Cookbook Countdown: Ending with Sweets | Wyatt’s World

Kick off the holiday season on a sweet note by building a display of baking books. These five  titles serve as excellent starting suggestions.

  • Zingerman’s Bakehouse by Amy Emberling & Frank Carollo (Chronicle).
    Based in Ann Arbor, MI, Zingerman’s—a mix of delis, gourmet shops, and restaurants—is renowned for its house-made food and extensive provisions. One star in its glittering crown is the bakery; it’s best recipes collected here—from Parmesan pepper bread to lemon clouds.
  • A Baker’s Life: 100 Fantastic Recipes, from Childhood Bakes to Five-Star Excellence by Paul Hollywood (Bloomsbury).
    Among the UK’s most acclaimed bakers, Hollywood was the only member of the beloved original cast of The Great British Bake Off to jump ship when the show stopped airing on BBC. Here, with lots of British-ness baked in, he shares recipes for ginger biscuits, jam tarts, and much more.
  • Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip (Harper Wave).
    Baking bread is an art of practice and verve. Who better to teach how to make loaves that delight than the head baker at the King Arthur Flour company? From recipes for ciabatta and a great deal in between, Philip’s global tour on the art of baking bread proves why the technique is getting renewed attention. See also Claus Meyer’s Meyer’s Bakery and Jim Lahey with Maya Joseph’s The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook.
  • Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh (Ten Speed: Crown).
    Ottolenghi is famous for savory cookbooks such as Jerusalem and Plenty. Here, the iconic Israeli British chef, with longtime collaborator Goh, shares delicious dessert recipes from his London restaurant. Expect high-end cooking with detailed instructions. Bakes include almond, pistachio sour cherry wafers, and honey, macadamia, and coconut caramels.
  • BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks (Norton).
    What are America’s mainstay desserts? Cherry pie? Oatmeal cookies? Parks’s cookbook explores the many answers to this question—and offers recipes for them all in this compulsively readable book full of history lessons and inventive spins on classic recipes.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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