This month, we look for cookbooks that are multipurpose: both excellent to cook from and desirable as presents.

Cathy Barrow is the doyenne of pie. In “Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies,” she reveals the virtues of pie-making with quarter sheet pans. You’ll bring them to parties, and give the book to your admiring friends. $28. Grand Central Publishing.

In “Ottolenghi Simple,” master of multilayered flavors Yotam Ottolenghi dials it down for those with limited time in the kitchen. If you hunger for a break from traditional holiday fare, this is the perfect book to cook from now and gift to friends ready to start the new year with something fresh. $35. Ten Speed Press.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.