Baker's Dozen: 13 Books I Love

This list is not too scientific: it's just 13 books (in no particular order) that I love. I thought I'd share the love in case you've never heard of some of them! 

Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats with a Surprise Inside It's clever, the photos are adorable, and who wouldn't be delighted by a cupcake that's not just a cupcake but a vehicle for stuff like mini pies and rainbows--as well as frosting? Buy it.

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book: Originally released in the early 60's, this groovy volume is my go-to source for cookies of all sorts. The retro-kitch stories and simple, solid recipes--not to mention the weirdly technicolor photos--make scoring an early edition of this volume a MUST for any baker. 

Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients: I am a huge fan of every book by the BAKED boys, and the newest one is no exception. In fact, I'd say it transforms the previous two books into a unit with this one: a true trinity of awesome. The latest book focuses on key ingredients and snailshells out from that, with recipes which speak to the uniqueness of regional specialties while retaining an aspect of deliciousness that nobody can deny. What I love about these books is that they gently educate, and deliver delicious results.

The Daily Cookie: 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year of Your Life : When I started my website nearly 6 years ago, I reached out to a few websites which struck my fancy in order to get advice, introduce myself, and just kind of sweetly network. One of the earliest websites I loved was Cookie Madness. And now Anna Ginsberg, who I have since met, has a great book. It focuses on the most delicious year of your life--one in which you can indulge in a daily cookie fantasy. It pays homage to wacky food holidays and seasons with a cookie for every day. It's a fun read even at your bedside, no baking required, but it's even better if you dig in to some of the recipes. 

The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts: Yes, this is my new book. But I am awfully proud of it, and you can conveniently pre-order it now! :-) 

The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook: This is a fantastic all-around baking book, including sweets and savories and breads. I love how it includes informative, sometimes storytelling-esque headnotes and the recipes are just perfect.

A World of Cake Krystina Castella: Again and again I kept coming back to this book this year. Engaging stories about all sorts of cake, and recipes too? It is a global cake adventure, perfect for bakers and travelers, of which I am both. 

Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City's Best Pastry Shops by Dorie Greenspan: Who is immune to the lure of Parisian sweets? So beautiful, so buttery. This is a sugar-coated love letter to the city of light, and a pleasure to bake with.

Beat This! Cookbook: Absolutely Unbeatable Knock-'em-Dead Recipes for the Very Best Dishes: A re-issue, this book is packed with so much butter in its recipes that it will make you fat just reading it. But a happy fat, you know? Plus, the writing style is so delightful and slightly bratty that you'll fall in love with the writer, just like I did!

Taste of Home Baking All-New Edition (with Bonus Book): 125 Bake-Sale Favorites!: The recipes in this book may not surprise you, but every version of the classics is spot-on, from cakes to cookies to pies and fancy desserts. I've never baked anything and had it come out wrong. 

Sweets for Saints and Sinners: An illustrated little gem which includes the original recipe for Chocolate Decadence from Narsai's. I like the "sinner" section better than the "saint" section, of course.

Rare Bits: Unusual Origins Of Popular Recipes: A very fun book with the stories behind popular recipes. A majority are savories, but there is a respectable amount of sweet, too. Regardless, a book that reads like a particularly pleasurable novel.

Alpha-Bakery Gold Medal Children's Cookbook: A classic, and a favorite of mine growing up. Recipes both sweet and savory, one for each letter of the alphabet. My favorite? X-tra Special Celebration Cake, of course. 

The Wizard of Oz Cookbook: Breakfast in Kansas, Dessert in Oz : This odd but charming book contains recipes inspired by...well, you guessed it, The Wizard of Oz. Funny, retro recipes. Each chapter is themed: think a dinner party in Kansas, a kids' party in Munchkinland, a dessert party in Emerald City, et cetera. Recipes include "Emerald Castle Cake", "Kansas Crullers", and "Yellow Brickle brownies".