The Best of Brown Eyed Baker in 2010: The Top 20 Recipes

If you have been a reader of Brown Eyed Baker for some time, you know that each year on or around New Year’s Eve I do a “year in review” and recap favorite recipes of the year (feel free to check out the rundowns for 2007, 2008 and 2009. My how time flies!). Below you will first find the ten recipes that received the most traffic throughout 2010, and then ten more recipes that didn’t make the cut but that were some of my absolute favorites this year. 2009 was definitely the year of the cookie, but it looks like 2010 was a little more varied… enjoy the trip down memory lane!

#10: Seven-Layer Bars

Sometimes also referred to as Magic Bars, these babies pack a wallop. They have a graham cracker base and are topped with a combination of nuts, chocolate chips and coconut and are held together with sweetened condensed milk. Magical indeed.

#9: Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Definitely one of my personal favorites – an Oreo crust is filled with a creamy cheesecake that has chunks of brownies floating throughout it and then topped with a chocolate ganache. A wonderful special occasion cheesecake, or, if you’re like me, a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday cheesecake ;-)

#8: All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

One of my very favorite sugar cookie recipes. They are soft and chewy, and make a great base for decorating with royal icing. Since making these I have also fallen in love with the Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies, also perfect for decorating!

#7: Oven-Fried Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce

All of the wonderful crispiness that you get from a deep fryer without the mess or the smell. Paired with an awesome dipping sauce, you don’t need to go to a restaurant to enjoy your favorite onion ring appetizer. A few months after making this, I revisited the recipe and made a few adjustments, so be sure to check out Oven Fried Onion Rings, Take II as well!

#6: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These cupcakes definitely smell like Thanksgiving while they’re baking. They’re full of spice and moist and fluffy; top them with a nice big swirl of cream cheese frosting and you have a perfect fall dessert.

#5: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate and peanut butter. One of my true loves. This peanut butter frosting is insanely good, and the cupcakes have the perfect amount of chocolate flavor and richness.

#4: Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quite possibly my most favorite recipe on the entire site. They are THAT good. The most amazing chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had, bar none. They are big, thick, chewy – everything that a perfect chocolate chip cookie should be. I first made these 2½ years ago and I have eat to try another chocolate chip cookie recipe since. That should say it all!

#3: Peanut Butter, Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookie trifecta! These combine all of the favorite cookie ingredients – oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips – a create an awesome soft and chewy cookie. These are a huge reader favorite.

This year the #2 and #1 recipes are exactly the same as last year, so that should tell you something – they are good!

#2: How to Decorate Cookies with Royal Icing

This step-by-step tutorial with photos walks you through how to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing. It can take time and patience, but once you get the hang of it it’s so much fun and you can be very creative!

And now, the most popular recipe on Brown Eyed Baker during 2010…

:: drum roll ::

#1: No Bake Chocolate, Oatmeal & Peanut Butter Cookies

A cookie you can make without an oven. Perfect for when you’re hurried, you want to involve the kids, or when it’s 100 degrees outside. Again, the chocolate, peanut butter and oat combination is wildly popular and since these are so simple to make, they are easy to throw together in a pinch.

As I did last year, I wanted to share an additional 10 recipes that didn’t make the cut above, but that are some of my personal favorites from all of the recipes I made this year (listed in chronological order from the beginning of the year to the end)…

Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake

2010 marked the year of my 30th birthday, and this is the cake I made myself to celebrate the occasion. I definitely ushered in my 30’s with a sugar high :) An Oreo crust, a layer fudge, a layer of crushed peanut butter cups, peanut butter cheesecake, and topped with a layer of ganache. Turning 30 wasn’t so bad after all ;-)


I am utterly addicted to this recipe. On more than one occasion, I have made this with the sole intent of it being lunch and dinner on a football Sunday.

Blackberry Pie Bars

I ate these for breakfast, snacks and dessert for almost an entire week over the summer. Not kidding. The crust is awesome, and the pie filling is creamy and almost custard-like. Straight out of the fridge, multiple times a day. You could switch it up with your favorite berries!

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Nothing tops feeling like a kid again, and these homemade pop-tarts definitely fit the bill. Sooo much better than the boxed version you had when you were a kid – these are buttery, flaky an delicious! I made strawberry and brown sugar-cinnamon, but the filling varieties are endless.

Peach Pie

I have been obsessed with peach pie since driving through Georgia in September of 2009, and I finally nailed an awesome peach pie recipe. At the time, I made these into miniature “tartlets” but provide the recipe for a whole pie. It’s definitely a summer/fall staple from now on!

Monkey Bread

No canned biscuits or semi-homemade recipes here. A sweet, yeast-based dough is divided into small balls, rolled in butter and cinnamon and brown sugar to create a fluffy, sweet, pull-apart bread that makes an awesome weekend treat, something perfect for house guests or holiday mornings!

Fig and Almond Cheesecake

I am definitely proud of this particular concoction because I fashioned it after a dessert I enjoyed at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. It was the most amazing cheesecake I had ever tasted and I think I definitely did it justice. An almond-shortbread crust is topped with a layer of sliced figs, a creamy almond-spiked cheesecake, and then drizzled with an Amaretto creme anglaise. Fabulous.

The Baked Brownie

The recipe from the famed bakery in Brooklyn, NY and dubbed one of Oprah’s favorite things, I am always a little hesitant of hype. But not only did these brownies live up to the hype, they absolutely surpassed it. Easily my favorite brownie ever – rich, dense, chewy. The perfect brownie. It is now my go-to brownie recipe.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After trying red velvet cupcakes from three different highly-touted bakeries in Pittsburgh and D.C. and not being totally blown away save for Baked and Wired in Georgetown, I decided I needed to discover a great recipe I could make at home. And this is absolutely it. The recipe comes from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook; these cupcakes are moist and fluffy, the perfect shade of natural red, and topped with sweet and creamy cream cheese frosting.

Pecan Pie

I love pie. Apple pie, blueberry pie, you name a pie and I probably love it. Not only do I love pecan pie, but it’s easily in my top 3 in terms of favorite pies. I would eat 5 pieces of pecan pie and leave pumpkin for someone else at the Thanksgiving table, and this recipe pulls out all the stops. Hands down, the best pecan pie ever. It deserves to be eaten year-round.

Now tell me – What was your favorite Brown Eyed Baker recipe in 2010?

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a 2011 full of good food, laughter and love