Take on a Challenge: Make Pasta al Limone

While stuck at home, Blue Apron’s Head Chef John Adler turned to an old favorite recipe. Keep reading for Chef John’s advice on how to master this occasionally tricky dish: Pasta al Limone.

pasta al limone

The thing that I love the most about this Pasta al Limone recipe is its deceptive simplicity. It’s just 5 familiar ingredients, but it can be tricky to pull them together into an elegant “simple” sauce. 

This dish is a Neopolitan classic, and there are dozens of versions. This is the Franny’s version, and in my unbiased opinion, it’s easily the best. During my time as the Head Chef at Franny’s, I had a list of customers I had to notify when this was coming back on the menu. The Meyer Lemon Spaghetti, in particular, had a dedicated fanbase. 

Franny’s Pasta al Limone

The mise en place is easy: 1 pound of dried pasta, 4 oz butter, 1/2 cup grated parm, zest and juice of 3 lemons, separated (if you can do this with meyer lemons it’s a whole different ball game), good olive oil, salt and pepper. 

pasta al limone ingredients
Pasta al limone ingredients

The secret, as they say, is in the sauce. Better stated, it’s in how you build the sauce. 

You begin as you would for cacio e pepe, by toasting freshly cracked pepper in a dry pan over medium-low heat. The key here is the aroma; you want to unlock the fruity aromas that are bound up deep within all dried spices. 

When the pepper begins to smell floral and complex, you’re there. Add 1/2 cup tap water and turn off the heat.

Cook your pasta in heavily salted water. I favor long noodles here, mainly because this entire dish is an aromatic experience. When you slurp up long noodles, you get more of that. Cooking time will vary based on your noodle selection, but be sure to leave the noodles al dente so that you can finish them in the sauce. 

When the pasta is one minute away from being done, take out 3/4 cup water and pour 1/2 cup of it over the zest. This activates the zest, and also keeps it from clumping up in the pan.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan of pepper water. Turn the heat to medium.

Add your zest, butter, a few more cracks of paper, and a medium *glug* of oil to the pan of noodles. Stir constantly until it is glazed. If it starts to break, add a few drops of the reserved pasta water to bring it back together.

Add the parm and stir to incorporate. 

Turn off the heat and add in the lemon juice. Stir until fully incorporated and the pasta looks light and creamy. 

Divide between bowls (serves 2 in times of emotional eating, 3 if feeling reasonable, or 4 as a mid course) and finish with another drizzle of oil.

Braised Chicken Thighs with White Wine and Capers

Braised chicken thighs with white wine
Braise it in wine, then pair it with wine

If you’re looking for a new idea for a chicken dinner, consider this. These braised chicken thighs are tangy, tender, and full of flavor. Braising in white wine brings in extra complexity to help you create a satisfying dinner with a short ingredient list. You can use any dry white wine that you like, just don’t forget the golden rule: if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

Recipe: White Wine-Braised Chicken Thighs 

Ingredients:

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 shallot, sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced 
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 lemon, sliced and deseeded 
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper generously on both sides. Dust lightly with the flour.

2. In a large, oven safe pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil medium-high heat until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned. Flip and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until browned, but not necessarily fully cooked through. Turn off the heat. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. Carefully drain off any excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. 

3. Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium. Add the sliced shallot and cook, 1 to 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the wine (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), and cook, scraping up any fond, until the wine has reduced by half. 

4. Add the chicken broth, capers, lemon slices, thyme and bay leaf to the pan. Heat to boiling on high. Carefully add the browned chicken back to the pan, skin-side up. Turn off the heat. Place the pan in the oven and cook, uncovered, 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove the pan from the oven.

