Our 20 Best Recipes of All Time | Midwest Living

Our 20 Best Recipes of All Time

Selecting the 20 best recipes from the decades of Midwest Living was an undertaking fraught with calories, memories and fun. Get set to savor the fruits of our labors: delectable soups, tarts, cookies and more. We think they have a pretty good chance of becoming your all-time favorites as well.

The best of the best

Some foods are so special, we never forget that first taste. That's pretty amazing, considering we've printed more than 2,700 recipes at Midwest Living® in the past 20 years. Based on responses from readers and research by the Test Kitchen and our food editors, we've selected 20 that we believe are the best of the best.

Our first pick: Winter Shortcake. We missed the wonderful fruit-filled shortcake we love in summer, so we created a version starring winter-friendly ingredients. Pumpkin pie spice stands out in the cake itself, then apple pie filling and frozen tart cherries come together for a colorful winter treat.

Winter Shortcake recipe

Best Cinnamon Rolls

This potluck standout was sent to us as a Minnesota reader's favorite recipe -- and we agreed. We chose this recipe because it offers two versions of gooey goodness: one is a more traditional roll with added moistness from the vanilla cake mix, and the other is a chocolate-coconut recipe with a caramel topper. Regardless of which one you pick, you'll love the aroma that fills your home while it's baking.

Best Cinnamon Rolls recipe

Paradise Pumpkin Pie

A cheesecake layer and nut topping help this pumpkin pie stand out from its peers. This recipe—a winner at the Morton, Illinois, Pumpkin Festival baking competition—has been one of our most-requested recipes.

Paradise Pumpkin Pie

Soups and more

Readers always want soup recipes during winter. This trio features white bean and chicken chili (left), the winner of our 1990 great chili search; beans and ham (middle), perfect with warm corn bread on a cold day; and a Reuben soup (right), which packs the flavors from a Reuben sandwich in a bowl.

White Surprise Chili recipe

Warm You Up Beans and Ham recipe

Cream of Reuben Soup recipe

Jumbo Coffee Cake Muffins

Muffins are quick-and-easy cornerstones of weekend breakfasts. Moist and cinnamony, these big muffins will become one of your family's favorites.

See Jumbo Coffee Cake Muffins recipe

Glorious Glazed Salmon

This family-favorite comes straight off the grill. The sweet tamari sauce brushed on the salmon caramelizes into a delicious glaze.

Glorious Glazed Salmon recipe

For cookie lovers

Chocolate chips, peanut butter and oatmeal pack the triple-flavored big batch cookies from the Scofield House in Door County, Wisconsin (bottom), while the chocolate nut revels (top) show off a pretty swirled look in a simple drop cookie.

Triple-Flavored Big Batch Cookies recipe

Chocolate Nut Revels recipe

Lemony pasta with salad

We combined the lemon-and-proscuitto pasta from Zona Spray's cooking school in Hudson, Ohio, with a tossed salad with dried cherries and Parmesan from Door County, Wisconsin's, White Gull Inn to make this well-rounded family dinner.

See Tagliatelle a la Hudson recipe

White Gull Tossed Salad recipe

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Ultra-rich cheesecake and sweet raspberries bond in this recipe from our Test Kitchen. A shortbread cookie crust gives it a great crunch. To change it up, substitute blueberries or strawberries.

White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe

Herb-and-Garlic Pork

This grill recipe from our Test Kitchen's Lynn Blanchard is easy to make and has great garlic flavor. She prepares her pork roast with fresh garlic and herbs from her garden. Serve it with grilled vegetables to round out your meal.

Herb-and-Garlic Pork recipe

Mom's Oatmeal Pie

We love the nutty oatmeal taste of this sweet treat, and it's a healthier alternative to most desserts. If you're watching calories, serve this pie with a berry topping instead of whipped cream. 

Mom's Oatmeal Pie recipe

Heavenly Morel Tarts

Sykora Bakery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, provided this morel-mushroom appetizer recipe for a story about spring festivals. These appetizer pastries taste best served fresh from the oven.

Heavenly Morel Tarts recipe

Magic Brownies

Loaded with chocolate, these beauties from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have been one of our most popular brownie recipes. What's magic about them? The extra-fudgy flavor and the gooey texture.

Magic Brownies recipe

Cardamom Wreath Bread

This sweet yeast bread works for brunch or dessert and makes a beautiful accent to your spread. (Braiding the dough is a fun family activity, too.)

Cardamom Wreath Bread recipe

Company-special cookies

The stylish Classic Cup Cafe cookies (bottom) are full of flavor, with dried cherries, pistachios and orange peel. Joe Carson's Ginger Cookies (top), from the baker at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, are perfectly crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and full of that ginger-spicy zing.

Originally published in Midwest Living® January/February 2007.

Classic Cup Cafe Cookies recipe

Joe Carson's Ginger Cookies recipe

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