Top Ten Recipes of 2012

Happy Holidays, imaginary internet friends! And congratulations on surviving the end of the world. Now I’m off to Barnes and Noble to demand a refund for my Mayan wall calendar. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll take another look at the 10 most popular recipes I shared this year.

S’mores Fried Ice Cream with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce

 

Asparagus Lasagna Slice

Asparagus Lasagna with Pancetta, Goat Cheese, and Lemon

 

Baked Churros with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche

 

Loaded Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

Cinnamon Roll Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

 

Cookies and Milk

Toffee Cashew Cookies

 

pie crust crackers

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Crackers

 

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

And the most popular recipe of 2012:

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Here’s to a delicious (and gooey) new year!

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S’mores Fried Ice Cream with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce

It was a dark and stormy summer night. The rain beat against the windows and a vulgar blaze of lightening tore open the night sky. Full of green chile enchiladas and cocktails, Mom, Handsome Greg, Professor Meowington, and I gathered in a circle on the living room floor, passing the flashlight and sharing ghost stories (like that one about the young couple whose car breaks down during a storm when there’s a serial killer on the loose.)

Another chorus of baritone thunder sang through the quiet, and I returned to the kitchen for my 2nd (OK, 4th) vodka lemonade. A blood-curdling scream escaped my throat as my eyes fixed on a most horrifying sight: my toasted marshmallow ice cream balls, carefully coated in two layers of graham cracker crumbs had been left on top of the refrigerator to melt in the summer heat. Nnnnooooooooooo!

The flaccid, lifeless ice cream balls squished under my finger. I threw them back in the freezer, and wondered, who could’ve done such a thing? Who’d been in my kitchen? Oh, my god! The ice cream killer was inside the house.

As it turns out, Handsome Greg left our dessert on top of the fridge when he got out the ice for the last round of drinks. Actually, he was a dead giveaway; Handsome Greg is the only one of us tall enough to reach something above the refrigerator. And the ice cream balls were saved in the nick of time. They hardened up in the freezer as the oil was heating and the chocolate was softening and the thunder was thundering.

Handsome Greg was forgiven, and we all enjoyed a ridiculous and delicious dessert.

In light of my happy ending, I suggest you host a slumber party, tell ghost stores, and fry up some ice cream of your own. You’ll break through the crispy graham cracker coating and toasted marshmallow ice cream will ooze out. Then drag it through the smoky chocolate sauce, and you will have constructed a perfect homage to s’mores in a single, hot-and-cold, campfire-smoky, crunchy-creamy bite.

And all without anyone getting killed and left hanging from a tree branch making thumping noises on the roof of your ‘87 Acura.

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Baked Churros with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche

Well, I feel just terrible.

When I posted the Lime Chicken Lettuce Boats with Avocado Salad and Chimichurri recipe, I made you all a promise – I promised you the recipes for the accompanying Argentina-inspired dessert. That was eleven days ago.

It just breaks my heart to think of you waiting a week and a half for these recipes. I imagine you must’ve leapt from your bed each morning, an hour before your alarm clock rang, tripping over the cat as you lunged for the computer, praying for a fast internet connection, and a creamy, crispy, caramel and cinnamon dessert.

From the moment you first read about this dessert, you must’ve been haunted by dreams of flaky, tender puff pastry sticks with a crunchy candy coating, and cold, velvety cinnamon ice cream slathered in homemade dulce de leche.

As the days crawled by at an excruciating pace, your thoughts became darker. Why hasn’t Bake Up, Little Suzy shared the dessert recipe she promised me? Is she keeping it from me?

Friends, I have no excuse. I’ve just been really busy and had no time or energy for writing.

I’m pretty sure you’ll forget all about this unpleasantness just as soon as the aroma of homemade dulce de leche begins to fill your kitchen. It smells like, what’s the word…? Comfort. Security. What does your 401k smell like? I’ll tell you: it smells like milk simmered with sugar.

And once the candy-coated puff pastry strips begin turning golden brown in the oven, this whole misunderstanding will be a distant memory.

Continue reading for the Baked Churros, Cinnamon Ice Cream, and Dulce de Leche recipes.

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Winter-Spiced Molten Chocolate Cakes with Rum-Ginger Ice Cream

This is a guest post and recipe from my dear friend, Jenny Karstad. Jenny is a phenomenal cook and baker, and a truly lovely person.

Happy Valentine’s! Or Christmas! Or Presidents’ Day! Really, there is no bad time of year (in the winter anyway) for these amazing, wonderful, tasty, and above all, impressive lava cakes. I read somewhere a few years ago someone complaining that “every restaurant in New York has a lava cake offering” or some such, said in a derisive way; a dessert that may have been impressive once but had gone the way of the Baked Alaska or the Floating Island.

For these people I say balderdash! Poppycock! I have served these several times now, and despite the fact that they are just about the easiest thing to make, people are still impressed, and don’t seem to mind they are now ‘out of fashion’. By now, of course, you have probably realized that most people who don’t cook or bake much are impressed by anything homemade. I do hope that in the future, people will be doing more home baking and cooking so that bakers and chefs will have to try that much harder to impress their friends and families. Having said that, let’s just go forward on the assumption that people are going to be impressed by anything that is a) chocolate, b) made at home, and c) full of ingredients that you’ll need to make them guess at. This recipe has all these things, all wrapped up in a delicious 3/4-cup ramekin. One could even have a little contest to see if everyone can guess all the spices.

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S’mores a la Mode

"Please, sir. I want s'more."

S’mores are my secret shame.

I fancy myself a foodie, but I just can’t resist the gooey, sticky campfire treat.

So I’ve been searching for recipes that re-purpose the flavors, to “elevate” the whimsical s’more.

This most recent version starts with a sweet, chewy blondie packed with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips. It’s topped with toasted marshmallow ice cream and drizzled with hot fudge.

Really, I don’t know why I’m embarrassed by my love of s’mores.

I need to get over it. It’s a dessert, not a sticker collection.

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brie ice cream with blackberry red wine reduction sauce

I wanted this ice cream to be spectacular. How could it not be? Y’all, I made Brie Ice Cream.

I wanted it to be creamy and decadent, buttery, slightly savory, complex.

And if it couldn’t be a spectacular success, I hoped for a spectacular failure – inedibly salty, thin and watery, a mess of long, stringy brie glops, with an off-putting sweet aftertaste.

Sadly, my brie ice cream was not spectacular at all. The brie flavor was so subtle, it was nearly undetectable. It tasted like extra rich vanilla ice cream, but with an odd, grainy texture. Not inedible, but not company-worthy.

This was supposed to be a great picture, but almost all the yolks broke.

It wasn’t a complete loss, though. The blackberry sauce was delicious — next time I’ll try it drizzled over pound cake and sweetened mascarpone.

Recipe below the fold

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