5. If you’d like a slightly thicker sauce, remove the finished chicken from the pan and reduce the sauce until it’s a desired consistency. Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

lemon poppy seed pound cake
For best results, serve with whipped cream

Sometimes March and April just aren’t as springy as you want them to be. Emotionally you might feel ready to cast winter aside, but outside it’s still jacket weather. The worst part: it will still be a few months before delicious seasonal produce starts to pile up on grocery store shelves. The best way to dispel these winter blues is, or course, to make a cake. This lemon poppy seed pound cake will make it feel like the sun is shining in your home, no matter what is happening outside. 

The bright lemon flavor makes this dessert, even though it’s a pound cake! The finished loaf is not-to-sweet, and a tiny bit tart from the lemon. Even though the technique is simple, this lemon-y loaf really feels like something special. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Baked Time: 55 to 65 minutes

Makes 1 loaf cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice*
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Fresh strawberries, blueberries or blackberries (optional, for serving)
  • Whipped Cream (optional, for serving)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pan. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment and coat the pan with flour; invert the pan and tap to remove any excess flour. In a bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds
  1. Start the batter. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the 1 cup butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Cream the mixture on medium-low speed for 3 minutes (it will turn pale yellow and become very fluffy). Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to incorporate before adding the next. After the last egg has been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Mix for 30 seconds at medium-low speed until just combined. 
  1. Finish the batter. Stop the mixer. Add the flour mixture and sour cream. Mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. 
  1. Bake the cake. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown. (A cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.) Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Let the cake cool in its pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the wire rack. Remove and discard the parchment. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. If desired, serve with fresh berries and whipped cream. Enjoy!

*Test Kitchen Tip: Each lemon gives about 2 tablespoons of juice, so you’ll need 2 lemons to get 3 tablespoons for this recipe.

Looking for even more lemon flavor? Try this lemon ice box cake.

Chocolate Pot De Crème Recipe with Red Wine

chocolate pot de creme red wine

Chocolate pot de crème is a classic Valentine’s day dessert, but why stop there? This recipe turns the indulgence up a notch by adding red wine into the mix. What could go wrong? If you’re planning to pair red wine and chocolate this Valentine’s day, our best suggestion is to do it by mixing them together in the very same bowl. 

This recipe makes four servings. If you’re planning a dinner for two, the leftovers should keep well in the fridge for three days. Of course, no one will judge if they don’t last that long. 

Chocolate Pot De Crème Recipe

Prep time: 15 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Pour the cream and wine into a small pot and place over medium-low heat.  
  3. Cook until the liquid is steaming and small bubbles have formed around the edges. 
  4. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl.  
  6. Pour a little of the hot cream mixture over the yolks while whisking to warm them. 
  7. Continue adding warm liquid to the yolks, a little at a time, whisking after each addition. 
  8. When all the liquid has been added, stir in the vanilla and strain the mixture through a mesh strainer into a large measuring cup. 
  9. Divide equally between four ramekins or small cups.
  10. Place the filled cups in a larger baking dish. Fill the larger dish with hot water, halfway up the sides of the cups.  
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until set around the edges and just barely wobbly towards the centers. Let cool slightly and top with the whipped cream, if using. Enjoy!

Looking for even more chocolate? Try these molten chocolate cakes.

11 Sunday Casseroles for a Game Day Feast

Casseroles are easy, warming, and make-ahead-able; all qualities essential to big game eating. Whether you plan to spend the weekend watching football, or you’re just in the mood for a cozy meal, these 11 delicious Sunday casseroles will satisfy your cravings.

1. Dig into Baked Orzo with Chorizo & Mozzarella

Baked Orzo Casserole with Chorizo & Mozzarella

Dried chorizo and garlic bring a little kick to this baked pasta casserole recipe.

2. Scoop up Savory Sweet Potato Gratin

recipes for sunday casseroles with sweet potatoes

For pure comfort, turn to carbs. This vegetarian dish combines sweet potatoes with a rich béchamel sauce to deliver a complex and layered flavor profile.

3. Chow down on Mexican Rice & Bean Casserole

Mexican Rice and Bean Sunday Casseroles

This baked dish was inspired by classic Mexican flavors. The hearty rice and bean base it topped off with baked tortilla strips for an irresistible crunch.

