By Teresa Acosta
The new cookbook “The One-Bowl Baker” from Stephanie Simmons, the founder of Blue Bowl Recipes, promises easy, unfussy classic recipes with a twist. The goal of the book seems to be dirtying the least amount of dishes and making the recipes as approachable and delicious as possible.
Simmons has learned her baking skills from her mother and grandmother and wrote the book to share what she has learned from them and her love of food. On her blog, Blue Bowl Recipes, Simmons tries to build confidence and know-how in others, and her book tries to do the same.
The recipes are organized into multiple sections: cookies, brownies, cakes and pies, cobblers, brunch bites, savory bakes and finishing touches. Pictures are included with every recipe and are a great gauge to compare the end result to. Simmons explains that her approach to the cookbook is to provide recipes that a baker at any level of experience can follow.
She goes through the baking basics and shares tips and tricks to help ensure success. Each recipe is prefaced with a few sentences from Simmons about what the recipe means to her and what makes it special.
After attempting a few of her specifically suggested recipes, such as the Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies and Snickerdoodle Blondies, they were simple, quick and clean up was done before the desserts were ready. The thumbprint cookies came out almost exactly as pictured and baked beautifully. They tasted delicious, like a warm PB&J. The ratio of cookie to jelly was perfect. The blondies required more steps but the extra work was well worth it. Blondies are a non-chocolate version of brownies. They still had that warm gooey center everyone looks for in a traditional brownie just without the chocolate.
With the amount of cookbooks on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to pick one among many. This book really stands out for anyone looking for a place to start. It is a great first-time baking book for those wanting to start making sweets at home without the complicated instructions and cleanup.