What to CookSo Hot Right Now

Our Most Crazy-Good (or Just Crazy?) Recipes

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Sometimes I like to make simple food, and sometimes I make recipes that leave my peers questioning my sanity (and social life).

Hey, skillet cookie, lookin' good.
Hey, skillet cookie, lookin' good. Photo by James Ransom

When I tell text them I’m making such-and-such recipe—last week, squashducken; week before that, 8-page-recipe meatloaf—responses generally contain one or more of the following:

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-omg -omfg -wtf -whatttt -whoaaah -!!!! -?! -?!!!! -. . . ? -amazing -ahhmazing -[bug eye emoji] -holy [expletive]

The recipes range from “why haven’t I done this forever?” ridiculous-good to “who would do this to themselves?”—and yet still ridiculous-good.

Either way, there’s no trumping these recipes—no improving upon, no besting, no waxing poetic. It’s game over, roll the credits. And perfect your mic drop technique:

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Here are the dishes that we pretend broke the internet, but really just make us happy:

Deep-Dish Cherry Pie

Deep-Dish Cherry Pie

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes 1 fatty 9-inch pie, serves 12 to 15

For the pie crust:

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (12 ounces) sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup ice water, plus more as needed

For the finished pie:

  • 4 pounds sour or sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg wash, as needed for finishing
  • 1 pinch turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing
  • 1 splash Heavy cream, for serving (optional)
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There are four pounds of cherries.

Deep-Dish Chicken Pot Pie

Deep-Dish Chicken Pot Pie

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie

For the crust:

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup ice water, plus more as needed

For the filling and assembly:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 1/3 cups frozen peas
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing
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Imagine a chicken pot pie where every bite has a significant amount of crust. This is that pie.

Egg in a Bagel Hole

Egg in a Bagel Hole

Ali Slagle Ali Slagle
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Makes 2
  • 1 bagel
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
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The bottom gets griddled. And you stick an egg in a bagel hole. What other questions do you have?

French Toast Sticks

French Toast Sticks

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
Go To Recipe
Serves 4 to 6

For the toast:

  • Eight 3/4 inch-thick slices brioche or challah, preferably day-old

For the batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • A large pinch ground cloves
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Maple syrup, for serving
  • Fresh fruit, fruit compote, stewed fruit, etc., for serving
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Hello these are deep-fried.

Sweet Squashduckens

Sweet Squashduckens

Ali Slagle Ali Slagle
Go To Recipe
Makes 4
  • 4 medium-sized red kuri squash (or another variety of similar size and shape). Imagine fitting one apple in the middle; if you think it’ll work, that’s your squash.
  • 4 medium-sized apples that will fit in your squash, peeled and cored
  • 2 ripe but firm pears (think Bartlett, Bosc, D’Anjou), peeled and chopped into smallish (1/4-inch) cubes
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
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It's like turducken but for dessert.

Squashducken (The Mammoth Stuffed Squash) with Sage-Hazelnut Pesto

Squashducken (The Mammoth Stuffed Squash) with Sage-Hazelnut Pesto

Sarah Jampel Sarah Jampel
Go To Recipe
Serves 20? 25?

For the squash

  • 4 to 6 edible squash, ranging in size from very large to very small (the most important thing is that you are able to nest them snugly inside of one another)

  • Equipment: a roasting pan large enough to snugly secure the largest squash; very sharp knives for cutting; spoons for carving and scooping; 2 large bowls for all your squash debris; a great attitude!


For the pesto and the assembly:

  • 1/2 cup sage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus for more rubbing

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata
  • Salt and pepper, for sprinkling
  • Fresh breadcrumbs (I like mine to be fairly coarse), for sprinkling
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
  • Smoked paprika or other spices of your choice, for sprinkling
  • Loaf of tender bread like challah or brioche, cubed, optional and as needed
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A squash in a squash in a squash in a squash in a squash in a squash.

Lacinato Kale Gratin

Lacinato Kale Gratin

Marian Bull Marian Bull
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Serves 6 to 8, as a side
  • 3 medium (or 2 large) bunches lacinato kale, ribs removed, torn into roughly 3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (use the good stuff!)
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Three heads of kale, three cups of heavy cream, one dish.

Chocolate-Covered Matzo

Chocolate-Covered Matzo

Sarah Jampel Sarah Jampel
Go To Recipe
Serves 10 to 12
  • 4 to 6 sheets of matzo (depending on how thick you like the chocolate layer)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 14 ounces kosher for Passover semi-sweet chocolate
  • 14 ounces kosher for Passover milk chocolate
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You spread butter and sugar over the matzo before it even meets chocolate.

Pasta Pie with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Pasta Pie with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes one 9 inch pie
  • 1 1/2 pounds bucatini or other long pasta
  • 1 recipe Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce (https://food52.com/recipes/13722-marcella-hazan-s-tomato-sauce-with-onion-and-butter)
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, grated (as best you can, larger chunks are okay)
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
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There's no crust, but there is 1 1/2 pounds of pasta in the shape of a deep-dish pie.

Graham Cracker Layer Cake

Graham Cracker Layer Cake

Posie (Harwood) Brien Posie (Harwood) Brien
Go To Recipe
Makes two 8-inch round layers
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
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Graham crackers but in cake form.

Brad Spence's Salted Butter Semifreddo

Brad Spence's Salted Butter Semifreddo

Genius Recipes Genius Recipes
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Serves 6 to 8
  • 8 egg yolks + 4 egg whites, divided (save remaining 4 egg whites for another use)
  • 3/4 cup 2 tablespoons sugar (175 grams)
  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate wafers, for serving (optional)
  • Jam, for serving (optional)
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Put one stick of salted butter in this ice cream. Do it.

Cinnamon Scone Bread

Cinnamon Scone Bread

mrslarkin mrslarkin
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Makes 1 loaf

For the streusel filling:

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

For the bread:

  • 2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces or 319 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of loaf
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cocoa powder, or espresso powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on dough
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
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Cronuts are the default answer for "best mashup food." The real answer is this monkey bread, pull-apart bread, and scone hybrid.

Tomato Soup Cake

Tomato Soup Cake

Marian Bull Marian Bull
Go To Recipe
Makes one 2-layer cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • One 10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup (Campbell's is most traditional)
  • 1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Cream cheese frosting
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A can of Campbell's tomato soup turns into cake—it's good, not a dare.

Okay, there's more. We can't help ourselves—call us nutty, or genius.

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Tags: Genius Recipes, DIY Food