an abundance of extra time to slave away in the kitchen. Sometimes we need a shortcut. A time saver. Sometimes we just need that boxed cake mix, because we've got more important things to do. What if there was a way, with just a little effort, to take that store boxed cake mix and make it taste homemade? With The Cake Mix Doctor, there is.

And what those who find themselves with a little extra time to bake something special, but don't know where to begin? Allow the kitchens of Better Homes and Gardens and Betty Crocker to teach you everything you need to know to become a better baker. Whether you lack the time, or the skill, these are just a few of the many books to get you in and out of the kitchen with time and sanity to spare.

You Made That Dessert?
By Beth Lipton
ISBN: 9780762750085
List Price: $19.95
Format: Paperback
Published by Globe Pequot Press in Sept 2009

Even if you can barely cook, Beth Lipton is confident with her help, you’ll be baking up desserts that’ll wow your friends and family. Along with the ingredients for each recipe, there’s a list of all the equipment needed to create the dessert, so there’s no surprises along the way. You’ll know exactly what you need every time to create some delicious and beautiful desserts.

The Cake Mix Doctor Returns
By Anne Byrn
ISBN: 9780761129615
List Price: $15.95
Format: Paperback
Published by Workman Publishing in Sept 2009

Building on the incredibly popular Cake Mix Doctor series, Anne Byrn brings 160 more recipes to turn boxed cake mix into something spectacular! For those who are pressed for time, or have limited baking experience, The Cake Mix Doctor is the perfect solution. With delicious additions to store bought mix, friends and family will think you slaved in the kitchen for hours over your easy masterpiece! There’s even a wedding cake featured! There are places to write beside each recipe to record any of your own substitutions and variations, so feel free to be creative with your creations. And with a color picture of each and every recipe featured in the front, you’ll always know what you’re making.

Also check out the other books in the Cake Mix Doctor series:

Anyone Can Bake
By Better Homes and Gardens
ISBN: 9780470500590
List Price: $24.95
Format: Hardcover
Published by John Wiley, and Sons in Aug 2009

A companion to the Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook, Anyone Can Bake is a spiral bound hardcover book for those starting out in the kitchen who want to become a better baker. You’ll learn what you need, or what’s just nice to have in your kitchen with the Baker’s Toolbox. There are tips and tricks to help you look and bake like a professional, with step by step color photos, and delicious full page pictures! With recipes that are rated from easy to hard, you’ll be able to build your skills along the way. Look for those books that have a subscription card included for a free year of Better Homes and Gardens magazine! Give two gifts in one!

Baking Basics
By Betty Crocker
ISBN: 9780470286616
List Price: $25.95
Format: Hardcover
Published by John Wiley, and Sons in Feb 2009

From the trusted kitchens of Betty Crocker comes a book for designed for the beginning baker, with all the basics you'll need to improve your baking. Learn how to tell if your butter is perfectly softened, how to measure drop cookies, and techniques for decorating and storing your baked goods. There’s even a troubleshooting section to find out why your baking went wrong and how to fix it for next time. Not sure what folding means? There’s a glossary in the back, complete with pictures for all your baking terms and techniques. With beautiful full page color pictures for each recipe, as well as tips on each page, such as how to properly measure applesauce or fill cupcake liners, you’ll be baking like a pro in no time. Concerned about calories? Each recipe also features its nutritional information, so you’ll always know what you’re eating—although you may not want to! Hardcover and spiral bound, the book sits flat on your counter for easy reading. With Betty Crocker, there’s no excuse not to bake!

Taste of Home Baking Book
By Taste of Home
ISBN: 9780898215281
List Price: $29.95
Format: Hardcover
Published by Reader’s Digest in Sept 2007

With over 700 recipes submitted by the readers of Taste of Home magazine, you’ll find plenty of things to bake for years to come. With photos you’d find on the covers of magazines, from cookies to cakes, pies and breads (both savory and sweet), there’s no lack of mouthwatering choices. There’s even a section on holiday baking! The book sits flat on the counter for easy reading, and features three-ring binding so you can remove the pages for even easier use. Look for the books featuring a bonus deal—some have a card for a free year’s subscription to Taste of Home magazine with the purchase of the book.

101 Things to Do With Cake Mix
By Stephanie Ashcraft
ISBN: 9781586852177
List Price: $9.99
Format: Paperback Spiral
Published by Gibbs Smith Publishing Aug 2002

Very much like the Cake Mix Doctor series, 101 Things to do With Cake Mix shows you how to doctor up boxed cake mix to create fantastic cakes that everyone will think are homemade. The recipes are simple, and the directions easy to follow. You can even make cookies out of cake mix! Or create delicious fruit flavored cakes by adding pie filling! While there are no pictures in the book, the recipes make up for it. Check out 101 More Things to do With Cake Mix when you bake your way through this one. Looking for other easy ideas? Check out the rest of the 101 Things to Do With… series with easy recipes for everything from ramen noodles, casseroles, and canned biscuits, to macaroni and cheese, chicken, and chocolate.
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