JESS MURPHY & EOIN CLUSKEY, BLASTA BOOKS, $25

For many, our first foray into baking involves making cookies or biscuits. And that very Kiwi institution of pausing for morning and/or afternoon tea means that early experience will never go to waste. So, a book of intriguing cookie recipes from around the world? I’m in!

Blasta Books is a small Irish publisher focussed on providing an inclusive snapshot of modern Ireland’s diverse food culture, and this project is a collaboration between Kiwi ex-pat and chef-owner of Galway’s Kai restaurant Jess Murphy and Eoin Cluskey of Dublin organic bakery and eatery Bread 41.

The resulting book features a smorgasbörd of cookie recipes from every corner of the world, including Syrian sesame and pistachio cookies (barazek), Hong Kong-style egg roll cookies, Polish rose jam cookies (kołaczki) and Brazilian snack biscuits (biscoito de polvilho). Some of the recipes deserve a go for their intriguing names alone – Mexican piglet cookies or American monster cookies anyone? New Zealand Anzac biscuits feature of course – you’d expect nothing less from a Kiwi chef’s project.

My favourite part is that each recipe intro is written by the person who submitted the recipe, explaining what it means to them and why they love making them. This personal touch adds even more heart to this small but mighty gem.

Illustrations by Dublin artist Nicky Hooper replace the standard recipe photos, adding to the charm of this deliciously different take on a baking book.

And as if the book wasn’t appealing enough on its own, the knowledge that all author proceeds are being donated to the UNHCR should sweeten the deal. Buy from blastabooks.com. SÍANA CLIFFORD