Our 10 Most Popular Recipes in January

For the first stretch of 2021, as I’ve been eating popcorn covered in cheese powder—and, um, more popcorn covered in cheese powder—our Food52 community has been cooking and baking up a storm. Good for you! Behold: our top 10 new recipes this month. For…

For the first stretch of 2021, as I’ve been eating popcorn covered in cheese powder—and, um, more popcorn covered in cheese powder—our Food52 community has been cooking and baking up a storm. Good for you! Behold: our top 10 new recipes this month. Forty percent of which involve Parmesan. Yes.

10. Auntie Adele’s Phyllo With Sutlaj

“These particular cigar-shaped pastries, my great-aunt's recipe, are the answer to the question that has plagued pudding for centuries: Where is the texture contrast?” writes Charles Dabah for our My Family Recipe column.

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29 of Our Most Popular Chocolate Desserts

Let’s not waste time: We love chocolate. You love chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate. So, let’s eat more chocolate. Can’t decide what to make for dinner tonight? Chocolate is the answer—specifically, something like chocolate cake topped with a pillow …

Let's not waste time: We love chocolate. You love chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate. So, let's eat more chocolate. Can't decide what to make for dinner tonight? Chocolate is the answer—specifically, something like chocolate cake topped with a pillow of whipped cream, thumbprint cookies filled with dark chocolate and sea salt, or smooth chocolate mousse. (Yes, we did just suggest you have dessert for dinner tonight. You've earned it.)

Take a look through these recipes. And try (try!) to abstain from making them all.

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How to Soften Cream Cheese (& Bake Your Heart Out With It)

Ah, cream cheese. We know it, we love it, it’s our old standby bagel topping. But this tangy spread is so much more than a schmear. Cream cheese is a rich dairy product that makes an amazing addition to pastries, pastas, and more, adding a smooth, rich…

Ah, cream cheese. We know it, we love it, it's our old standby bagel topping. But this tangy spread is so much more than a schmear. Cream cheese is a rich dairy product that makes an amazing addition to pastries, pastas, and more, adding a smooth, rich quality to everything it touches. But it can be tricky to work with when cold: it sticks to itself, clumping together, and nobody wants lumpy frosting, am I right? For this reason, when it comes to working the stuff into recipes, especially desserts, most recipes call for softened cream cheese. Once it comes to room temperature, cream cheese can properly incorporate into a batter or emulsify a frosting.

How to Soften Cream Cheese in the Microwave

Since cream cheese has such a high fat content, it doesn’t take long to come to room temperature if the room is relatively warm. It takes about thirty minutes on the counter to soften significantly, and about an hour to fully come to room temperature (again, depending on the temperature outside and in your kitchen). But if you’re strapped for time, or have a sudden craving for cheesecake, you can cut that time down to seconds. Remove any packaging (especially foil!) and place the block of cream cheese on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 15 seconds, then poke the center of the cream cheese block to test the texture. If it’s still not your desired softness, continue microwaving in 10-second intervals, but err on the side of caution. A little firmer is better than melted, which will be hard to salvage and potentially unusable in a recipe. The cream cheese should feel soft and hold a fingerprint when pressed.

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A Savory-Sweet Pastry Project to Tackle on a Snow Day

After reading through just a few recipes, it’s clear that A Good Bake by Melissa Weller is one of those cookbooks that will be used, not simply admired. Indeed, my own copy bore butter stains within a week.

Read through any publication’s baking covera…

After reading through just a few recipes, it’s clear that A Good Bake by Melissa Weller is one of those cookbooks that will be used, not simply admired. Indeed, my own copy bore butter stains within a week.

Read through any publication's baking coverage and you'll likely spot Weller's name—and maybe her swirled cover-star babka, which she's been making for years. Its mass appeal was the first element that jumped out at me about A Good Bake: I’d be just as inclined to gift a copy to my Julia Child–loving aunt as I would my 23-year-old sister who finds most of her recipes on Instagram.

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A Parmigiana Without Tomatoes? It’s Not Just Possible, It’s Fantastic

We’ve partnered with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share delicious ways to use this savory powerhouse in your cooking—and prove that it’s so much more than just a topping. Known for its unmistakable taste and perfectly crumbly texture, this che…

We've partnered with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share delicious ways to use this savory powerhouse in your cooking—and prove that it’s so much more than just a topping. Known for its unmistakable taste and perfectly crumbly texture, this cheese is made with only three ingredients, but the real magic comes after it's been aged for more than a year (in Italy, according to old-school methods).


Parmigiana is a true Italian classic, with quite possibly as many variations as there are cooks. While the most well-known version, parmigiana di melanzane, involves slices of eggplant (grilled or deep-fried, depending on which camp you're in) baked with tomato sauce and melting cheese, it’s a dish that lends itself well to adaptations—and has for centuries.

