How does a cookbook differ from a recipe in Chef?
A recipe is a collection of resources, and typically configures a software package or some piece of infrastructure. A cookbook groups together recipes and other information in a way that is more manageable than having just recipes alone.
For example, use a template resource to manage your HTML home page from an external file. The recipe states the configuration policy for your web site, and the template file contains the data. You use a cookbook to package both parts up into a single unit that you can later deploy.