CakeBook Monday: BAKING IN AMERICA by Greg Patent
Oh, how I love this book. Well-researched and expansive, it is packed with history and stories and is a must-have if you harbor any interest in American baking and/or American culinary history. Though sadly out-of-print, used copies can be found online for practically nothing and it was re-issued as an e-book late last year.
My own copy, above, is tagged and tabbed and torn up and stained, the cover long gone. I've read through it a few times and baked a decent number of recipes from the book. That said, two of my favorites are Emily Dickinson's Black Cake (the recipe which Ms. Dickinson sent in a letter to a friend in 1883) and Indian Meal Cake (a recipe for which appeared in the first baking book printed in America in 1828; 75 Reciepts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats by Eliza Leslie, available for free as an e-book).