While The Food Channel has some terrific recipes for gift-giving this season, we know that some of you will want even more. That’s when you turn to cookbooks: the food-lover’s guide to gifts! Here are our recommendations for cookbooks that will inspire your holiday gifts for years to come.
Let’s start with Gifts from the Kitchen (Parragon Books). This book bills itself as â€˜a fantastic collection of homemade edible gifts,â€™ and it lives up to its claim. It’s full of photos â€“ each recipe has a photo with wrapping and presentation suggestions, making it valuable for those of us whose creativity stops at the food. The book refers to the â€˜gentler age when friends showed up with a jar of homemade jam or a freshly baked coffee cake.â€™
â€˜Gifts From the Kitchenâ€™ has great suggestions for hostess gifts, treats for co-workers, and those thoughtful presents for special neighbors or shut-ins. There is an Easy Nut Brittle that looks melt-in-your-mouth good, as well as ideas for giving all the ingredients for fondue. And don’t miss the Brandied Cherries. Classic Madeleines are made easy, and while you are picking up that Madeleine pan, get extras to give with the cookies and thrill the baker on your gift list! The book is by Anne Kleinberg and you can find more of her work at www.annekleinberg.com.
We’re also fans of Williams-Sonoma, and suggest their version of the same title, Gifts from the Kitchen (Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library). This is an easy to follow book with some creative recipes and nice photography. It also has an equipment list and a section on “finishing touches.” Recipes tend to be a little more off the beaten path, including Lemon Spiced Olives and Roasted Bell Peppers in Flavored Oil.
Finally, particularly if you are new to the idea of homemade gift giving, try Gifts from the Kitchen for Dummies. Here you’ll find simple steps for some recipes that otherwise appear complicated, such as piÃƒÂ±a colada candies and candy sushi. There are also some fun suggestions for edible wrappings.
Whatever your choice for the holidays, these books will inspire some new ideas, help you stick to your budget, and delight your friends and neighbors when you deliver a little holiday cheer!
See our complete series of gift giving ideas.
See our tips on packaging and presenting.