Sugar Cookie Voodoo Dolls
Halloween seemed like as good a time as any to trot out another great riff on our classic sugar cookie recipe. Before you get started though, there are a few secrets we think you should know. First, for super clean edges, pop the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer until they're completely firm. This means the butter will take longer to melt and in turn, helps the cookie keep its crisp edge. Now, you can also go off recipe a bit. Ours calls for a whole egg (which helps keep the cookies tender) but you could use 1 egg yolk in its place or omit the egg altogether. Both of these options will make for sharper shapes.
Chicken curry is one of those recipes that can feel mildly addictive. Maybe it’s the juicy pieces of chicken, maybe it’s the salty-sweet element of apple, or maybe it’s the richly complex curry powder that coats each bite. The point is, it’s delicious. And, rarely does a savory dish pair so well with a diverse group of toppings: salty peanuts, spicy chilies, cooling yogurt, and sugary raisins all taste great here. To toast coconut, heat oven to 350° F and spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool before serving.
The Easiest Way to Make Eggs for a Crowd
We love the idea of breakfast sandwiches for a crowd, but short-order cooks we are not, nor are we interested in becoming. Instead, we figured out a genius way (if we do say so ourselves) to cook two dozen eggs all at once. We whipped them up in a blender so they were nice and evenly emulsified then poured them into a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Fifteen minutes later, we topped them with cheese, cut them into squares, and slapped them on a toasted bun. Assembly is fast and easy work for you and a friend, but if you want to keep this casual, you could put the baking sheet out and let folks assemble their own.
Big-batch frittata is deceptively easy when you make it in a rimmed baking sheet. Using the oven means that the eggs cook slowly and evenly, for a custardy (not rubbery) frittata. This one packs in leafy spinach, salty salami, and tiny mozzarella balls, aka bocconcini. Once that bakes up in a 400º F oven, serve it with other classic antipasti ingredients like sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and focaccia. Serve any extra frittata for breakfast on top of the extra toasted focaccia.
Apple Pie Baked Apples
This adorable dessert offers all the flavors and aroma of a warm apple pie, pre-portioned into single-serve treats. Each apple is filled with homemade pie filling and topped with a swirl of pecan-oat crumble. The combination is so good it will have you licking the spoon. Though other varieties of crisp apples work in a pinch, we prefer Honeycrisp because they hold their shape when baked. As far as the crust goes, we love a traditional lattice, but feel free to get creative with all sorts of designs. We recommend serving the whole thing a la mode.
Coca-Cola with meat you say? Insanity? Well, actually, the classic soda is a famous ingredient for braising big cuts of meat. Here, the sugary drink tenderizes pork shoulder, and classic carnitas spices like chili powder, cumin, and oregano add balance. After cooking until the pork is super tender, you reduce the sauce until it makes a delicious glaze. Serve with classic taco fixings for a new family favorite.
Perfect Baked Potatoes
There’s an old saying that the simplest recipes are the best way to gauge a cook’s talent. With baked potatoes, it’s no different, and this recipe guarantees fluffy potatoes baked to perfection. And, hey, finishing them off with butter and sharp Cheddar doesn’t hurt. Stock your baked potato bar with classic toppings like classic sour cream, chives, and bacon, and some healthy steamed broccoli thrown in for good measure. To keep the fully baked potatoes warm before serving, wrap them in foil and keep in a 200º F oven for up to 1 hour.
Chicken Gyro Salad With Tzatziki Dressing
Boneless, skinless thighs mean that the grilled chicken in this Greek-inspired salad stays juicy—not dry—after cooking. The buttermilk and sour cream in the tzatziki dressing add tangy depth, and there’s diced cucumber in there for crunch, too. Looking for an easy way to mix up the flavors? Many pita chip brands have flavors like garlic-herb or even jalapeño, if you’re looking for a little spice. Shopping tip: Baby bell peppers are often sold in a plastic bag near the Persian cucumbers, not next to the regular (aka large) bell peppers.
Sure, we could have made our own chocolate-dipped marshmallow and graham cookies for these pretty kitties, but we were too busy counting our candy. Instead, we started with Mallomars, one of our all time favorite cookies, and simply dressed them up as fraidy cats using a bit of royal icing and some chocolate chips. If you’re new to working with royal icing, it’s a good idea to practice on a plate or a piece of parchment before you attack the cookies. This will also help you determine if your icing is the right thickness. Halloween won’t get any cuter than this.
Squash and Greens Bread Pudding
If you’re looking for comfort food that doesn’t leave you feeling completely decadent, then this bread pudding is for you. There’s the standard base of bread, milk, eggs, and cheese, but with healthy veggies to bulk the pudding up. There’s sautéed swiss chard, onions, and butternut squash layered into each bite. Using pre-sliced bread instead of cutting a loaf into cubes is a great shortcut for quick assembly. Buttering the foil before covering the dish ensures the top of the pudding gets nice and golden—not to mention it bastes the bread in delicious buttery flavor.