Whether you're buying gifts for a culinary novice or an expert, an ideal present is as close as the nearest bookstore. The Times' Food staff looked at a sampling of the cookbooks released in time for this holiday season and offers the following reviews to assist last-minute shoppers. Some of these books get down to the basics, some deal with ethnic cuisines while still others are as much a feast for the eyes as for the appetite. These--or the host of other cookbooks you'll find on sale at local stores--will not only delight the recipient but might ensure the giver some memorable repasts during 1988.
Candymaking by Ruth A. Kendrick and Pauline H. Atkinson (HP Books: $9.95, 159 pp.)
When a mother and her daughter combine their efforts to produce a candy-making cookbook, sweet success can be expected. Seventy-eight-year-old Pauline H. Atkinson and daughter Ruth A. Kendrick, who say they have been making candy "forever," feel confident that "Candymaking" can turn anyone into a top-notch candy maker. Well-known for their delicious sweets recipes, both women have been involved in teaching candy-making classes.
The dramatic book cover, illustrating a luscious big red berry being dipped into chocolate, leads into equally beautiful close-ups in every chapter.