COOKING & FOOD

The Sweet Polish Kitchen: A Celebration of Home Baking and Nostalgic Treats

Interlink Dec. 2023. 192p. ISBN 9781623717179. $35. COOKING
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Food writer and blogger Behan first explored her Polish culinary heritage in Wild Honey and Rye. Now she returns to her home-baking roots with a thoughtful, thorough look at the sweeter side of Polish kitchens. Behan starts off with culinary tips, necessary equipment, and advice on stocking a Polish baking pantry and then delves into a full panoply of delicious treats, including double-plum crumble cake, stefanaka (chocolate-and-honey layer cake), and mazurek (lemon cream tart with white chocolate and rose petals). Recipes for babkas and pierogis, carnival treats, and seasonal sweet delights, such as those associated with Christmas and Easter, are also included. Scattered throughout are recipes with remembrances like that for quince or apricot jam with tea, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the culinary culture of Poland and Central Europe. Behan’s cookbook gives both metric and imperial measurements for ingredients, but even if it didn’t, the sweet rewards awaiting within are worth dragging out a kitchen scale.
VERDICT Infused with all the warmth and charm of a babcia, Behan’s excellent introduction to the best of classic and modern Polish baking is a true delight.
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