Six great books for gifts!
Momofuku Milk Bar
Perhaps the most highly anticipated baking book of the year, Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar instantly won our hearts. We'd been looking forward to recreating those unbelievable Blueberry and Cream cookies and Cereal Milk for quite a while but recipes aside, the book itself is a gem. It's a gorgeous cookbook that's filled with Tosi's narrative, which is funny, tough, approachable, informative, and gracious all at once, and hearing her first hand account of how Milk Bar came to be is one of the best stories we've read this year. Plus, we have to give her a hand for refusing to dumb down her recipes for home bakers. It's a bold move, but one that gives you results that taste like they came straight out of Milk Bar.
Romney Steele's Plum Gorgeous isn't exclusively a dessert book, but her sweet stone fruit recipes are enough to make us long for summer. There's a real elegance about Steele's desserts, letting the perfectly ripe sweetness of the fruit come through but never overpowering it. We're counting the days to warm weather so that we can taste her Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Moscato Apricots and Plum Gorgeous Almond Tart again.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home
Anyone who has ever attempted to make ice cream at home knows that the results aren't often up to par with your local scoop shop and that's why we're tipping our hat to Jeni Britton Bauer, the Jeni behind the Ohio-based mini chain, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. In her cookbook, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home, she's come up with a surefire formula to make the creamiest homemade ice cream around. And once you've got Jeni's secret recipe down, you can go on to churn up batches of her inventive and totally incredible flavor combos like Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Red Cherries and Sour Beer Sorbet.
When it come to baking, technique really is key and that's why we so enjoyed baking our way through Joanne Chang's Flour. Chang is one of the few pastry chefs we know with a degree from Harvard, and she's the perfect candidate to teach us the finer points of croissant making or how to make the best yellow birthday cake around.
The best cookbooks have the ability to capture a place through taste, and that's precisely what drew us to Francine Segan's Dolci. Segan has done the legwork, seeking out Italy's lesser known regional sweets. Her cookbook is filled with the sort of desserts that will have you speedily purchasing a plane ticket and renting a car so that you can experience a taste of Italy's dolci for yourself, traveling to Tuscany for slices of Sweet Rosemary and Grape Foccacia and over to Bologna for a wedge of Angel Hair Pasta Pie.
Jelly Shot Test Kitchen
We have to give an honorable mention to one of the years' most fun cookbooks, Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. We're not quite sure where to place this party-perfect cookbook since it qualifies as both a cocktail book and a dessert book, but regardless, we had a pretty memorable time with jell-ified versions of Old-Fashioneds and Pimm's Cups.