4. Gorge yourself with Cheesy Broccoli Rotini Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli Rotini Casserole
If you’re Sunday casseroles feature broccoli, you’re basically a saint

Want to get your family to eat broccoli? Look no further. This crowd-pleasing recipe nestles healthy broccoli in between pasta and cheese for a virtuous take on mac and cheese.

5. Spice up Sunday with Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Chicken Mole Enchiladas Sunday Casserole

Are enchiladas a casserole? We’re not here to split hairs. All we know is that this recipes is hot, satisfying, and baked in a pan. It will satisfy your casserole craving either way.

6. Stuff your friends on Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells Sunday Casseroles

Channel your inner New Jerseyan with this saucy recipe for stuffed jumbo pasta shells.

7. Then, stuff your Beef-Stuffed Peppers

Beef Stuffed Peppers

We snuck another vegetable in here! No eating around the pepper, it’s against the game day rules.

8. If football’s all Greek to you, make Moussaka

Moussaka Casserole

A squeeze of lemon keeps this decadent casserole from feeling heavy.

9. Tuck into some Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pies

Scientifically speaking, shepherds pie is a perfect food. This version is filled with a mixture of beef and lamb for a to create a hearty satisfying dish.

Here’s some good news: you don’t have to make just one! Grab your oven mitts and assemble your ingredients. It’s game time!

This Year, Make New Year’s Brunch at Home

new year's brunch spread

The best way to welcome a new year is with a good meal. That’s what makes New Year’s brunch so essential. This year, make a delicious meal at home with this Pull Apart French Toast recipe. If you’re feeling ambitious, we’ve also included a recipe for winter citrus salad and spiced maple yogurt to round out the meal with flavors of the season. Whether you’re feeding a full house or just feeding yourself, this meal is sure to start the year off right.

Pull-Apart French Toast With Maple Yogurt and Minted Citrus Salad

INGREDIENTS
1 long French loaf (or Braided Challah!)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsps cinnamon
4 Tbsps butter, melted
2 Tbsps coarse sugar like Demerara or Turbinado

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Pull-Apart French Toast:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a sheet pan with 2 long pieces of aluminum foil in an X pattern. Using a bread knife, slice through the loaf at ½ inch intervals, without cutting all the way through. Place onto the foil-lined pan.

In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs until well-combined. Carefully and evenly pour the mixture into the bread loaf (some may spill out). Wrap the foil up and around the loaf and bake for 25 minutes, or until the bread is nicely spongy. Remove from the oven, uncover the top, and brush the melted butter all over the loaf. Sprinkle the coarse sugar evenly over the top and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the center is no longer soggy and the top is nicely browned.

french toast for new year's brunch
A New Year’s Brunch to remember

Maple Yogurt:

Stir together a tub of greek yogurt (35oz) along with ½ cup maple syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Citrus Salad:

Peel and segment a dozen different citrus fruits (grapefruit, navel orange, blood orange, clementine). If this is a task for the kids, just have them separate the sections as they would a clementine. Those with more knife skills can supreme the citrus – here’s how. Toss these pieces together with ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds and the leaves from a bunch of mint.

Happy New Year, chefs!

Chewy Ginger Spice Cookie Recipe

Ginger spice cookies

Prep time: 90 minutes, including chilling and baking

Yield: 24 Cookies 

Recipe developed by Lauren Katz

ginger spice cookie recipe

Chewy, warm, and spicy: this ginger spice cookie recipe has everything you could possibly want in a holiday treat. Make a batch today and they’ll be the star of your cookie plate this year. This scene-stealing recipe won the Holiday Cookie Bakeoff over on our Instagram

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar, for rolling 

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Add the crystallized ginger and mix to thoroughly combine.

2. In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), combine the brown sugar, shortening, and butter. Beat on medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses. Beat 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Using a spatula, gently mix the ingredients until just combined and no white streaks remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. 

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or foil. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl. 

4. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the chilled dough into your hands; roll into a ball. Place the ball in the bowl of sugar and turn to completely coat. Transfer to the sheet pan and slightly flatten with your fingers, so the cookie is about 3/4 inch in height. Repeat with the remaining dough and sugar, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. 

5. Bake the cookies, switching the sheet pans halfway through, 10 to 12 minutes, or until cracked on top but still soft to the touch. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Craving even more cookies? Try our recipe for pumpkin spice snickerdoodles.

Easy, Impressive Homemade Gravlax

Annabel Epstein loves the ease and drama of this simple gravlax. Here’s why she thinks this simple homemade cured salmon is the perfect dish to make this Hanukkah. 

homemade gravlax
Chef Annabelle Epstein’s homemade gravlax

Curing fish yourself may seem intimidating, but it is actually one of the easiest ways to prepare salmon. With just a little bit of work, this dish will impress your family and provide delicious breakfasts and fish platters for days.

Dill is my favorite herb. My family is of Russian-Jewish heritage, and this herb will always remind me of the dill-laden borscht, potatoes, and smoked fish platters my family serves over the holidays. I used it here to add an herbal note to the salmon.

Homemade Gravlax Recipe

Serves 12, Active cook time: 30 minutes

Total cook time: 3 days

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch of dill, reserving a few sprigs for serving
  • 5 citrus fruit (a mix of lemons, grapefruit, oranges, and blood oranges is lovely here) 
  • 1¼ cups kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand, otherwise the amount will be off and the fish will be very salty)
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cracked black peppercorns
  • 3-lb. boneless side of salmon (try to get a thick, even cut so the whole fillet cures at the same time)
  • For serving: pumpernickel or rye bread, cream cheese, sliced red onion, capers, and/or lemon wedges (for serving; optional)

Instructions 

  1. Make the curing mixture: Place the dill in a food processor (or finely chop by hand and transfer to a large bowl). Using the small side of a box grater or a zester, finely grate the zest of the citrus into the food processor or large bowl of chopped dill. Add the salt, sugar, and peppercorns. Process or stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a large rimmed baking sheet and pour ⅓ of the curing mixture down the center of the plastic wrap. Lay the fish, skin side down, on top of the mixture. Spread remaining mixture onto the flesh side of the fish in an even layer. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, making sure it is completely wrapped and sealed on every side. Place another large baking sheet on top of the wrapped fish, then place a heavy pot or pan on top to weigh the fish down. Refrigerate for 3 days.
  3. Unpack fish and wipe off the salt mixture with a damp paper towel (do not rinse). While the fish is still cold, use a sharp knife to thinly slice crosswise at a 45 degree angle to get thin, wide pieces of fish. Arrange sliced fish on a platter; garnish with the reserved dill sprigs. Serve with pumpernickel or rye bread, cream cheese or European cultured butter, sliced red onion, capers, and/or lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas from 5 Professional Chefs

thanksgiving leftover ideas
Thanksgiving leftovers, waiting to be reborn

What’s more important: Thanksgiving dinner, or Thanksgiving leftovers? Our test kitchen chefs see a fridge full of last night’s leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing as a world of opportunity. Try these ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers from our professional chefs. 

Thanksgiving Leftovers Nacho Platter

thanksgiving leftover nachos
Truly loaded turkey nachos

Nachos are the perfect vehicle to take advantage of any leftovers that are laying around the next day—and really, who doesn’t love a nacho? Mashed potatoes, shredded turkey, stuffing, roasted vegetables, gravy (!!), it’s all fair game! Just layer your favorite leftovers with corn chips and shower it all with shredded white cheddar. Pro tip: add a diced jalapeño (or your favorite chile pepper) to your cranberry sauce to make for the perfect spicy “salsa” to dip your nachos in! —Alex Saggiomo

