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Break Your Overnight Fast with These Breakfast Cookbooks

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Tracy Shapley Towley

Staff Writer

Tracy is a freelance copywriter, all-around ne’er do well, very-adult graduate of the University of Iowa, and occasional waterer of plants. Her hobbies include writing fiction, reading fiction, mixing together various flavors of soup, and typing letters to her friends on an old red typewriter that doesn't have a working period so all sentences must end in questions marks or exclamation points? She has read every Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and has a lot of thoughts on them. Her old Iowa farmhouse is shared by her husband Sean, a pair of cats, a pair of dogs, and the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut.

I don’t have a favorite food but I do have a favorite meal: BREAKFAST. I love a savory breakfast dripping with egg yolk, a sweet breakfast dripping with syrup, and a vegan sweet and savory breakfast dripping with, well, syrup — it’s vegan!

I’ve been lucky enough to tag along to some of the top restaurants in the world. These joints have tasting menus that sometimes include dozens of courses. While I have found some of them delicious, I’ve always wondered: why doesn’t anyone do a 15-course breakfast tasting?

Give me toast 20 ways! Give me scrambled eggs that are manipulated to look like the seaside! Bring me what I think is a sculpture of a naked woman, only to break open her back and have chilaquiles steaming for me! Or, actually, just make me normal breakfast and I’ll be a happy breakfast-lover.

Whether you love breakfast too, you want to love breakfast, or you’re shopping for a breakfast-lover, I’ve got you covered with these breakfast cookbooks. Some are simple, some are less so. But all of them should help you pack your breakfast plate and/or bowl with delicious, early morning yumminess.

Breakfast the Cookbook book cover

Breakfast: The Cookbook by Emily Elyse Miller

There is no better place to start than here. It is undoubtedly a cookbook, but it’s a whole lot more too. Emily Elyse Miller is an actual breakfast expert! In addition to scrumptious recipes, you’ll be treated to a dozen-ish essays from people around the world, describing their culture’s breakfast traditions. From dishes most Americans have probably heard of, such as Huevos Rancheros and Congee, to dishes that are more likely new to us, like Nasi Lemak and Firfir, there is no shortage of deliciousness in this book.

Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook cover

The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes to Use Eggs in Unexpected Ways by Lisa Steele

Lisa Steele comes from egg-loving people — she is a fifth generation chicken keeper. As host of the blog Fresh Eggs Daily, she’s provided tips on how to get started as a chicken tender (as in, folks who tend chickens — not your child’s favorite meal at KFC), how to keep chickens, and what to do with all them damn eggs! This cookbook includes meals you can enjoy any time of day but is primarily breakfast focused.

Cover of Rise and Shine breakfast cookbook

Rise and Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings by Katie Sullivan Morford

I haven’t polled every human on Earth (yet), but I bet if I did, a large chunk of them would say they don’t get to make fabulous breakfasts every morning because they’re too dang busy. Personally, I empathize with you but ol’ Katie Sullivan Morford would like you to start shining in the kitchen right after rising in your sleeping room. But don’t worry, she’s helped you out with 75+ recipes that she promises are “entry-level-easy” and take no more than five hands-on minutes of prep each.

Cover of Let's Make Oatmeal Cookbook

Let’s Make Oatmeal: 40 Oat-rageously Oat-standing Recipes by Christina Tosch

I don’t condone those puns (I am very mean) but I do condone opening up a conversation about all the ways oatmeal can be prepared. Until a few years ago, I associated oatmeal with mush that you put a lil brown sugar on and then choke down. Then I was introduced to savory oats with eggs on them. Delicious! Christian Tosch is way ahead of me and has created an entire cookbook about savory and sweet oatmeal options. What a nice person!

Cover of the Ultimate Vegan Breakfast cookbook

The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Book: 80 Mouthwatering Plant-Based Recipes You’ll Want to Wake Up For by Nadine Horn and Jorg Mayer

Here come the vegans — and they’re bringing some delicious recipes. This pair of Germans run a very popular German blog on — wait for it — vegan food. In this tome devoted to breakfast, they focus on foods that are “fast, filling, fresh, and fun!” Well I’d love that! You’ll find a ton of unique options here, including glazed baked donuts, breakfast burritos, and pesto bread.

Brunch Life cookbook cover

Brunch Life: Comfort Classics and More For The Best Meal Of The Day by Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi

While Basile and Zanardi don’t agree with me 100% on the best meal of the day, there’s plenty of overlap between brunch and straight breakfast so I say, let’s fucking go! This book that celebrates all things brunch was shortlisted for the 2019 Taste Canada Awards in the Single Subject Cookbooks category and handily won the 2019 Gourmand Cookbook Awards for Street Food Cookbook and Breakfast Cookbook.

Toast cookbook cover

Toast: The Cookbook by Raquel Pelzel

I must warn you in advance that while this homage to toasted bread has lots of breakfast recipes, it does delve into the brunch and even a few lunch and dinner recipes. I can forgive that because this cookbook is wisely separated into seasons. Recipes treat bread in all sorts of ways to get it to toasted status, from pan-frying to deep frying to putting it in a dang toaster and going to town. Some recipes celebrate simplicity, others are very technical and involved, and all of them are delicious (I imagine).

The Breakfast Book cover

The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham

If you want maximum recipes from a truly special cookbook author, then you want this book. Packed with more than 280 recipes, Cunningham is bringing a lifetime of cooking for her family to you with these clever and delicious recipes. Do you wish you could make cereal from scratch? She’s got you covered. Do you want a quick breakfast that can feed 10 hungry literal lumberjacks? I imagine that’s covered in here, but as Cheryl Hines and Tig Notaro love to remind me, there’s no way to tell.

Cover of Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish cookbook

Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish: A Whole Brunch of Recipes to Make at Home by Cathy Barrow

Not only can you eat bagels any time you want, but when you put pizza on a bagel, you are also legally allowed to eat pizza anytime. Whether you want to top that bagel with pizza toppings or schmears, this cookbook brings a ton of interesting ideas to the table. It also includes a recipe to make your own bagels with just five ingredients and dozens of variations.