In honor of our Books, Spice, and Everything Nice theme (and spice club!), we’ll be doing a monthly round-up of our cookbooks. We have a really nice and extensive collection, but it’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of them. Hopefully these posts help! In honor of December’s spice cinnamon, we’ll be focusing on cookbooks that cover everything you want to know about baking, including baking for the holidays.
If you’re interested in baking in general:
Linda Collister’s Book of Baking: Delicious Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads (2004)
Linda Collister is perhaps best known for collating the cookbooks associated with The Great British Baking Show (aka The Great British Bake Off), but this cookbook demonstrates her personal baking repertoire in its own right. It starts with a variety of chocolate-themed chapters (including cakes, cookies, brownies, and pies) before shifting to baking with fruits and nuts, as well as bread recipes. Recipes include deep dish pies, creme brulee tarts, gingersnaps, and biscotti.
John Barricelli’s The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion (2010)
A third-generation baker, John Barricelli became famous via his association with Martha Stewart, and he runs his own bakery in Connecticut. In this book, he highlights desserts, as well as savory dishes, for home bakers to make. Recipes include at-home favorites like sticky buns and chocolate cake, as well as more elegant dishes for special occasions, such as mousse and ganache.
The Great British Baking Show, seasons 1-5
If you’d rather watch some baking rather than read about it, you can also indulge in the most wholesome and politest reality cooking show on TV with the first few seasons of The Great British Baking Show. Enjoy the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat with some of the UK’s most talented amateur bakers as they compete against each other in signature bakes, technical challenges, and showstoppers. We also have the show’s official cookbook if you’re interested.
If you need holiday baking resources for kids:
Pam Price’s Cool Holiday Treats: Easy Recipes for Kids to Bake (2010)
This kid-friendly book features recipes, as well as helpful tips and information on techniques and equipment, and should appeal to any budding young baker. It’s not specific to Christmas but does include a recipe for Christmas cochinitos. Other recipes include a honey nut Passover cake and apple kuchen.
Ruth Owen’s Get Baking for Christmas! (2022)
If you’ve got an avid young Christmas baker on your hands, this is the perfect book for them. It features simple recipes (with plenty of photos) and highlights safety tips as it teaches how to make homemade gingerbread men and houses, snowmen marshmallows, mince pies, and more. This is part of a series that also highlights holiday baking for kids for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
If you want Christmas-specific baking books:
Holly Carpenter’s The Cozy Christmas Movie Cookbook: Mouthwatering Food to Enjoy During Your Favorite Holiday Films (2020)
Okay so this is not purely about baking, but it is full of recipes to bake and also highlights Christmas movie favorites. There’s an entire chapter devoted to sweet treats, and as an extra bonus, there’s also a chapter on pet-friendly holiday treats you can whip up. What’s not to love?
Christmas Cookies (1995)
If you want nothing but Christmas cookies–who doesn’t?!–this book is just for you. It highlights everything from macaroons to almond horns to brownies, as well as more conventional Christmas cookie recipes. It’s nearly 100 pages of cookie recipes!
Margie and Abbey Greenburg’s The Flour Pot Christmas Cookie Book: Creating Edible Works of Art for the Holidays (2009)
This book is much more focused on the ins and outs of decorating Christmas cookies than baking them, with a heavy focus on fondant decorating, and it’s brought to you by a mother-daughter duo. Inside, you’ll learn how to make stunning cookie Santas, reindeer, Christmas trees and more.
What’s your favorite baking cookbook? What’s your favorite recipe to bake? What are you cooking in December? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.