The Best Cookbooks of 2019, According to Our Food Editors
From a children's cookbook to a revised edition of one of America's most beloved collection of recipes, these are our test kitchen team's picks for the best cooking tomes of the year.
While our food editors could put together dozens of cookbooks with all of the recipes they have created over the years, they also like to turn to other cooks and authors for inspiration in the kitchen. Among their top picks this year are cookbooks written by classic authors like the late Maida Heatter's Happiness Is Baking ($18.49, amazon.com) and a revised edition of The Joy of Cooking ($20.91, amazon.com).
For anyone who's looking to incorporate more healthy recipes into their routine in 2020, our team urges you to consider picking up a copy of Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin ($19.87, amazon.com); editor-at-large Shira Bocar and senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell both chose it as one of their favorites this year. Chaplin's recipes are completely gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free, so they'll be enjoyed by everyone regardless of individual dietary restrictions.
If you know a young cook (or a cook who is young at heart), give them a copy of United Tastes of America by Gabrielle Langholtz ($19.40, amazon.com) this holiday season. The book covers the regional culinary history of all 50 states, highlighting interesting goods like Ohio's buckeye candies and peanut soup from Virginia.
Samantha Seneviratne demonstrates how baking can do more than just satisfy a craving or celebrate a success in her book, The Joys of Baking ($20.49, amazon.com). "Sam waves together personal anecdotes with truly delicious—and beautiful—recipes," says editorial director of food Sarah Carey, who's gearing up to prepare the chocolate-cardamom babka, apple snack cake, and banana-bread scones in her own kitchen.
As you get ready for another year of delicious recipes for weeknight meals, cozy brunches, and fabulous desserts, cozy up with one of these test kitchen-approved reads.
Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit
"Never boring, always illuminating, Segnit calls her approach 'learning to cook sideways.' If you can make soda bread, then try biscuits. Once you’ve mastered biscuits, go on to cobblers, then yeast bread, and brioche is just around the corner," says Victoria Spencer, Senior Digital Food Editor.
Shop Now: "Lateral Cooking" by Niki Segnit, $27.99, amazon.com.
South by Sean Brock
"I think people have a very arbitrary idea of what Southern cooking is all about—it's not all lard and fried pies! This book is full of elevated classics–hello homemade Cool Whip!" says Riley Wofford, Assistant Food Editor.
Shop Now: "South" by Sean Brock, $27.70, amazon.com.
Happiness is Baking by Maida Heatter
"Anyone who publishes a cookbook at 102 has something worthwhile to say! Especially someone as masterful a baker as the late Maida Heatter. Her recipes are meticulously tested and detailed, and her writing is funny, charming, and true happiness to read," says Tyrell.
Shop Now: "Happiness is Baking" by Maida Heatter, $18.49, amazon.com.
The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig
The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker
"Growing up, my mother's copy was always on the shelf. I love how they always feel so "of their time" in that they describe cooking in such a personable way, as if you were standing at the stove with them," says Carey.
Shop Now: "The Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker, $20.91, amazon.com.
United Tastes of America by Gabrielle Langholtz
"A phenomenal compilation of regional recipes designed for children (but adults will learn something too!). If your little one loves cooking, history, or both, then this book will educate and delight them," says Kelly Vaughan, Associate Digital Food Editor.
Shop Now: "United Tastes of America" by Gabrielle Langholtz, $19.40, amazon.com.
The Joys of Baking by Samantha Seneviratne
"Inspiring, beautiful, and, yes, joyful, that's the third book from our former coworker. It's not just the glorious recipes, it's her personal stories too—Sam shares her passion for baking and the physical and emotional benefits of baking," says Spencer.
Shop Now: "The Joys of Baking" by Samantha Seneviratne, $20.49, amazon.com.
Sababa by Adeena Sussman
"Her debut solo act translates as 'everything is awesome,' and its dishes, like honey-harissa chicken thighs, live up to the hype. I made the falafel recipe. It was terrific!" says Carey.
Shop Now: "Sababa" by Adeena Sussman, $23.60 amazon.com.
Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers, Edited by Natalie Eve Garrett
"Eat Joy is a collection of personal essays written by celebrated writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Anthony Doerr. If you've ever felt a deep, emotional connection a recipe or been comforted by food during a dark time, you'll fall in love with these stories," says Vaughan.
Shop Now: "Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers" Edited by Natalie Eve Garrett, $15.74 amazon.com.
Whole Food Cooking Every Day by
"It's exactly the kinds of recipes I want to settle into this fall. Nourishing whole foods prepared with thought and care (and no refined sugar) with lots of surprising takeaways (see: beet hot chocolate)," says Tyrell.
Shop Now: "Whole Food Cooking Every Day" by Amy Chaplin, $19.87, amazon.com.