Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Published in 1846 in Philadelphia, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection contains over 500 recipes for making confections, pastries, and other baked goods by one of the foremost confectioners of the day, whose family is widely credited with establishing ice cream as a national dish. Eleanor and George Parkinson opened a confectionery shop in Philadelphia in 1818 that became a renowned business with an outstanding reputation. Along with their son James, they were among America’s most prominent confectioners. Their ice creams were particularly famous, and few nineteenth century American cookbooks failed to include several recipes for “Philadelphia Ice Cream.” In writing her cookbook, Eleanor clearly states that, after studying both French and English works, she chose Read’s Confectioner, a London publication, as the basis for her cookbook. However, she made many alterations based on her own experience with the “oldest, most extensive and successful confectionery establishment in the country,” and she added recipes that utilized American ingredients. The book contains “directions for making all sorts of preserves, sugar-boiling, comfits, lozenges, ornamental cakes, ices, liqueurs, waters, gum-paste ornaments, syrups, jellies, marmalades, compotes, bread-baking, artificial yeasts, fancy biscuits, cakes, rolls, muffins, tarts, pies, &c. &c." Plus over fifty different recipes for ice cream. This edition of The Complete Confectioner was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.