My Favorite Cookbooks

I started Costcuisine because I love shopping at Costco, but also because I love cooking and baking! For years now, I’ve watched shows like MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off (and their Canadian spin-offs) for inspiration. Even more importantly, I’ve built a collection of go-to cookbooks that I use all the time. I thought it would be fun to share my favorites with you. I’ve also included links to purchase them through Amazon, and if you use those, I’d really appreciate it since I earn a small commission that goes to support Costcuisine. Buying all of this Costco food gets expensive! Anyway, without further ado, here’s a list of my favorite cookbooks (in no particular order).

  • The Duchess Bake Shop cookbook – This French bake shop is an institution in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. It opened back in 2009, and it seems like it gets busier every time my husband and I stop by! It’s a beautiful bakery, full of an amazing mix of French classics and more traditional fare, and everything tastes even better than it looks (which is quite a feat considering most of the items could pass for works of art. This author of this cookbook, Giselle Courteau is one of the owners of the bakery. The book is full of the bakery’s most famous items (plus a number of others). While some are very difficult to make, others are quite practical. I especially love the cookie recipes – I use variations of them for most of the cookies that I make.
  • Sally’s Baking Addiction, Sally’s Cookie Addiction and Sally’s Candy Addiction – These books are by Sally McKenney of the Sally’s Baking Addiction blog. Sally’s blog was actually one of the websites that inspired me to start a blog of my own! I love her website (which is full of great, free recipes), but there’s something to be said for having recipes in a physical cookbook. I do use my phone and tablet in the kitchen occasionally, but I still prefer pulling out a physical cookbook. Spilling water or flour on a favorite cookbook can be disappointing, but not as bad as wrecking an expensive Apple product!
  • Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts – This book by Stella Parks covers basically every category of desserts that you can think of; there are sections for cookies, candy, cakes, pies, doughnuts, puddings, breakfast treats and even ice cream! One particularly cool section is all about making homemade versions of classic American branded treats – like Nilla Wafers and Oreos! The book also contains short articles explaining the history of various desserts – very interesting for a baking nerd like me!
  • The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science – As you might be able to guess from the title, this cookbook by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (who actually wrote the foreword to Bravetart) takes a unique approach to cooking, looking at it from the perspective of scientist. Kenji actually graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)! Anyway, this is a very detailed, intimidating book. Right now, it’s the thickest cookbook I have on my shelf. The introductory sections, which total nearly 100 pages, review the science of cooking (i.e., heat vs. temperature and energy transfer), essential kitchen gear and pantry basics. From there, it transitions into deep, technical sections on breakfast, stock (soups and stews), whole meats, vegetables, ground meats, roasts, pasta, salads and frying.
  • Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking – This book from Michael Ruhlman is another somewhat unconventional take on a cookbook; in one of the early sections introducing the book, he actually describes it as “an anti-recipe book, a book that teaches you and frees you from the need to follow.” The way it does this is by teaching basic, key ratios for cooking and baking different dishes. By knowing and understanding these key ratios, you can tinker and create your own delicacies. In order to be a better, more precise chef, this book recommends measuring ingredients by weight instead of volume (i.e., with a precise scale instead of the traditional measuring spoons and cups). Pretty cool!
  • Honorable mention – The Joy of Cooking – I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t actually own this classic by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, John Becker and Megan Scott yet, but it’s definitely at the top of my wish list. If you Google “best cookbook of all time”, you’ll see this one on most of the lists out there. If you planned on only owning one cookbook, from what I’ve read, this one might be the best choice.

What are your favorite cookbooks? Do you own any of these ones?

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