Simply Recipes Favorite Cookbooks of 2017


Covering everything from sweets to snacks to Sunday supper, here are the favorite cookbooks published in 2017 from the Simply Recipes team.

Photography Credit: Emma Christensen

Cookbooks. We anticipate their arrival. We love them and cook from them, splattering their pages. They pile up on our counters, bookshelves, and nightstands. They become our trusted advisors, friends in the kitchen.

Mercifully, even in the age of the Internet and websites like ours, people are still buying – and loving — cookbooks.

Did you find a new favorite this year? Here are some of ours:

2017 Favorite Cookbooks 2017 Favorite Cookbooks

Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark and Eric Wolfinger

“Melissa Clark cooks the way I want to cook, and eats the foods I want to eat. Every single recipe in her Dinner: Changing the Game cookbook is a recipe I can’t wait to try.

These recipes are the ones you want to make at home—unfussy, colorful, healthy skillet dishes, pizzas, quesadillas, chilis, sheet-pan dinners and salads, with flavors from around the world. And the photography? Breathtaking.” ~Elise Bauer // Founder

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Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Asia by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy

“Aside from eating once or twice at the Burma Superstar restaurant in San Francisco, I knew absolutely nothing about Burmese cooking before picking up this book. And it’s fascinating.

The book weaves together stories of Burma (Myanmar) and its native foods, stories about the San Francisco restaurant, and recipes in a way that feels seamless and wholly engaging.

The recipes will also surprise you—the vast majority of them can be made on a weeknight using ingredients from any mainstream grocery store. I love the shan noodles, coconut chicken curry and tea leaf salad. Highly recommended!” ~Emma Christensen // Managing Editor

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In My Kitchen: A Collection of New and Favorite Vegetarian Recipes by Deborah Madison

“After years of accumulating cookbooks, I so rarely find anything that truly captivates me anymore. However, Deborah Madison’s new book is a joy to read and full of wonderful ideas for recipes: all of them novel, approachable, and relatively easy to execute.

Many recipes such as collards simmered in coconut milk, and kale and walnut pesto over roasted winter squash have become part of my regular rotation. It’s the vegetarian tome that every carnivore should have.” ~Garrett McCord // Recipe Contributor

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BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks

“Ever since Stella Parks announced her book deal back in 2012, I, along with numerous others, have patiently waiting for the release of BraveTart. Parks is the creator of BraveTart blog, one of Food and Wine‘s best new pastry chefs of 2012 picks, and currently Serious Eats’ Pastry Wizard, and she has a history of recreating iconic desserts from scratch.

This book is exhaustingly researched but without becoming textbook-dull or too Cook’s Illustrated-y, BraveTart is well worth the wait. She tackles classic American desserts from basic yellow cake and traditional chocolate chip cookies to Oreos™ and Twinkies™ — BraveTart by Stella Parks is the baking cookbook of 2017.” ~Irvin Lin // Recipe Contributor

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Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

“I never tire of reading about the nitty-gritty hows and whys of cooking. Samin Nosrat’s book is edifying and engaging—you have a cooking teacher in the room with you who goes deep into the details. And as we all know, that’s where the devil resides, especially in cooking.

She’ll guide you through how and when to break a rule. Or you might learn a new way to cut an avocado (scoop out pieces with a spoon instead of trying to cut them into neat cubes with a knife).

The book’s graphics are both charming and novel in this age of obsession with food photography . . . sometimes, freedom from them is liberating.

For once, you don’t have to be Martha. Explore! Challenge yourself! Whether you are a beginner or an old hand, you will have years of pleasure ahead, and great bedside reading as you dream up new menus and ways to cook.” ~Sally Vargas // Recipe Contributor

2017 Favorite Cookbooks

The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies and Bars by America’s Test Kitchen

“If you love cookies, this book, with 250 recipes, is for you—especially for the holidays. Whether we’re looking at hacks at classic chocolate chip cookies to “let’s get fancy” confections to brownies and bars cookies, there’s no such thing as boredom here. (I especially like the chapter with sandwich cookies—the spiced shortbread buttons are adorable.) There’s even a chapter on gluten free baked goods, too.

The prescriptive nature that has historically emanated from America’s Test Kitchen feels dialed back a bit. However, you still receive a detail-oriented education about ingredients and technique; every headnote starts with the phrase: Why This Recipe Words. It’s beautifully shot and simply styled, which makes it feel a lot friendlier and less like a textbook.” ~Carrie Havranek // Tips Contributor and Recipe Tester

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Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottoleghi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

“I’ve admired the gorgeous stacks of sweets on Ottolenghi’s Instagram feed for years, and I’m so excited to make some of his Notting Hill goodies at home.

Sweet is full of desserts that are right up my alley—they often feature fresh produce, as well as unusual and compelling combinations of sweet spices. The directions are very specific and easy to follow, too, which is important in a baking book.

I can’t wait to make the cinnamon pavlova, praline cream and fresh figs; that gooey “toffee-like” brown sugar meringue sounds incredible. Also on my list are apricot and thyme galettes with polenta pastry; passionfruit cheesecakes with spiced pineapple, and soft gingerbread tiles with rum butter glaze.” ~Coco Morante // Recipe Contributor

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The Chef and the Slow Cooker by Hugh Acheson

“I’ve mostly shied away from slow cookers in the past, instead relying on my oven for soups, braises, and the like. However, I’m interested to see what an award-winning chef can do with it.” ~Aaron Hutcherson // Recipe Contributor

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Gather: Everyday Seasonal Food from a Year in Our Landscapes by Gill Mellor

“When British chef Gill Mellor’s book, Gather, was published this year in the U.S., he was already a sensation at home.

He uses some ingredients that might take getting used to, such as rabbit, salsify, and pork cheeks. But his brilliance — which we can all learn from — is when to melt an anchovy for perfect saltiness, or add a drizzle of cream, or sub a little rye flour for all-purpose.

On her blog, Nigella Lawson wrote, “Beautiful writing, beautiful food.” Well said.” ~Sheryl Julian // Recipe Contributor

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Carrie Havranek

Carrie Havranek is a former Associate Editor of Simply Recipes and the author of the cookbook Tasting Pennsylvania (2019). She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and goes out of her way for farmers' markets, new ingredients, yoga, and walks in nature.

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  1. Nancy

    Thanks for the great suggestions…I just need one more recommendation, please, for the Instant Pot or well any pressure cooker, thanks

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Janet

    How could you miss Smitten Kitchen Every Day? Just great! I’ve a couple of your titles in my Amazon shopping basket, and have already purchased Perfect Cookies. I actually like Doris Greenspan’s Cookie book better. I do love reading cookbook reviews. Thanks!

  3. Mary Agner

    Thank you! Cookbook reviews are always so helpful! Thank you!

2017 Favorite CookbooksSimply Recipes Favorite Cookbooks of 2017