Looking smart.

Consider Genius Desserts your handy guide to over 100 of the smartest and most iconic dessert recipes of our time—for all the birthday parties and cookie swaps and just-because moments in between. Drawing from the biggest names in desserts and the wisdom of the Food52 community, our creative director Kristen Miglore has unearthed the beloved recipes that will change the way we bake, plus the genius tips, mini-recipes, and riffs to make them your own. Each recipe is photographed by our own James Ransom and features the lively stories and takeaways that make it stand apart in a sea of cookies, cakes, puddings, and pies.

Genius Recipes includes more than 100 foolproof recipes—some greatest hits from the column, some never before featured—from food luminaries like Julia Child, Nigella Lawson, and Michael Ruhlman, all photographed by Food52's own James Ransom. These dishes (many of them sourced from tips from the Food52 community!) range from the familiar (Marcella Hazan's beloved Tomato Sauce) to the innovative (Dan Barber's 1-Ingredient Crackers). Each recipe has something that sets it apart: a way of turning a cooking technique upside-down, or using an ingredient in an unexpected way, or just yielding a best-in-its-class standard for favorites like waffles or pan-fried chicken. In every case, these recipes will become your new classics.