Lindsay Burgess
December 20, 2016 6:35 am
Haters Collective/Unsplash

Is it just us, or does the number of people to buy gifts for seem to grow every year? We’ve got secret santas to impress, besties to cheer up and moms who are completely impossible to buy for. With so few shopping (and shipping) days left before Christmas, the panic is getting real…

We’ve got you.

Cookbooks are kind of the perfect gift. A cookbook is one of the essential beginners’ cooking items. Then there are desert island books, like The Joy of Cooking. For your pop culture junkie pal? Well, it’s too bad Chrissy Teigan’s second cookbook won’t be out in time… The point is, there’s a cookbook for absolutely anyone on your list.

Soup for Syria

In addition to awesome recipes, Soup for Syria serves up a side of serious feels. 100% of the proceeds of this cookbook will aid Syrian refugees. Author Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a culinary heavy hitter in her own right – she’s won plenty of awards for past cookbooks – but this time she’s recruited superstars like Anthony Bourdain for the cause.

Purely Pumpkin

We were so excited to see Yummy Beet blogger Alison Day follow her first cookbook, Whole Bowls, with a celebration of all things pumpkin. Purely Pumpkin is filled with gorgeous photos of gourds – and healthy, hearty recipes that showcase their versatility. Bonus: There’s no going back from Day’s homemade PSL, so you’ll save yourself a fortune in latte money.

Eat Like a Gilmore

If you haven’t binge-watched A Year in the Life with a full spread of Gilmore grub, you don’t know what you’re missing. The Eat Like a Gilmore cookbook was a labour of love for author Kristi Carlson, who crowd-funded the project herself. (It’s a *little bit* unofficial, but that’s okay by us. Get your deep-fried turkey recipe (and all the rest) here.

Every Grain of Rice

If you’re not already familiar with Fuschia Dunlop, the British author whose cookbooks document a life-long love affair with Chinese cuisine, listen to her on the Eater Upsell. Then buy this cookbookEvery Grain of Rice was the 2014 James Beard award winner in the international category, and for good reason. This cookbook makes Chinese home cooking simple – without dumbing it down. Her slightly spicy, not-at-all sweet, Taiwanese version of General Tso’s chicken will become a regular part of your dinner rotation.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

This book is so essential, we once made it our item of the day. New York City blogger Deb Perelman made her name on creating huge flavors in a tiny apartment. Now she’s mastering cookbooks – well, just the one for now, but we’ve got our fingers crossed for a sequel. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is a staple for any kitchen, and a definite must-buy if you’ve got a sweet tooth. There is a MARSHMALLOW LAYER CAKE. This is not a drill.

Happy Hens and Fresh Eggs

Whether you’re desperate for your own backyard chickens, or just really love eggs, you’ll flip for this award-winning book. The beautifully-styled photos look like pages out of an Anthropologie catalogue – with a little food porn thrown in for good measure. Author Signe Langford is a former chef-turned-food writer, so her culinary superstar pals (like Food Network regular, Roger Mooking) have chipped in their favorite eggy recipes. Snap it up in time to make Langford’s homemade eggnog for Christmas.

The Star Wars Cookbook

We’ve seen some awesome nerdy cookbooks in our day – hello, Dr. Who cookbook – but this one, er… takes the cake. (Sorry. We couldn’t resist.) The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes is a full-on geeky delight, and the recipes are simple enough to suit even the younger Jedi in your life. Stir up a batch of Hoth Chocolate before your next viewing of Rogue One.

Damn Delicious

Chungah Rhee’s Damn Delicious blog is one of our go-to spots to find a great weeknight recipe, so it’s no surprise that her new cookbook is a kitchen staple. The Damn Delicious cookbook brings together a nice selection of the kinds of recipes we’ve come to expect of Rhee: simple, quick to put together, and above all, budget-friendly. Much as we love the blog, we’re excited to have a physical copy, complete with gorgeous photos.

Diva Q’s Barbecue

There’s only one thing cooler than a barbecue champion: a female barbecue champion. Danielle Bennett is a barbecue expert and judge, and most of all, an all-around lady badass to boot. Her first cookbook, Diva Q’s Barbecue, is packed with tricks and techniques that’ll fascinate barbecue novices and experts alike. She also shares her recipes for rubs and seasoning blends, and for the most mouth-watering prime rib you’ve ever tasted.


It’s hard to choose just one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. First of all, he’s figured out how to make vegetables seriously exciting. Also, he’s a total master of flavor, building layers of spice, brightness and texture. With Plenty, Ottolenghi tackles one ingredient at a time – a really helpful approach when you’re trying to use up what’s in the fridge! The black pepper tofu is a big winner.


Chrissy Teigen’s first foray into the world of cookbooks only made us love her more. With CravingsTeigen proves that living well is all about balance – which is why she won’t be writing a diet cookbook anytime soon. When we cooked from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook for a week, we totally got it. The recipes have a focus on happy-making comfort food, like sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter and sage. Yum.