Fall is cookbook season, when publishers release tons of exciting titles for folks to stock up on for the holidays. That’s because cookbooks make the best gifts. They’re full of enticing images of food and promise of future meals and treats. Plus, cookbooks’ straight sides and sharp corners make them so easy to wrap and slap a cute bow on.
I’ve already got my eye on a few cookbooks I’d like to gift: Chef Jacques Pépin’s Cooking My Way has a gorgeous cover that doesn’t need to be gift-wrapped, and cover-to-cover Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Bakes is filled with easy and delicious recipes that my best friend’s teenage daughter will love. As a gift to myself, I’m adding a book from one of my favorite chefs, Nancy Silverton’s The Cookie That Changed My Life, to my giant collection of cookbooks.
After sifting through a lion’s share of new releases coming out this fall, I selected 12 cookbooks I’m adding to my wishlist and that I know your loved ones will be thrilled to unwrap this year:
By Yossy Arefi (November 7)
I observed Yossy with awe back when I used to work in test kitchens. She glides, barely making any moves or messes, and suddenly boom! She lands the most gorgeous platter of cookies on the counter. That’s Yossy’s trademark: no fuss, no mess, yet excellent bakes.
Yossy’s new cookbook is packed with her signature one-bowl recipes for cookies, cakes, brownies, and bars. And she won’t ask you to hunt for any hard-to-get ingredients. It’s the perfect gift for young, weeknight, new, and veteran bakers alike.
Cooking My Way
by Jacques Pépin (September 26)
Jacques Pépin is a living legend with more accolades under his apron than I have space to list here. He has authored more than 30 cookbooks, many of which I own and turn to again and again. I’m getting two copies for myself—one to stain and one to keep on my coffee table, which you’ll understand when you see his beautiful paintings featured throughout.
This cookbook is a collection of budget-friendly recipes that take minimal time and effort to make. From classics like Quiche Lorraine and Tomatoes Provençal to my family’s favorites like Braised Pork and Cabbage and Country Omelet, the recipes stand the test of time.
by Adeena Sussman (September 5)
Though I’m not Jewish, I’ve experienced the magic of Shabbat many a Friday while living in the Upper West Side, a significant Jewish neighborhood in New York City. As a traditional day of rest, I came to treasure it as a salve for the soul after a long work week.
Tightly gathered around a dinner table, sharing platters of comforting dishes, it’s the magic Adeena captures in her latest cookbook, Shabbat. Her recipes are both traditional and modern takes on comforting classics from her kitchen and cooks in Israel, where Shabbat “is practically a national holiday.”
Make It Japanese
by Rie McClenny (October 24)
An ideal present for fans of BuzzFeed Tasty’s popular Make It Fancy videos, host Rie McClenny takes a sharp right to reveal nothing fancy, just simple Japanese recipes fit for a weeknight home cook. For example, Curry Rice—known as karē raisu in Japanese—is a dish Rie learned to make in elementary school. (It’s one of the first recipes my mom taught me how to make too.) “It’s a comforting dish I’ll make when I don’t feel like cooking or have run out of ideas for dinner.” It’s likely you’ll turn to this cookbook for daily inspiration.
by Dan Pelosi (September 5)
I recently learned that Dan Pelosi—best known as @grossypelosi, his Instagram handle—used to be a creative director for Ann Taylor before shifting full-time to what he loves most: Italian American home cooking, especially family recipes passed down to him. Add to that Dan’s bright personality fit for social media follows and likes, and a star was born.
If you’re already a fan who’s found comfort in his Reels, consider this collection of 101 recipes you can recreate at home, from Italian Gay Wedding Soup and Mom’s Stuffed Artichokes to Four-Cheese Lasagna and Porchetta.
by Leah Koenig (August 29)
Leah Koenig is an authority on Jewish cooking. She has published seven cookbooks, including my favorite so far, Modern Jewish Cooking. In her latest, Portico, she takes us on a tour of Roman-Jewish culinary traditions. Through well-researched stories, first-hand explorations, and delicious recipes, Leah connects the dots between two beloved cultures that overlapped for centuries. This is a cookbook suited for armchair historians and adventurers and for fans of good food (so basically everyone I know).
by Samantha Seneviratne (November 7)
If you’ve ever said, “I’m just not a baker,” likely because it involves measuring, fussy steps, and too many special kitchen tools, buy this cookbook. You’ll shed your fears and fill your home with the smell of fresh-baked cookies in no time.
Cookbook author Samantha Seneviratne is a magician with her words—she can explain even the most complicated things in a way that only a master instructor can. Scattered throughout the recipes, you’ll find permission for when things go wrong, like when making rugelach: “Some of the filling will spill out; it always happens.”
by Sohla El-Waylly (by October 31)
Sohla El-Waylly is a fixture in the food world—recipe developer, food writer, restauranteur, chef, on-camera host, and now cookbook author—she’s done it all. That’s why Start Here, a comprehensive guide to cooking for first-timers and those wanting to improve their skills, could have only been written by a multi-hyphenate like El-Waylly.
In a recent interview with TIME she said, “I wanted my book to have the chill vibes of a friend teaching you to cook.” This is the same ethos Simply Recipes values when sharing recipes and stories with our readers. It’s fundamental to finding joy in cooking. For that reason, this cookbook is going to be a fixture in my kitchen.
The Cookie That Changed My Life
by Nancy Silverton (November 14)
It’s been over 20 years since Nancy Silverton published a cookbook dedicated to baking. The last was Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, a classic I have dog-eared from cover to cover. I know this because I’ve been waiting and waiting for the next book. Finally! The Cookie That Changed My Life comes out in November and I’ve already pre-ordered it.
Nancy Silverton is a pastry chef that changed my life. Though I never got the chance to work in any of her kitchens, I was inspired by her to pursue baking as a career. I cannot wait to add this cookbook to my arsenal.
by Laurent Dagenais (September 26)
You are or likely know at least one of Laurent Dagenais’ two million Instagram followers. A trained chef with major cooking chops, Dagenais never imagined leaving the restaurant world to create Reels for super fans. But when the world clicks like, follows, and shares your mouthwatering content non-stop (like the 33 million that viewed his steak frites sandwich), you drop everything and give the world what it wants.
This is the cookbook you buy for a foodie friend in the know.
Simply West African
by Pierre Thiam (September 19)
Pierre Thiam, a Senegalese chef, author, and authority on West African cooking, is behind the best snack I tried last year. He created the best chips using fonio, a nutty grain beloved across West Africa. He also wrote a cookbook about the same grain called The Fonio Cookbook. This time he brings us everyday recipes from Senegal, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Nigeria.
From comforting dishes like Chicken Yassa (but in taco form) to new-to-me Blacken Salmon with Moyo Sauce, I’m getting ready to fill my kitchen with the most deliciously intoxicating smells.
Made In Taiwan
by Clarissa Wei (September 19)
Writer Eddie Lin recently reported on the Los Angeles Times that “Made In Taiwan is the cookbook that couldn’t have existed 20 years ago” because of the country’s entangled history with China. Honing in on the culinary traditions of Taiwan, This is a cookbook for home cooks who want to learn how to make comforting Taiwanese meals for their families and be taken on a culinary and cultural historical tour of the country’s rich history.