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The Pesky Mushroom Cookies I Bake for Betsy, My Late Mother-in-Law

It’s mid-December somewhere on the near northwest side of Chicago. The kitchen is heady with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fresh citrus zest, which earlier my husband and I warmed with honey and butter into a gorgeous syrup. The counter is laden with …

It’s mid-December somewhere on the near northwest side of Chicago. The kitchen is heady with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fresh citrus zest, which earlier my husband and I warmed with honey and butter into a gorgeous syrup. The counter is laden with spice jars, measuring cups, bowls, and sheet pans—creating a disorderly frame around four brown dough mounds.

A 3-by-5-inch note card, titled “Mushroom Cookies (Lithuanian Grybai),” presides over the whole chaotic affair, handwritten in slanted blue cursive and stained from decades of use. We’ve reached the card’s second side, when the script gets smaller and more crammed as it guides us through the shaping, baking, icing, and assembly of these time-consuming little monsters.

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Our Resident Baking BFF’s Go-To Tools for Better Pies, Cakes, Cookies—You Name It

In Bake it Up a Notch, or Resident Baking BFF, Erin McDowell—and her trusty sidekick, Brimley, our Resident Pie Pup—shows us everything we’ll ever need to know to make our baking faster, easier, and better than ever. From equipment recommendations to i…

In Bake it Up a Notch, or Resident Baking BFF, Erin McDowell—and her trusty sidekick, Brimley, our Resident Pie Pup—shows us everything we'll ever need to know to make our baking faster, easier, and better than ever. From equipment recommendations to in-depth technique tutorials to fixes for every mishap imaginable, Erin's here to save the day (and save our cakes).


If you know someone who loves to bake, they are likely spending more time in the kitchen than ever before. This list is made up of tools I turn to time and time again, that have withstood the test of time and beyond frequent use in my home kitchen—plus a few sources of inspiration for year-round baking. Any baker would be thrilled to unwrap one of these goodies! Wishing everyone happy holidays and happy baking!

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9 Cream of Tartar Substitutes You Probably Have in the Kitchen

Where would we be without grapes? Think of all the culinary marvels the fruit yields: Jelly, balsamic and red wine vinegars, and of course wine. But lofty cakes, ethereal meringues, and chewy snickerdoodles also owe their existence to another child of …

Where would we be without grapes? Think of all the culinary marvels the fruit yields: Jelly, balsamic and red wine vinegars, and of course wine. But lofty cakes, ethereal meringues, and chewy snickerdoodles also owe their existence to another child of the grape: cream of tartar. The white powder is most often found in baked goods, where it serves as a stabilizer, a leavening agent, or a crystallization inhibitor (more on this later).

If you’ve just embarked on some baking endeavor only to find your jar of cream of tartar empty, there’s no cause for alarm. There are plenty of substitutions for cream of tartar, you just have to decide which purpose that sub needs to serve.

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10 Out-of-the-Box Pie Crusts for When You Don’t Have Time for Dough

In partnership with Lodge Cast Iron, we’re sharing ideas for exceptional and unconventional pie crusts to mix things up during the holidays and beyond. With Lodge’s Seasoned Cast Iron Pie Pan (it’s from their bakeware line!), you can achieve a golden, …

In partnership with Lodge Cast Iron, we’re sharing ideas for exceptional and unconventional pie crusts to mix things up during the holidays and beyond. With Lodge's Seasoned Cast Iron Pie Pan (it's from their bakeware line!), you can achieve a golden, award-worthy crust every time—no matter what recipe you’re baking up this season.


Making a great pie doesn't necessarily have to be a tedious task. Instead of spending hours chilling, kneading, and rolling dough, you can make a bunch of easy (and delicious!) crusts with ingredients like crushed cheese crackers, crispy hash browns, or even your favorite cereal.

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11 Perfectly Packable Recipes to Give & Share This Holiday Season

Last year, we celebrated the holidays in the most festive way we could imagine: 31 cookie recipes from some of our favorite bakers. This year, amid the nostalgia and longing for gatherings past, we wanted to recall the very important thing we’ll still …

Last year, we celebrated the holidays in the most festive way we could imagine: 31 cookie recipes from some of our favorite bakers. This year, amid the nostalgia and longing for gatherings past, we wanted to recall the very important thing we’ll still have: our food traditions that’ll step in to offer us the sense of belonging we need. So we decided to have a bit of fun in 2020—because if anything, we have to grab joy where we can these days—calling in both sweet and savory treats from a group of cooks and bakers we love. (Don’t worry, though; you’ll find a few cookies in the mix as well.)

Here’s the best part: Every recipe, from brownie cookies to curry puffs and savory granola, is giftable, ready to be packed up and dropped off to doorsteps. All of them will even last a trip in the mail to loved ones further afield. So while we can’t gather the way we usually do, we can still partake in exchanging holiday treats.

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