Although the weather certainly feels more like summer than fall, mentally I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving dinner (less than 2 weeks away, Canadian friends!), apple picking, Halloween costumes, and baking.
To me, there’s nothing better than having something fresh from the oven and ready for the boys when they walk in the door after school, or to serve on a crisp Sunday morning when we’re more likely to eat a late breakfast. Baking is absolutely synonymous with the cooler weather, as far as I’m concerned, and my books dedicated to the subject move to a place of pride on my cookbook bookshelf this time of year, sitting within easy reach for whenever the baking mood strikes (and these days it’s often).
I usually add a new title or two to my collection in the fall or winter, and this year I didn’t hesitate to snatch up a copy of Charmian Christie’s The Messy Baker. In the interest of full disclosure, I know Charmian and recently spent a morning in her company as we walked an antique market and enjoyed a late lunch with a group of local food bloggers. She’s completely delightful, not to mention a true inspiration, and she’s just released a baking book that needs to be on the shelves of every home baker looking to whip up tasty, imperfect treats.
Her charming tone, which coaches you through each recipe via the informative headnotes, encourages you to get back to having fun in the kitchen, and to focus on delivering delicious food that can be lopsided, misshapen, and oozing down the sides of a pan or pie plate. The recipes, while modern and relevant, are guaranteed to remind you of the baked goods your grandmother likely served to you as a child. They are both current and nostalgic, and I promise you, it will be very difficult for you to decide which one you want to make first.
Last week, I made the chili cheese twists from the book and they are truly the ideal party snack, not to mention a perfect cracker alternative when downing a big bowl of brothy soup. I also wouldn’t hesitate to tuck them into a lunchbox with a bit of hummus or tzatziki for a little mid-day snacking. The cream cheese laden dough is lightly spiced with chili flakes, cumin, and coriander yielding a flavour combination that's perfect for fall.
I’m such a fan of this book and the recipes within it (the double-stuffed uber-oreo cookies are on my must-make list this week) that I’ve decided I’m not going to share the recipe for the chili cheese twists here, simply because I’d love to encourage you to pick up a copy of this baking book for yourself. It’s really worth the money and I love having the opportunity to support a local writer. Having said that, I’ve purchased a copy to give away to one reader today to prove that I really do believe the book is of value and worth owning.
Did you know that today is #MessyBakerMonday? Several of my food blogging friends are also celebrating Charmian and her new book, and I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to do so. If you’d like to read a little more about the The Messy Baker and see some of the recipes my friends have cooked up, head on over to their sites for more baking inspiration:
- the yum yum factor – Orange Walnut Blondies
- The Brunette Baker – Whiskey Kissed Pecan Pie
- Planet Byn – Blueberry Lime Cornmeal Muffins
- Kitchen Frolic - Smoked Paprika Corn Fritters
- my daily randomness – Cherry & Lemon Macaroon Meringues
- Olive & Ruby – Ginger and Vanilla Scones
- The Tasty Gardener – Piglet Muffins with Caramelized Bacon
- eat. live. travel. write. – Profiteroles
- Living Lou – Double Stuff Uber Oreos
- Libby Roach – Basil & Aged Cheddar Scones
- Libby Roach – Deep Dark Cherry and Chipotle Brownies
- Strawberries for Supper – Savoury Pecan Cheddar Bites
- Sweet Twist of Blogging – Rhubarb Raspberry Galette with Frangipane
- Seasons & Suppers – Tomato/Arugula Stuffed Focaccia
- A Canadian Foodie – Welsh Griddle Cakes
In the meantime, to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Messy Baker for yourself, please leave a comment letting me know what you’re most looking forward to baking this fall.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The Messy Baker by HarperCollins to review, and all opinions here are my own. I purchased the copy for giveaway with my own money and was not asked to do so.
Update: A winner has been selected and contacted. Thanks for enterting!