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31 Days of Cookies: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Want to know something absolutely bananas? Kelsey Nixon’s banana chocolate chip cookies. Add two overripe mashed bananas to a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe for a soft, sweet batch that you can kind of pull off as healthy. They’re our pick for the 11th day of cookies.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Click here for the Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Pecan Jewel Cookies with Spicy Jam Filling

On this 10th day of cookies, Nadia G kicks things up with her pecan jewel thumbprints. These crumbly winning cookies are filled with a cayenne-spiced raspberry jam filling. Nip any fiery flavors in the bud with a glass of sparkling wine.

Pecan Jewel Cookies

Click here for the Pecan Jewel Cookies with Spicy Jam Filling recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Gingerbread Latte Sandwich Cookies

On the ninth day of cookies our guest blogger pays homage to seasonal lattes and flavors with this clever sandwich cookie.

While gingerbread houses are beautiful and festive, the flavors of ginger and molasses shouldn’t be limited to hardened, candy-covered decorations. Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit more than warm, spice-filled baked goods — especially my grandmother’s ginger crinkles. Her softer, more flavorful gingerbread cookies were the highlight of the season. I was inspired by both my grandma’s go-to recipe and all the popular holiday coffee drinks of the moment to create this modern twist on an old classic.

Along with molasses and some of my favorite spices, these Gingerbread Latte Sandwich Cookies contain almond flour and a touch of cocoa for extra depth and a bit of softness. I paired the cookies with a rich, creamy espresso buttercream filling. They’re perfect for pairing with one of those whipped cream-topped beverages.

Click here for the Gingerbread Latte Sandwich Cookies recipe.
See more original cookies from some of our favorite food bloggers.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Tessa Huff is a specialty chef, food stylist and photographer. She has been a cake designer and pastry chef at several different bakeries, including owning The Frosted Cake Shop for four years in Northern California. Huff currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she practices both classic and contemporary pastry techniques, recipe development and food photography. As a freelance writer and photographer she regularly contributes to The Kitchn, Brit + Co, Better Homes and Gardens, and The Cake Blog and writes the blog Style Sweet CA. She is currently working on her first cookbook with Abrams Books (2016).

31 Days of Cookies: Peppermint Meltaways

Light, sweet, and magically minty, Kelsey Nixon’s Peppermint Meltaways are our eighth day of cookies pick.

Peppermint Meltaways

Click here for the Peppermint Meltaways recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Momofuku Compost Cookies

From potato chips to butterscotch chips, Momofuku Compost Cookies combine all of our favorite salty and sweet snacks into one holiday treat that’s perfect for the seventh day of cookies.

Compost Cookies

Click here for the Momofuku Compost Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Rainbow Cookies


Have you ever seen a more Christmas-ready cookie? The sixth day of cookies brings a red-and-green rainbow to your cookie plate, courtesy of Debi and Gabriele. Their chocolate-covered almond sponge cake cookies (with cherry and apricot preserves) are the perfect Italian New York classic.

Rainbow Cookies

Click here for the Rainbow Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs

It’s Friday, so we’re bringing you a bonus cookie. On this fifth day of cookies, our guest blogger spikes traditional snowballs with caffeine and nutty flavor.

Snowballs, traditionally known as Russian tea cakes, are nutty, buttery cookies that make their appearance once the snow starts falling. I prefer the name “snowballs” because they so perfectly epitomize the weather I experience in the Upper Midwest. These Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs are a twist on the traditional Christmas cookie. It is a simple recipe — mainly hazelnuts, butter and flour — but it packs a lot of flavor (feel free to use roasted almonds or pecans instead). The addition of espresso powder complements the roasted nuts, making them perfect for serving with coffee.

Click here for the Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs recipe.
See more original cookies from some of our favorite food bloggers.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Kristin Rosenau is a baker and science teacher with a serious sweet tooth. She began an affair with butter and sugar fresh out of college, and her love for baking has only matured since. Rosenau (the voice behind the blog Pastry Affair) develops recipes for the home cook, combining classic dishes and homespun flavors with a dash of honesty.

Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free PBJ Bars

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bars

AKA Jam on It

Ever since I learned how to make my own jams and jellies, I have gone a little crazy in the summer. All the seasonal fruit gets cooked into jam. Some jars I give away as gifts, but the others get used on toast, in sauces and on sandwiches. By the time winter makes its annual appearance, I have a whole fridge shelf filled with half-empty jam jars. When that happens, it’s time to make PB&J bars.

These bars have become a hit in my neighborhood. I bring them to potlucks, I serve them as dessert at dinner parties, I take them to cookie exchanges, I make them whenever there’s a snowstorm or really cold weather, and I whip up a quick batch so the mail lady and the UPS guy have a little something sweet and salty waiting for them at my door. Much like people feel sorry for me because I can’t have gluten, these bars make me feel sad for people who have peanut allergies, because they’re just so darn good.

Continue Reading Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free PBJ Bars

25 Ways to Use Lentils

A pantry staple, dried lentils are often overlooked for convenient canned beans. These little legumes are packed with nutrition and are an easy way to add extra protein without meat to every meal.

Lentils were one of the first plants to be domesticated, and these nutritional powerhouses are used in cuisines all around the globe. Red, orange, yellow, brown or green, lentils are a good non-meat source of potassium, iron and protein. Unlike other beans and legumes, lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking; use a 2-to-1 ratio of water to lentils and you’ll be good to go in about 25 minutes (or more if you want to mash them).

Not only do you get a great bang for your buck, but lentils are a “meaty” legume, meaning they have the ability to turn sometimes-wimpy vegetarian dishes into hearty meals.

If you’re looking to decrease the amount of meat in your diet, use mashed lentils to replace part (or all) of the ground meat in dishes like meatballs, meatloaf and stuffed dumplings. But if meat is still on the table for you, pair lentils with fats like duck and pork (think bacon) to add a bit of richness to this mild-flavored legume.

Whether you’re trying a meatless meal or making a hearty stew, lentils are a go-to pantry staple that deserve to come out of the pantry to shine this winter.

  1. Alton Brown’s classic Lentil Soup (pictured above) will be sure to warm you up during the next cold spell. The trick to good lentil soup is to make sure all of the vegetables are finely chopped, about the size of a cooked lentil.
  2. Instead of going out to eat, try making your own Ethiopian spread at home. Serve Red Lentils with chicken stew (doro wat), braised cabbage, braised beef and injera flat bread.
  3. Bal’s Lentil Cookies, made with lentils, whole-wheat flour and rolled oats, are healthier than the average cookie, but brown sugar and chocolate chips still hit the sweet spot.
  4. Rachael Ray turns lentil soup into a full meal with her Sausage, Kale and Lentil Soup.
  5. Salads aren’t just for summer; warm French Lentils with Walnuts and Goat Cheese is a protein-packed vegetarian lunch option.

    Continue Reading 25 Ways to Use Lentils

31 Days of Cookies: S’mores Cookies


On the fifth day of cookies, relive your summer nights by the campfire with Chuck Hughes’ genius gooey, chocolatey marshmallow-topped S’mores Cookies.

Smores cookies

Click here for the S’mores Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

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