“Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season” by Elisabet de Nederlanden
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The best holiday cookbooks help make food and party prep less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

The holidays are basically the home chef championships. You’re often tasked with preparing food for more people than usual, whether it’s a one-night feast or a weeklong bacchanal. From a gourmet Friendsgiving potluck contribution to an epic multi-course meal for the extended family that requires pulling that table leaf out of storage, you’re likely to need assistance, and thankfully, some of the world’s best chefs and bakers are here to help. Let these cookbooks be your guide towards making the most of your holiday meal preparation during the most joyful (and stressful) time of year.

“Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well”  by Sam Sifton, $15.56 on Amazon

Sam Sifton Thanksgiving cookbook


For many, Thanksgiving is the most anticipated meal of the year—that is, as long as you’re not the one preparing the notoriously overwhelming feast. But Sam Sifton has you covered. The New York Times Food Editor’s all-encompassing Turkey Day handbook provides several options for sides, stuffing, and pies that will satisfy the most finicky of your guests, as well as foolproof preparations for the meal’s signature bird.Buy Now

“Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun” by Ina Garten, $18.99 on Amazon

Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook


You don’t need to travel to the Hamptons to experience an Ina Garten soiree. “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” offers the Food Network icon’s tips and tricks for hosting the perfect food function. The book is arranged by season, so skip to the end for advice on how to tackle fall and winter gatherings including Not Thanksgiving (because November festivities shouldn’t just be limited to Turkey Day) and New Year’s Day for the ultimate hangover meal.Buy Now

“Simple Essentials Christmas” by Donna Hay, $18.32 on Amazon

Donna Hay Christmas cookbook


Bestselling author Donna Hay (Australia’s answer to Rachael Ray), offers crowd-pleasing Christmas food favorites in an attractive cookbook to have on your shelf year-round. Beyond its holiday recipe roundup, “Simple Essentials” doubles as a full-service holiday party planning guide, offering hosting advice and an array of decorating tips for decking your home for the holidays.Buy Now

“The Great British Bake Off: Christmas” by Lizzie Kamenetzky, $27.16 on Amazon

“The Great British Bake Off: Christmas” by Lizzie Kamenetzky


Fans of “The Great British Bake Off” (or “The Great British Baking Show”) can finally get a taste of some of the mouthwatering holiday treats that have been prepared on the popular cooking competition. The recipes in this Christmas collection, which include baked goods of both the sweet and savory variety, come courtesy of judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (oh, how she’s missed) as well as “Bake Off” finalists. It’s a must-own for show diehards or even those who’ve never watched an episode.Buy Now

“Vegan Christmas: Over 70 Amazing Recipes for the Festive Season” by Gaz Oakley, $15.86 on Amazon

“Vegan Christmas: Over 70 Amazing Recipes for the Festive Season” by Gaz Oakley


While roasted birds and honey-glazed hams tend to hog the attention during the holiday season, there are plenty of animal-free alternatives that are worthy of sharing the spotlight. Chef Gaz Oakley, also known as the Avant Garde Vegan, shares 70 of his favorite seasonal eats with this collection of meatless Christmas recipes. Along with vegan riffs on traditional fare such as Yorkshire pudding and mince pie, the Cardiff native also includes innovative big-tickets items including Stuffed “No-Turkey” Wrapped in Gaz’s Streaky “Bacon” and a Festive Nut Roast Wreath that wow in both the taste and looks departments.Buy Now

“Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season” by Elisabet de Nederlanden, $16.75 on Amazon

“Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season” by Elisabet de Nederlanden


Cookies are an integral part of the holiday experience (just ask Santa) and you’ll find a drool-worthy selection of seasonally-specific treats in this “showstopping” book. Among the 50 recipes are snowflake-stenciled Shortbread Rounds and Giant Molasses Spice Cookies, along with non-cookie desserts including peppermint bark and dark chocolate-hazelnut fudge. From gingerbread houses to edible ornaments, “Holiday Cookies” covers all the sweet touches associated with the season to be jolly. Check out three recipes from the book on Chowhound: Red Velvet Crackle Cookies, Red and Green Icebox Pinwheel Cookies, and Hot Chocolate Cookies with Aleppo Pepper.Buy Now

“King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World” by Joan Nathan, $26.23 on Amazon

“King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World” by Joan Nathan


Whether you’re tasked with preparing a single Hanukkah dinner or eight crazy nights of noshing, “King’s Solomon’s Table” is sure to come in handy. Jewish culinary expert Joan Nathan highlights globe-spanning recipes from kugel to latkes to brisket that are suitable for the Festival of Lights and other holiday celebrations throughout the year.Buy Now

“Comfort in an Instant: 75 Comfort Food Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot” by Melissa Clark, $15.99 on Amazon

Comfort In an Instant Melissa Clark Instant Pot cookbook


Not every meal during the holidays has to be a stressful affair. With “Comfort in an Instant,” The New York Times food columnist and cookbook vet Melissa Clark offers quick and easy to prepare options for the Instant Pot and its ilk. You’ll find plenty of cold weather food favorites from matzo ball soup to chili that will keep your family and friends satisfied without having to spend another full day in the kitchen.Buy Now

“The Aviary: Holiday Cocktails” by Grant Achatz, $24.95 on Amazon

“The Aviary: Holiday Cocktails” by Grant Achatz


Visionary chef Grant Achatz and his team at his groundbreaking bar The Aviary share their favorite holiday beverages that go well beyond your run-of-the-mill nog and toddy. These high end winter warmers and crazy cocktail concoctions (think White Chocolate Milk Punch and Caramel Apple Sour with a hibiscus ice cube) are worth the extra effort. Recipes span from Halloween to the Super Bowl and there are even some non-alcoholic options for the young ones and teetotalers.Buy Now

Header image courtesy of Amazon

David is a food and culture writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York City. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CBS Local, Mashable, and Gawker.
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