I do my fair share of round-ups around these parts, as well Top-However-Many recipes, and even display most popular recipes over in the sidebar. For just about all of these lists and roundups, I feature your favorite recipes. The ones you come back to over and over again, the ones you comment on and sample and love. Since I’ve received a number of questions about which recipes are my favorites, I thought it would be fun to share with you the recipes on the site that are my absolute favorites – the ones I make countless times, the ones that my family and friends swoon over. With over 300 posts now, it was really, really hard to narrow it down. I had to do much soul searching… And they are in alphabetical order because after narrowing the list down to 10, I couldn’t possibly rank them! Much too difficult.
So without further ado, here are my 10 favorite recipes:
Baked Mac n’ Cheese. (Forgive the picture; it was one of my very first posts.) This is a great basic baked macaroni and cheese recipe that you can adapt using your favorite cheeses, add-ins (mushrooms, bacon, etc.), and toppings. Comfort food doesn’t get much better than this.
Soft Cheese and Pepperoni Bread. Speaking of comfort food, nothin’ says lovin’ in Western PA quite like homemade pepperoni bread (or pepperoni rolls, whatever nomenclature you grew up with). I’ve lived on these since I was a kid – my grandma would churn out a dozen at a time and they would be gone in seconds flat. Sometimes there were battles over loaves. I may have hidden a couple in my day. My grandma always made them from frozen bread dough (see the quick pepperoni bread recipe), but I love this yeasted, totally from scratch version.
Chocolate Ice Cream. I can’t ever get enough of this ice cream. It’s so rich, smooth and chocolatey; I promise you’ve never tasted a chocolate ice cream like this. It also makes a fabulous Rocky Road.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. In two words, bagel awesomeness. These are, hands down, my favorite bagels and they rank in the #1 or #2 position with my Chief Culinary Consultant as well. They are one of his all-time favorite Brown Eyed Baker recipes. They are great toasted with butter, cream cheese, or even peanut butter!
Dark Chocolate Chip Scones. These are the first scone recipe I ever made and are my mom’s all-time favorite baked good from the Brown Eyed Baker kitchen. In fact, when I offered to make her whatever dinner she’d like for her birthday last year, she chose the Sausage, Pepper & Mushroom Risotto (right below) and these scones for dessert. Tender and slightly sweet with dark chocolate chips – delicious!
Italian Sausage, Mushroom & Red Pepper Risotto. Also another first, this was my initiation into risotto, and it was love at first bite. The creamy arborio rice with Italian sausage, red peppers and mushrooms is fantastic. It’s hearty and only needs a loaf of crusty Italian bread and a nice salad to finish off the meal.
Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars. These are a relatively new recipe (I first made them last summer), but they became an instant favorite. When you combine fudgy brownies, marshmallows, and a chocolate/peanut butter/Rice Krispies topping, you are hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t get addicted immediately. Fabulous is an understatement.
Oreo Cheesecake. I absolutely adore cheesecake, and for a long time my favorite variety at the Cheesecake Factory was the Oreo cheesecake. I finally decided to make my own at home and subsequently have made it for quite a few of my own birthdays. Although this year I did it up a bit for my big 3-0 with a Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake, there’s just something about Oreo cookies in a cheesecake that makes me swoon.
Strawberry Pretzel Squares. As I’ve found out through comments and emails from readers, a great many of you also grew up on this fantastic sweet/salty Jello dessert. I have a great aunt who used to make it for every family gathering in the summer. I finally got a hold of the recipe and started making it myself as well. You can never have too much of this, and I’m quite capable of eating an entire pan by myself. If there are leftovers (big if), the pan usually goes into the fridge with a fork in it so I can nibble every time I walk past!
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yes, they really are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever find. If you like ’em big, thick and chewy, with gooey melted chocolate chips, you are going to thank your lucky stars for this recipe. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect cookie if I tried. Please make these – they guarantee to satisfy the most ravenous cookie cravings!