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Gourmet gifts: Top 12 cookbooks

Whether you’ve got a long list of foodies on your holiday gift list or perhaps need the perfect gourmet gift for your favorite chef, the following 12 recently released cookbooks will meet your gourmet gift giving needs.

1Glutton for PleasureGlutton for Pleasure

by Bob Blumer

Chef, author and adrenaline junkie Bob Blumer is a culinary adventurist who hosts the award-winning television series Glutton for Punishment on Food Network Canada and in over 30 countries worldwide. His cookbook Glutton for Pleasure (Whitecap Books, October 2010) is a creative compendium of wow-inspiring dishes that feature whimsical presentations, such as Frosty the Mashed Potato Snowman, and unusual cooking methods, like roasting cauliflower florets until they resemble popcorn. Blumer’s artful approach to cooking will inspire the foodie on your holiday gift list to take creative risks in the kitchen with delicious success.

2Swedish Breads and PastriesSwedish Breads and Pastries

by Jan Hedh

For the carb-lover who lives on intoxicating homebaked smells and fresh from the oven baked yummies, Swedish Breads and Pastries (Skyhorse Publishing, November 2010) is a gorgeously illustrated cookbook, by beloved Swedish chef Jan Hedh. Chef Hedh presents easy to follow directions for scrumptious breads, buns, cakes, and pastries from the country made famous for its wonderful baked goods as well as breads and baked goods from around the world. Mmmmm, your favorite gourmet will drool over Almond Croissants, Caraway and Saffron Buns, Berliner Doughnuts, Olive Fougasse and more.

3Sweet CHIC: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any OccasionSweet CHIC: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion

by Rachel Thebault

For the fashion gourmet on your holiday gift list, Rachel Thebault’s Sweet CHIC (Ballantine Books, October 2010) combines style and desserts, featuring decadent sweet treats that are fashionable and flavorful. As successful owner of the wildly popular New York bakery Trieca Treats, Thebault presents a no-fuss baking philosophy that is comparable to the advice of many fashion experts: use a few staples as the foundation for your wardrobe and change “accessories” to dress it up or down. With clear, concise instructions, guides to mixing flavor combinations, and recipes ordered by degree of difficulty, Thebault’s sophisticated sweets can be easily mixed and matched into over 50 scrumptiously unique combinations, from mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes to ravishing Wasabi-Black Sesame Truffles.

4What to Drink with What you EatWhat to Drink with What you Eat

by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

Surprise your favorite wine and food lovers with What to Drink with What you Eat (Bulfinch, October 2010), the most comprehensive guide to matching food and drink ever compiled. Written by the IACP- and James Beard Award-winning author team Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, this book boasts over 1,500 entries that suggest the best food pairings with wine, liquors, liqueurs, coffee, and tea. No matter the meal, recipe ingredient, or occasion, What to Drink with What you Eat is the go-to resource for turning ordinary meals into extra special eats.

5The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited SweetsThe Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets

by Lucy Baker

In her name alone it appears that Lucy Baker was bound to find her way into the kitchen. In her new cookbook, THE BOOZY BAKER: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets (Running Press, July 2010), Baker shares her sweet culinary endeavors and a splash of the hard stuff. Whether your foodie is a pastry perfectionist, bakery beginner, or a bonafide mixologist, The Boozy Baker showcases 75 scrumptious recipes for cakes, pies, tarts, and cookies (plus 25 yummy cocktail recipes) that all come to culinary life with a healthy dose of alcohol. Recipes include Bottom’s Up Pineapple Tequila Cake, Margarita Meringue Pie, Black and White Russian Cookies, and Banana Rum Raisin Rice Pudding.

6Nigella KitchenNigella Kitchen

by Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, Nigella Kitchen (Hyperion; October 2010) is a delectable return to her signature focus on feel-good food for the way we eat today. Warmly engaging and informative, Nigella’s eighth book offers 190 recipes, including 60 that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, along with gorgeous mouthwatering photographs. Published to coincide with the launch of Nigella’s new Food Network television series of the same name, this celebrity chef cookbook is a welcome resource for both hectic weekday and leisurely weekend cooking.

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