Giving the gift of a new cookbook always comes with a bit of risk. What if the person you're gifting it to doesn't have the tools needed to make the recipes from the book? I can't tell you the number of times I've been gifted a new cookbook I've been dying to check out, cracked it open to start using it immediately, only to realize I'm missing a key tool, ingredient, or pan to make all of the best recipes.
Whenever I give cookbooks as gifts I always try to include at least one tool to make sure the person I'm giving it to can use it immediately. This year, I thought I'd round up some of my favorite gifts that go well with cookbooks and share them with you for all your gifting needs.
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the book on pie by erin jeanne mcdowell
Erin McDowell knows everything there is to know about making pies. Her new cookbook, The Book on Pie, has been one of the most talked about cookbooks of 2020 at least that I've seen. It was a NYT best seller, and even started a #sturdypies trend on Instagram.
If you know someone who obsesses over making the very best pies they can, they'll love having a copy of her book at their fingertips. Even more, they'll love having the right tools at their disposal to turn their pie dreams into pie reality.
the flavor equation by nik sharma
Nik Sharma's The Flavor Equation is filled with deep research into flavor and how to adjust and develop recipes that will absolutely never be described as bland. For the home cook or baker who loves to experiment and obsess over the tiniest details, The Flavor Equation's flow charts and thorough explanations is the gift that keeps on giving.
From toasting and grinding whole spices, to the effects of different kinds of citrus juice, and understanding the power of the Maillard reaction, The Flavor Equation is truly the gift that keeps on giving. But if you're looking for a few gifts that go well with this cookbook, well...
all about cake by christina tosi
Milk Bar's signature naked layer cakes require a few specific tools to pull off. This cookbook makes a fantastic gift and is filled with super unique recipes that don't require a lot of decorating skills to replicate.
If you're going to give the gift of Milk Bar's signature naked cakes, here's what you'll want to gift with it:
flour water salt yeast by ken forkish
Flour Water Salt Yeast is an excellent entry point into the art of making artisan bread and pizza at home. Forkish is known for his precision — from times and temperatures and weights — and for his ability to help bakers adjust their process to fit their own schedules.
The recipes are fantastically detailed and easy to follow, but without the right tools it'll be sad bread city all around. Here's what you'll want to gift with it:
indian-ish by priya krishna
Indian-ish is a particularly excellent gift for any vegetarians in your life. It's not an explicitly ~vegetarian~ book (there are four non-vegetarian dishes in it) but the rest of the recipes are so hearty and flavorful even omnivores won't notice they're eating meat free. It's also a great introduction to Indian flavors and dishes that are easy to make at home on a weeknight.
Priya includes some tips on useful tools and ingredients and where to find them early in the book, but you can give your loved one a head start by including any of these gifts with the cookbook:
the bob's burgers burger book
The Bob's Burgers Burger Book is soooo not just a novelty cookbook. There are some truly excellent, innovative, interesting, unique burger recipes in here.
If you've got a Bob's Burger's fan in your life, they'll surely appreciate this — and they'll appreciate it even more with the tools for creating the perfect burger at home.
100 cookies by sara keiffer
One of the other most popular new cookbooks of 2020, 100 Cookies by Sara Keiffer is perennially sold out and has become widely known for two cookies with cult-like followings. The first are Keiffer's classic "pan banging" technique for making cookies with rippled centers, and the second are the Instagram-worthy chocolate-strawberry-vanilla Neopolitan cookies inspired by their namesake ice cream trio.
There are, of course, 98 other fantastic cookie recipes within the book's pages, but if you're going to give the gift of 100 Cookies, here's three gifts you'll want to gift with the cookbook:
salt fat acid heat by samin nosrat
Salt Fat Acid Heat makes a fantastic gift for cooks of all expertise levels. No matter who you are (unless you're Samin Nosrat) there is something to be learned from this book. It's more of a textbook than an actual cookbook focusing on the four foundational elements of making food — salt, fat, acid, and heat. I've picked four additional gifts that correspond to each of those elements so you can give the gift of salt, fat, acid, heat in more ways than one.
(Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is a very specific kind of salt that most chefs use — it can be a bit hard to find and is not the same as regular kosher salt, so trust me when I tell you that including a box of it with the book will be appreciated almost as much as the book itself.)
Got another cookbook you're thinking about gifting and wondering what kitchen tools or ingredients you can gift along with it? Drop the name of the cookbook in the comments and I'll give you my best suggestions!
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