3 cookie cookbooks you need this holiday

Baking is considered a science and experts constantly emphasize how it's important to get the measurements just right. But, it's fun too and who doesn't love the results, like fresh baked cooked and cakes? That's why we rounded up the best gifts for bakers based off of decades of testing baking products (like baking pans and measuring cups that make useful, unique holiday gifts) in our Kitchen Appliances Lab. We included items we swear by and the gifts that would make us smile if we received them ourselves - and we work with a lot of products. Only a few make them into our home kitchens! Here are the best gifts for bakers of all types, including gifts you can personalize:

is considered a science and experts constantly emphasize how it's important to get just right. But, it's fun too and who doesn't love the results, like and ?

That's why we rounded up for bakers based off of decades of testing baking products (like and that make useful, ) in our Kitchen Appliances Lab. We included items we swear by and the gifts that would make us smile if we received them ourselves – and we work with a lot of products. Only a few make them into our home kitchens!

Here are the best gifts for bakers of all types, including

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The holidays are coming, and for many home cooks, that means baking lots and lots of cookies.  Here's a trio of new cookbooks that will take your holiday baking to the next level. Recipes range from simple to fancy, long-time favorites to some new concoctions. With a combined total of more than 1,200 pages, these books have all the cookie recipes you’ll ever need. 

1. Helen S. Fletcher’s “Craving Cookies: The Quintessential American Cookie Book.”  

New to baking? Don’t worry. Fletcher is a professional pastry chef, cookbook author, and teacher. Drawing on these three skills, Fletcher has written an exceptionally simple-to-use book. Along with the recipes, Fletcher has chapters on equipment, ingredients, and baking techniques.   

While it’s simple-to-use, it’s also packed with innovative ideas for experienced bakers.  

Fletcher divides recipes according to type. There are cut-out and sliced cookies, drop cookies, and meringues. There are also shortbread cookies, stuffed and filled cookies, bar cookies and brownies. 

Looking for an especially impressive cookie? Try Levain-style chocolate chip cookies. These are six-ounce gooey mega-cookies sure to satisfy any chocolate lover. There are also Fletcher’s painted sugar cookies. These are ordinary sugar cookies with an extraordinary topping of colored glaze. 

Each cookie recipe has a photo of the finished product, so you know what you’re working towards.  

2. “The Encyclopedia of Cookies,” with more than 500 recipes. The book is aimed at bakers with some experience, but adventuresome newbies can find success here, too. Just follow the advice in the introduction: Read the recipe. Then read it again. 

The encyclopedia lists recipes alphabetically, instead of sorting them according to type. 

Chocolate lovers, go straight to the chocolate chunk brownies. The keyword there is "chunk." Want something unusual? Try the cream cheese, thyme and pink peppercorn cookies. 

Maybe you want to add a little beer to your holiday treats. Try the dark chocolate and stout brownies. 

There are dozens of gluten-free options and plenty of keto recipes, too.  

3. “The Essential Cookie Companion” by the King Arthur Baking Company. 

The company has been around since 1790, so it knows a thing or two about baking cookies. The revised and updated "Essential Cookie Companion” includes more than 400 recipes.  

Recipes include a fool-proof recipe for chocolate chip cookies -- both chewy and crunchy versions. You'll also find orange-pistachio milk chocolate chippers and chocolate-peppermint snaps.  

For brownie lovers, there are fudgy and cakey versions along with brownies with spirit -- think liqueurs, not cheerleaders. 

One chapter includes no-bake cookies, such as butter-pecan rum balls, while another details icings, fillings and cookie dip finishes meant to add some panache to your creations.  

Aimed at bakers of every level, “The Essential Cookie Companion” focuses on essential recipes you’ll use over and over. No matter your skills, experience and taste, you’ll find dozens of recipes perfect for you.  

“The Essential Cookie Companion” doesn’t have an overabundance of photos but it does include lots of illustrations and how-to basics.  

Olivia Flores Alvarez is a freelance columnist for the Beaumont Enterprise.