Best Recipes of 2012 | Midwest Living
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Best Recipes of 2012

Of the dozens of recipes we published in 2012, here are our 25 favorites, chosen by our food editor and our recipe developers.
  • Nutty Caramel Apple Crisp

    Nutty Caramel Apple Crisp

    A double dose of caramel—baked in with the fruit and drizzled on top—elevates the humble crisp to new levels of indulgence. Mix two types of apples for the best texture. The tender apples cook down and create a sort of thick sauce, while the firm apples hold their shape. Boiled cider, which you can purchase at specialty stores or online or make using our recipe, adds an extra splash of apple flavor.

    Nutty Caramel Apple Crisp

  • Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew

    Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew

    Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but this hearty supper soup takes just an hour to make. The secret? Deli-roasted chicken and precooked sausage. Pair with breadsticks or a crusty baguette for a perfect winter meal that will fill your house with good smells.

    Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew

  • Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownie Cheesecake

    Dawn Moore of Warren, Pennsylvania, grew up sampling buckeye candy from neighboring Ohio. It was the muse for her outrageously rich and creamy dessert, one of the finalists in our annual Best of the Midwest recipe contest.

    Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownie Cheesecake

  • Go Whole Hog Chili

    This pork-hominy dish from Jerry McDonald of Overland Park, Kansas, draws its smoky, roasted flavor from two of its four kinds of chile peppers. Our heat rating: !! (Touch o' Heat).

    Go Whole Hog Chili

  • Cranberry Sausage-Stuffed Pork Chops with Pumpkin Gravy

    This recipe from Linda Kay Drysdale of Riverview, Michigan, won the $10,000 top prize in one of our Best of the Midwest recipe contests. Linda's recipe calls for chops cooked in a pressure cooker, which reduces cooking time to a fifth of the oven version. Watching calories? Half a chop satisfies most people.

    Cranberry Sausage-Stuffed Pork Chops with Pumpkin Gravy

     

  • Penne with Arrabiata Sauce

    Penne with Arrabiata Sauce

    Arrabbiata (the Italian word for angry) is a Roman sauce of garlic, tomatoes and red chili cooked in olive oil. This recipe, inspired by a RAGBRAI vendor, offers several variations. Serve cooked penne with either a spicy red sauce or with a classic green pesto sauce. Optional toppings include rosemary-crusted grilled salmon or grilled summer squash.

    Penne with Arrabiata Sauce

  • Orange-Laced Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Almond Biscuits

    Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, tops a juicy base with so-tender drop biscuits tasting of almonds—from almond flour! (Purchase it online or at large supermarkets.) 

    Orange-Laced Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Almond Biscuits

  • Spiced Pumpkin Bisque

    Spiced Pumpkin Bisque

    The Inn at Irish Hollow in Galena, Illinois, serves this creamy, curried soup throughout the fall and winter. You can make your own crème fraîche for the garnish, or use purchased crème fraiche or sour cream.

    Spiced Pumpkin Bisque

  • Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones

    Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones

    Melted cheese oozes out of these tender, flaky scones flecked with chives and bacon bits. Cheryl Christiansen of McPherson won best in quick breads with this scone at the Kansas State Fair.

    Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones

  • True Butterscotch Pie

    True Butterscotch Pie

    The trick to the filling in this Iowa State Fair prizewinning recipe? Stirring and stirring while it cooks. The recipe comes from Louise Piper of Garner.

    True Butterscotch Pie

  • Swedish Lemon Pancakes

    Swedish Lemon Pancakes

    A delicate crepelike pancake folds like an envelope around tangy lemon curd in this pretty brunch dish from Abilene's Victorian Inn in Kansas. The whipped sour cream topping is a breeze to make.

    Swedish Lemon Pancakes

  • Brown Butter Tarts with Sour Cherries

    Buttery-sweet individual tarts get topped with dried tart red cherries, figs or dates at Salty Tart bakery in Minneapolis.

    Brown Butter Tarts with Sour Cherries

  • Irresistible Tiramisu

    This elegant coffee dessert is a favorite Italian treat. Layer espresso-soaked ladyfingers between creamy mascarpone-vanilla filling. Air-dry soft ladyfingers before using in tiramisu.

    Irresistible Tiramisu

  • Ham Sliders

    Ham Sliders

    This crowd-pleasing party recipe comes from the Midwest Living® Culinary and Craft School at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. They are sweet, salty and highly addictive! Plus, you can assemble the sandwiches a day early for easy party prep.

    Ham Sliders

  • S'more Outrageous Chocolate Milk Shakes

    A cascade of chocolate syrup drizzled inside the glass adds drama to a chocolate chip cookie dough shake crowned with crushed grahams, mini chocolate chips and marshmallows.

    S'more Outrageous Chocolate Milk Shakes

  • Asparagus Fritters

    Asparagus fritters are a spring customer favorite at Bread and Cup in Lincoln, Nebraska. "I refer to the humble fritter as a blank canvas on which we paint the colors of the season," says chef-owner Kevin Shinn. "With the basic batter recipe, you can simply change the vegetable. We start out with asparagus and move to sweet peas, to green onions, to sweet corn and so on.

    "They are very simple to make at home. In the restaurant, we serve them with a bit of local honey or our lemon garlic aioli."

    Asparagus Fritters

  • Coconut Cake

    Coconut Cake

    This three-layer wonder stays extra moist thanks to butter and buttermilk. The blue-ribbon recipe is from Teresa Reese of Osceola, Nebraska.

    Coconut Cake 

  • Gingerbread Waffles with Hot Lemon Curd Sauce

    Gingerbread Waffles with Hot Lemon Curd Sauce

    The B&B Southmoreland on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, shared their recipe for spicy waffles.

    Gingerbread Waffles with Hot Lemon Curd Sauce

  • Cloverleaf Rolls

    Cloverleaf Rolls

    These rich rolls with easy-to-handle dough won Best Bread of Show twice for state fair entrant Denise Turnbull of Monmouth, Illinois.

    Cloverleaf Rolls

  • Molasses Cookies

    Molasses Cookies

    Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside: This spice cookie has it all. It's a state fair prizewinning recipe from Catherine Blackwood of Columbus, Ohio.

    Molasses Cookies

  • Apple Pumpkin Sunflower Bread

    Apple Pumpkin Sunflower Bread

    We packed a bushel of fall into this homey loaf: pumpkin, apple, nuts and spices. 

    Apple Pumpkin Sunflower Bread  

  • Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake

    Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake

    This dazzler from Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri, tastes as good as it looks. The dark chocolate cookie crust and ruby red berries add dramatic flair to the orange-flavor filling. Because the cake keeps well for two days, this is a great make-ahead dessert.

    Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake

  • Boston Lettuce Stacks with Grilled Peaches, Feta and Pecans

    This easy summer salad pairs the textures and flavors of buttery, slightly sweet and crisp Boston lettuce with grilled warm peaches and crunchy nuts.

    Boston Lettuce Stacks with Grilled Peaches, Feta and Pecans

  • Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries

    Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries

    Mildly nutty meringue cradles fresh berries in this classic dessert named for a ballerina. Use your favorite nut to flavor the meringue. Our Test Kitchen recommends pistachios, almonds or pecans. Any fruit works: blueberries, kiwi, bananas.

    Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries

  • Morel and Asparagus Crispy Pizza

    Morels, Gruyere cheese, asparagus and fresh thyme top a homemade pizza crust.

    Morel and Asparagus Crispy Pizza

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