Our Favorite Recipes from Cookbook Authors

Skillet Cornbread
Photo: © Abby Hocking

Here, authors such as Andrew Carmellini and Giada De Laurentiis share picks from their books, including shrimp with fresh citrus sauce and orange-cranberry scones.

01 of 15

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake
Quentin Bacon

According to Ina Garten, “This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I’ve ever made." The buttermilk keeps the cake moist and light, and the bit of coffee in the cake and frosting keeps the sweetness in check. She's published plenty of cookbooks, including a great one with everyday recipes.

Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again, $19 at amazon.com

02 of 15

Grilled Strip Steaks with Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Grilled Strip Steaks with Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Chef Frank Stitt, author of Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita with Katherine Cobbs, notices a marked difference between strip steaks cooked with the bone and those cooked without it: "There is this added flavor that the bone lends to the beef, and it keeps the meat around the bone especially tender," he says. Stitt pairs these steaks with smoky sweet potato hash browns.

Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita, $27 at amazon.com

03 of 15

Vanilla Pudding With Macerated Stone Fruits and Shortbread

Vanilla Pudding With Macerated Stone Fruits and Shortbread
© Chris Court

Macerating peaches, plums and cherries with vanilla and sugar creates a rich juice that is fabulous spooned over silky pudding. Thomas Keller serves the dessert with buttery, crumbly shortbread, a staple at his Bouchon Bakeries, (the namesake for one of his cookbooks).

Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library), $35 at amazon.com

04 of 15

Orange-Cranberry Scones with Turbinado Sugar

Orange-Cranberry Scones with Turbinado Sugar
© Tina Rupp

Cooks are discovering that agave nectar, Indian jaggery and other natural sweeteners have nuanced flavors that white sugar doesn't plus, unprocessed sweeteners may be richer in minerals and less likely to cause spikes in blood-sugar levels. In Mani Niall's cookbook, Sweet!, he champions these ingredients. His pleasantly dense cranberry-studded scones, for instance, get a toffeelike flavor from light brown turbinado sugar, which has large, crunchy crystals.

Sweet!: From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural Sugar and Sweetener, $5 at amazon.com

05 of 15
Kentucky Hot Brown
© BARNARD & MEYER

Bobby Flay published Bobby Flay's Grill It! in 2008 with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Flay smothers an open-face turkey sandwich with cheese sauce and bacon for his version of the over-the-top Louisville classic.

Bobby Flay's Grill It! , $20 at amazon.com

06 of 15

Smoky Glazed Asparagus

Smoky Glazed Asparagus
© Quentin Bacon

Chef Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren wrote A16: Food + Wine with Kate Leahy in 2008. Appleman swears by coating vegetables with a mayonnaise-based marinade; it creates a beautifully blistered crust when grilled. Here he offers a marinade for asparagus that is also fabulous on broccoli and fennel.

A16: Food + Wine, $25 at amazon.com

07 of 15

Sautéed Bass with Lemongrass

Sautéed Bass with Lemongrass
Tina Rupp

The famed French chef published The Complete Robuchon. "When you travel a lot," Joël Robuchon says, "you pick up ideas all over the place." Thai ingredients were the inspiration for this beguiling dish. Yet even though the cream sauce and finishing oil are infused with lemongrass, the refinement of the cooking is entirely French.

The Complete Robuchon, $30 at amazon.com

08 of 15

Butterscotch-Glazed Coffee Shortbread Bars

Butterscotch-Glazed Coffee Shortbread Bars

Baking for All Occasions author Flo Braker flavors her ethereally light shortbread with finely ground espresso beans. The best part is the golden, gooey butterscotch glaze, which becomes deliciously fudgy as the bars sit in the cookie jar.

Baking for All Occasions, $20 at amazon.com

09 of 15

Roast Chicken Cacciatore with Red Wine Butter

Roast Chicken Cacciatore with Red Wine Butter

Giada De Laurentiis is a chicken cacciatore expert: She's been making variations of it for years. For this exceptional version, the chef roasts a whole bird with red wine butter under the skin, on a bed of fennel, cherry tomatoes and Peppadew peppers. De Laurentiis published Giada's Kitchen in 2008.

Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites, $12 at amazon.com

10 of 15

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Fried Onions and Parsley

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Fried Onions and Parsley
Abby Hocking

Alison Roman's tip for these potatoes: "Don’t oversteam or they will fall apart, never giving them a chance to hit that oil. Don’t understeam or you’ll never be able to crush them. Let them cool a bit before you smash them so they also dry out a bit, making them less likely to fall apart. The oil must be hot. Think of this as a shallow-fry: if the oil is not hot enough, it will soak into the potato rather than crisp it up.” Find more of her dinner wisdom in her cookbook Dining In.

Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes, $20 at amazon.com

11 of 15

Strawberry-Pistachio Sweet Rolls

Strawberry-Pistachio Sweet Rolls
Jennifer Causey

"After years of adapting recipes from superstar chefs, I know when you really have to sift the flour or peel the tomatoes and when it's OK to skip that step, or when a soup needs to be strained and when it's perfectly delicious as is." You can find all of Justin Chapple's tips throughout the recipes in Just Cook It!, including these sweet rolls. While both sweet and savory fillings are numerous, we love the combination of fresh strawberry preserves and chopped pistachios.

Just Cook It!, $17 at amazon.com

12 of 15

Za’atar Baked Eggs

Za'atar Baked Eggs
John Kernick

In her teens, Gail Simmons spent a summer on a kibbutz in Israel working in her first professional kitchen. "I was assigned to breakfast duty and fell in love with scrambling, poaching, and frying eggs by the dozens. Today, one of my go-to brunches is baked eggs in a cherry tomato–pepper mix seasoned with the Mediterranean spice blend za’atar. It never fails to conjure happy memories of that magical time." Find these eggs and more in her cookbook Bringing It Home.

Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, $20 at amazon.com

13 of 15

Pappardelle with White Bolognese

Pappardelle with White Bolognese
© Chris Court

Andrew Carmellini and Gwen Hyman published Urban Italian in 2008. Carmellini serves this tomato-free take on the classic pasta sauce at Locanda Verde, his modern Italian taverna inside Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel. He simmers ground veal and pork in white wine and half-and-half, creating a velvety cream sauce to toss with pappardelle.

Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food, $30 at amazon.com

14 of 15

Mashed-Potato Casserole with Sage and Fontina

Mashed-Potato Casserole with Sage and Fontina
© John Kernick

To take mashed potatoes up a few notches, cookbook author Melissa Clark mashes them with a creamy, tangy mix of crème fraîche, butter, parsley and sage, then tops them with cheesy breadcrumbs and bakes until crisp.

Dinner: Changing the Game, $25 at amazon.com

15 of 15

Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread
© Abby Hocking

Carla Hall shows us that soul food is more than barbecue and mac and cheese. Traditionally a plant-based cuisine, everyday soul food is full of veggie goodness that’s just as delicious as cornbread and fried chicken. (But let's be honest, we still want that cornbread too).

Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, $20 at amazon.com

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