Whether you’re baking a batch of cookies for an office swap or hosting a 20-person Christmas dinner (godspeed), you’re about to spend more time in the kitchen this month. And while holidays are all about unearthing Grandma’s old apple pie recipe, there’s always room to add some new ideas to the repertoire. This year, we’re getting ideas from these eight cookbooks.

RELATED: 15 Allergy-Friendly Holiday Recipes Everyone Can Eat

Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski

In industrial Detroit, known for cars and music, there’s a charming little pie shop, churning out some of the best pastry we’ve had in years. Both homey and inventive (think: Marshmallow-Butterscotch Pie or Sour Cherry-Bourbon), they’re exactly what we want in a dessert. And now, we can make them all in our home kitchen. You’ll want at least one of the pies on your holiday table. But don’t sleep on the Peanut Butter-Paprika Cookies either.

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Now & Again by Julia Turshen

Beloved cookbook author Julia Turshen’s standout second book is all organized seasonally, and by special occasion menu, making it a total no-brainer for the holiday season (the sheet-pan stuffing is a must from now until New Year’s). But the real genius is that she also gives you creative hacks for leftovers, which is especially important this time of year. In fact, we’re planning on making her roasted squash just to make the squash grilled cheese the next day.

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RELATED: Julia Turshen’s Skillet Cornbread with Cheddar and Scallions

Carla Hall's Soul Food by Carla Hall

You may remember Carla Hall as one of Top Chef’s most spirited contestants. (Does the word “hootie-hoo” ring a bell?) Here, she showcases her Nashville roots with some of our favorite soulful Southern recipes for a crowd. With sections for both everyday cooking and celebrations, it’s got all of the festive Soul Food we’re craving at a family meal. (We’d recommend ordering it for the Poured Caramel Cake alone.)

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The Staub Cookbook by Staub and Amanda Frederickson

We learned early in life that a great Dutch oven will get you pretty far in the kitchen, and is a total necessity when it comes to cooking for a crowd. Staub makes some of the most beautiful ones we’ve seen, and now there’s a gorgeous book to match. The recipes are warm, cozy and homey, with plenty of great holiday options—classic beef bourguignon and maple-spiced pear crumble are at the top of our “to make” list this year.

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The Fearless Baker by Erin McDowell

Pie and cookie queen Erin McDowell has been making our holidays brighter and more delicious for ages, so it’s no surprise that her first book has become one of our favorites. Her easy-to-understand instructions make even the trickiest techniques a breeze. Start with the gluten-free, flourless cocoa cookies and thank us later.

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Eat What You Love by Danielle Walker

The holidays can be tough if you’re following a diet, which is why we’re all about Danielle Walker’s new collection of comfort food. The beloved blogger behind Against All Grain is a pro at creating gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo-friendly recipes that somehow still manage to taste great. Her new book is full of everyday favorites, but there are also plenty of celebration-ready offerings like shrimp and grits, fried chicken and lasagna. Sign us up.

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The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson

Scandinavians have absolutely mastered the art of cozy winter holidays (we’re on Team Hygge now and forever). And whether you’re Nordic or not, if the thought of wrapping yourself in a blanket with a steaming mug of coffee and a warm cinnamon roll sounds appealing, this is the book for you. Magnus Nilsson is the chef at Sweden’s most famous fine-dining restaurant, and he’s renowned for complicated dishes. Here, though, he gets back to his roots with homey, simple recipes.

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Cook Like A Pro by Ina Garten

The Barefoot Contessa is the queen of all things home cooking, so it’s no surprise that we’ve had her newest cookbook on our shelf for weeks now. This one lives up to the hype, with perfect recipes that even the pickiest guests will love (just don’t forget the good olive oil).  We’re especially excited to try the Raspberry Baked Alaska—hardly an everyday treat, but one that’s perfect for a holiday celebration.

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RELATED: Our 3 Favorite Recipes from Ina Garten’s New Cookbook

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