Cooks turn to website for recipe help

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I never would have guessed that a recipe for pancakes would top Allrecipes’ most popular list. But it did, with more than 54 million views on the website that turned 20 years old last week.

A meatloaf recipe took second place with more than 41 million hits, followed by lasagna, chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. It sounds like many cooks want recipes for the comfort foods.

I have relied on Allrecipes many times for my cooking at home and for food column ideas. Some of my favorite recipes come from the website, including a chocolate Bundt cake, slow-cooker barbecue ribs, steak marinade and Mexican rice.

After seeing the top 20 list last week, I decided to try a few favorite recipes. On Friday, I printed out the recipes for good old-fashioned pancakes, best chocolate chip cookies, homemade mac and cheese and best brownies.

We had company for dinner Saturday night, so I decided to make the brownies. The recipe has more than 7,800 reviews — always a good indicator.

I try to read reviews before I make a recipe. Sometimes the reviews help; other times they confuse me with conflicting information. This time the reviews helped because when I had trouble with the frosting, I just added a splash of milk, which was suggested by a reviewer.

I followed the recipe for the brownies except for adding a little less sugar than was called for. The brownies mixed up quickly and smelled delicious as they baked.

When it came time to make the frosting, I realized the butter needed to be softened, not melted. I decided to melt the butter anyway because I didn’t have time to soften it. The frosting ingredients didn’t mix well at all and ended up in an ugly clump. So I added maybe a tablespoon of milk, and the frosting (which was more like a glaze) immediately came together and worked perfectly when I poured it over the warm brownies.

I really, really wanted to eat a brownie before our guests arrived, but instead I licked the frosting bowl clean and satisfied my chocolate craving for a few hours.

The brownies were very, very good, both that night and the next day at lunchtime. I’m already thinking of an excuse to make them again.

On Sunday morning before church, I cooked some sausage and made the good old-fashioned pancakes recipe for me, my husband and granddaughter.

There’s nothing complicated about this recipe; it needs no fancy ingredients or new piece of kitchen equipment. It’s just a good, simple recipe. I made it as listed, except I added a little vanilla extract for extra flavor.

The pancakes were delicious the next day as well. I wrapped a warmed pancake around a sausage link and had a quick and easy breakfast.

The next time you make pancakes, leave the mix in the pantry and give this from-scratch recipe a try.

If you’ve never explored Allrecipes, visit allrecipes.com. It’s really fun to see, for instance, how many recipes have been submitted for such things as sugar cookies (more than 5,800) and fried chicken (more than 9,400). And it’s nice to have reviews to guide you before you purchase ingredients and start preparing the dish.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

112 cups all-purpose flour

312 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

114 cups milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 14 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


Best Brownies

12 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

13 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

12 cup all-purpose flour

14 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon baking powder


3 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a large saucepan, melt 12 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 13 cup cocoa, 12 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

To Make Frosting

Combine 3 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Stir until smooth. Frost brownies while they are still warm.