7 Best Baking Cookbooks

Our top picks for the best baking books of the past 25 years

Great Cookies Cookbook
Photo: Randy Mayor

Continued: Great Cookies

Every recipe begins with an "At a Glance" summary, which includes points on necessary equipment, preparation, oven temperature, baking time, and a three-cookie scale for degree of difficulty (biscotti are considered easy; among the rare third-degree cookies are Pecan Tassies, "miniature cookie-like tarlets" of "flaky cream cheese pastry with an addictive brown sugar and butter filling with lots of pecans"). At the end of recipes, you'll find storage information and notes on the cookies' characteristics, such as shelf life and sturdiness. And sprinkled throughout, you'll find trivia and personal anecdotes about the recipes that make it a fun read.

Walter is, at heart, a teacher with a passion for cookies. Her conversational approach never gets in the way of precision.

GIVE THIS BOOK TO: Cookie completists, experimenters—and anyone wanting to up his or her baking game.—Mary Simpson Creel

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25 Best Vegetarian

Whether you have made the full vegetarian plunge or just want to mix it up, sans the meat, once a week, these healthy, meatless main dishes will have you swooning.

Fontal Polenta with Mushroom Sauté