When Naomi Duguid (author of Burma) researches her cookbooks, she immerses herself, learning recipes in homes, at village stalls, even by campfires. In Taste of Persia (Artisan, $35), she travels through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan. There are chapters on simple salads, dumplings and stuffed vegetables, soups and stews, flatbreads, and perfumed rice dishes (paying special attention to the tasty crust!). Easy to prepare, many of these recipes are based on the staples of the region: saffron, pomegranate molasses, yogurt, mint oil, rose water, and plenty of fresh fruits and herbs. The book features many of Duguid’s photos plus insightful short sidebars on everything from Azeri picnics and Georgian wines to Yazidi and Assyrian culture. Above all, Duguid was met with open-hearted hospitality, and she extends this same generosity to us with this collection.
In the mold of his award-winning and bestselling How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman’s newest print companion for home cooks is loaded with over 2,000 recipes that encompass every culinary category and cater to every skill set. How to Bake Everything (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35) is the essential cookbook for food lovers. From the most straightforward and classic of cookies to pastry recipes that may be new even to accomplished bakers, Bittman is all-inclusive, giving cooks the delicious, the tempting, the sinful. Recipes for sweet, decadent, and even savory provisions are staged and organized to be not only accessible to the home baker, but, simply, possible. Illustrated instructions help users practice and master various techniques, while tips for frosting, rolling, shaping, kneading, and drizzling will make your finished product the star of your next obligation, er, potluck. Keep this fabulous compendium for yourself to avoid being outshined, or gift it to multiply your chances for devouring luxurious treats.
For the baker in your life, renowned chef and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan has whipped up her most appetizing and tempting collection yet: a book devoted to cookies. Packed with tried-and-true favorites as well as new enticements, Dorie’s Cookies (Rux Martin, $35) is the perfect way to practice your baking skills, master a new family favorite, and ruin your diet. There are recipes for everyday confections as well as chapters on brownies, bars, special treats for particular occasions, and “cocktail cookies”—more than enough to make this book your favorite kitchen companion. Whether you’re looking for a shortbread recipe, a way to make mini pies, or instructions for a deep-fried delicacy, Dorie has you covered. Alongside ample recipes, Dorie also helps take the guesswork out of baking techniques with “The Perfect-Cookie Handbook.” Pages of tips and guidelines for a little TLC, plus a review of the proper and preferred gear, set this compilation apart and guarantee perfect treats.