10 Great cookbooks for Christmas

These cookbooks will inspire your friends for the full year. Some are decadent, some are classic, and some are the ones everyone want to borrow.

1. Booze cakes

What more do you need to know. Everyone loves a cake that catches fire. Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked With Spirits, Wine, and Beer includes traditional Booze Cakes (Black Forest Cakes and English Trifle) as well as more contemporary cocktail cakes (Pina Colada Cake, White Russian Cupcakes, and Sex-on-a-Beach Cake). There’s even a chapter devoted to cake shots: delicious cupcake morsels infused with the flavors of mojitos, kamikazes, and more.

Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked With Spirits, Wine, and Beer

2. Vegan recipes that even carnivores will love

The hosts of the vegan cooking show The Post Punk Kitchen are back with a vengeance – and this time, dessert. A companion volume to Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is a sweet and sassy guide to baking everyone’s favorite treat without using any animal products.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule

3. Southern entertaining

Southern cooking is the hottest trend in America. This cookbook introduces recipes for entertaining and the family dinner. Publisher’s Weekly has a great description of this book:

The playful title of this Southern-French cookbook belies its studious attitude to cookery. Willis, a chef who has cooked for the White House and stars like Aretha Franklin and Jane Fonda, grew up in Georgia and Louisiana, absorbing her mother’s and grandmother’s repertoire of grits, casseroles and gumbos before developing her professional skills at French cooking academies.

The result is a hybrid cuisine she calls refined Southern, which applies traditional French technique and lighter ingredients to produce new versions of Southern staples. Her collard greens are cooked up with smoked salt instead of hog jowl; her cornbread is dressed with panko. Sprinkled liberally throughout are the Southern ingredients that Willis was raised on: Vidalia onions, okra, Georgia pecans and peaches. Willis’s approach is faithful, yet she’s unafraid to reinvent culinary clichés when necessary—like making pimiento cheese from scratch. Some of her creations—like a tipsy salad, riffing on the frat boy combo of watermelon and vodka; Yukon Gold and Edamame Mash; and Coca-Cola Glazed Baby Back Ribs—elevate mundane flavors with sheer ingenuity.

Bon Appetit, Y'all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking

4. Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

This decadent baking cookbook will certainly pack a few pounds on the hips.

“In this decadent tome Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours (Rizzoli New York) she shares her award winning recipes that will appease your palate– each and every time… Certain to inspire both experienced home cooks and those just starting out in the kitchen, each recipe is designed to ensure the dessert preparation process is as enjoyable as the finished result… a must for dessert enthusiasts!”
Le Petite Blog

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

5. Argentine Style Grilling

This beautiful cookbook was the 2010 James Beard award winner for best photography. Francis Mallmann, a master chef from Argentinia, shares his secrets of grilling. You’ll be seduced by the photography and inspired by the dishes.

Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way

6. Country Irish Cooking

I’ve been to Ireland and experienced the worst food I have ever tasted. It was so bad that I kept eating; just to see if it could get any worse. So imagine my surprise to find the 2010 James Beard Award Winner for best cookbook was about Irish food.

Known for its scenic landscape rather than its gastronomic prowess, Ireland has never been considered a major force on the world’s food stage. Until now, that is. Andrews, co-founder of Saveur magazine and author of Catalan Cuisine and Everything on the Table, provides new perspectives on the often maligned Irish cuisine. The breathtakingly beautiful photographs are alone enough to convince, but Andrews, calling Irish cuisine one of the most exciting food stories in the world today, lets the dishes make his case.
Publisher’s Weekly

The Country Cooking of Ireland

7. Possibly the Worst Cookbook Gift

The beef industry created this lovely cookbook in 1976 to introduce the joys of beef and the metric system. This will be the gift that keeps on giving.

American Metric Beef Cookbook

8. Baby Food for the New Parents

Do you have a new family on your shopping list? This cookbook will help them create healthy, tasty, and affordable food for the baby. This cookbook includes more than just recipes.

  • Weaning your baby and transitioning to solid foods
  • Food allergies
  • Time-saving food preparation tips
  • Freezing and reheating your homemade baby food
  • Tricks on finding the hidden nutrition in everyday foods

Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby

9. Twitterific Cooking

This anti-cookbook was written via Twitter. So you’ll find short, simple recipes. The challenge is to distill a recipe into 140 characters while still maintaining its essence.

Eat Tweet: 1,020 Recipe Gems from the Twitter Community's @cookbook

10. The Flavour Thesaurus

There are cookbooks that are filled with recipes that work and there are cookbooks that teach you why recipes work. This book, the Flavour Thesaurus, describes why flavors work together and by themselves. It provides confidence in creating your own recipes.

The Flavour Thesaurus

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