Best of Wafoodie 2012
It's a couple of days late, but Dustin and I went through all of our posts from the last year and compiled our favorites into a list. Well, two lists to be exact. Dustin wanted to condense everything down into one list, but I told him there would be no non-dessert elements on my Top 10 list, so we should have a sweet Top 10 and a savory Top 10. So in no particular order, may I present our favorites of 2012!
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies: These cookies were life changing— my first time using brown butter. Not only was this basic chocolate chip cookie perfectly soft and puffy, but the brown butter gave these cookies an extra kick of rich, nuttiness. Definitely my favorite chocolate chip cookie. EVER!
- Peppermint Patty Stuffed Chocolate Cookies: Stuffing cookies with candies or other cookies is definitely the way to take a plain cookie into a crazy good, unique cookie. Peppermint patties inside the middle of these enormous cookies were an awesome surprise when biting in, and definitely one of those cookies I could not stop going back for seconds.
- Southern Comfort Apple Pie: This is no ordinary apple pie. It's boozy and caramely, and over-the-top rich. Once you have a bite of this apple pie, you won't ever be able to go back to regular old apple pie.
- Perfect Blueberry Muffins: The best blueberry muffins are light and fluffy with a sugary streusel topping that you usually find at bakeries. The ones I make at home usually end up disappointing. However, that was not the case with these guys. They really do deserve the title of 'perfect blueberry muffins,' and are totally worth a couple of extra steps.
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies: These cookie dough/brownie hybrids using the aforementioned brown butter don't need any description. Two amazing and simple desserts combined into one!
- Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake: This cake took a lot of work, but after tasting it and all of the compliments it received, the effort was totally worth it. A fancy version of a basic Funfetti birthday cake, the crumble makes this cake extra-outstanding!
- Red Velvet Cupcake Ice Cream: This is another hybrid dessert that doesn't need much explanation— cupcakes and ice cream are a wonderful combination. The ice cream will only be as good as the red velvet cupcakes you put in, so make it good (you can use this recipe minus the glass part if you want to go completely homemade)!
- Top Pot Apple Fritter Ice Cream: Top Pot's Apple Fritters are the bomb. Add them to cinnamon ice cream, and they are even better. This was also the first recipe for which we got a picture on Foodgawker, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts. Doesn't hurt that it's absolutely delicious...
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting: As much as I would like to, I don't often completely forgo lunch in exchange for dessert, but I made an exception for this cake. The interior was soft and fluffy with a nice, but not overpowering banana flavor and flecks of melted chocolate. The frosting takes this cake over the top. I mean it's peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar. How could it not be amazing?
- Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust: A perfect combination of all three major Christmas flavors, they went together perfectly and the texture of the cake was perfect— smooth and silky. Without a doubt, the best cheesecake we've ever made, and maybe even tasted. I was told this cheesecake was worthy of becoming an annual holiday tradition.
- Stuffed Meatball Sliders: Delicious meatballs stuffed with melty mozzarella on a slider bun... Can you say delicious? The only way to make these better would be to make homemade slider buns, which we discovered a few months after making these mini meatball sandwiches.
- Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta: This year, after getting our pasta maker, we've been slightly obsessed with making homemade pasta. I don't think this sauce was perfect, but it was my favorite of the ones we experimented with. Discovering the ease and extraordinary tastiness of making homemade pasta was definitely a major win of the year though.
- Homemade Bagels: This is probably the adventure I'm most proud of from the last year. Homemade bagels seemed like an impossible task, but we made them, which I think is infinitely cool.
- Northwestern Reuben Sandwiches: We love Reuben sandwiches, so by adding a touch of the Northwest and using fresh, high quality ingredients, we had a real winner in terms of a fabulous dinner.
- Beer Glazed Duck Breast with Avocado Cream, Feta, and Pine Nuts: This dinner was one of Dustin's cookoff challenge dishes. It was super creative and felt really fancy, so it definitely cracked our Top 10 savory dishes.
- Hatch Chile Croque Monsieurs: Plain ol' croque monsieurs would have made the list until we added Hatch chiles to the mix. Pretty much anything we made with Hatch chiles had the potential to make this list, but by combining the croque monsieur with the chiles, we only took up one spot on the list, leaving room for another delicious entrée!
- Greek Nachos: These Greek nachos were super simple and unpretentious, but really blew me away with their complexity of flavor and instantly stood out as one of my favorite meals we made this year.
- Chicken Shawarma with Pita: Maybe I'm a little biased because this meal represented a special night for us, but this pita was incredible and authentic, fresh from the oven.
- Sage Fried Meatballs: Our first frying experience gone right, how could fried meatballs not be delicious? The crispy sage in them was a nice touch that made them extra tasty.
- Prosciutto and Chanterelle Pizza: Absolutely my favorite pizza from the year. Plain and simple, prosciutto and chanterelles were made for each other. Combine them on a perfectly crispy crust, and you've got a winner of a fancy pizza!