Thanksgiving Leftovers Mashed Potatoes & Greens Breakfast Cakes

I always have creamed kale on my thanksgiving table. For breakfast the next day I combine half of the leftover mashed potatoes and half of the greens in a big bowl. I mix those up, form them into cakes, and then fry up in a skillet to reheat. Each person gets a potato/green cake with a fried egg on top…with or without cranberry sauce! —Tim Kemp

Leftover Turkey Idea: Turkey Club With Stuffing 

It doesn’t get more classic than a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. My version is a twist on a club sandwich filled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a fried egg. I make it for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving every year with a few good slices of sourdough. I truly look forward to it more than Thanksgiving itself. —Jessica Goodman

Leftover Smoked Salmon Roll

My uncle has a smoker, and no Thanksgiving is complete without his famous smoked side of salmon. The next day I flake up some of the leftovers and mix in mayo, fresh herbs, lemon, and capers. I’ll take a leftover roll, toast it up, and serve the salmon salad on top, open faced. It’s delicious —Lauren Katz

Leftover Pie Milkshake or Apple Crumble with Greek Yogurt 

A slice of pie blended with ice cream and milk makes for a killer milkshake. I also love any leftover apple crumble with some greek yogurt for breakfast the next morning. —Claire King

Classic Deviled Egg Recipe & 3 Fun Variations

A lot of things will have to change about the holidays this year, but there’s no way we’re giving up appetizers. So what if holiday happy hours are now just you, your roommate, and your dog? Frankly that just makes good food seem more important. Enter this classic deviled egg recipe. 

classic deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are the perfect pre-dinner snack. They’re creamy, savory and packed with protein. Their simplicity makes them feel like a relief during a season of complex baked goods and elaborate mains. You probably even have all the ingredients right now. We started with a base recipe for classic deviled eggs and then tried out a few fanciful variations. 

Basic Deviled Egg Recipe:  

  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Up to 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced 
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or hot paprika
  • Finishing salt
  1. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil on high. Prepare an ice bath. Carefully lower the eggs into the water, one by one. Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes. Immediately place eggs in the ice bath and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before peeling under cool running water. Slice each egg in half lengthwise.
  1. Place all yolks in the bowl of a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, 1/2 tablespoon vinegar, and hot sauce to the food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  1. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season mixture to taste with salt and remaining vinegar (if desired). Transfer to a zipper-lock bag. 
  1. Cut off a corner of the zip-top bag. Now you can use the bag to pipe the filling mixture into the centaur of the egg whites. Sprinkle with black pepper, chives, crushed red pepper or paprika, and sea salt. Serve immediately.

Note: Filling and egg white halves can be stored separately in the refrigerator up to 8 hours before eggs are filled and served.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

Stir Buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese into the base filling. Garnish with a celery leaf and a bit of blue cheese.

buffalo deviled egg

Carbonara-inspired Deviled Eggs

Bring in the flavors of carbonara by adding parmesan and black better to the base filling recipe. Garnish with crispy pancetta and parsley.

carbonara deviled egg variation

Everything Bagel Deviled Eggs

Mix in cream cheese and everything seasoning into the base filling recipe. Garnish with more seasoning and a sliver of smoked salmon.

everything bagel deviled egg variation

Now that you have your snack, pick a drink recipe to round out happy hour.

An Easy (and Spooky!) Halloween Dessert

This recipe by Claire King was the winner of our ~spooky~ Halloween dessert contest on Instagram

Cook time: 30 minutes to prepare, decorating can take as long as you like! 

Serves 10-12

easy halloween dessert

We’re a huge fan of easy dessertsbrownies and blondies alike. Halloween is already complicated this year. To make things a little simpler, Chef Claire King decided to make this easy Halloween dessert and focus on the spooky decorations.

Easy Graveyard Cake Recipe

  • 2 boxes brownie mix
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
  • 1 squeeze bottle green frosting
  • 1 sleeve chocolate wafer cookies (crushed)
  • 2 chocolate graham crackers
  • Candy! (Candy pumpkins, candy bones, gummy worms, Halloween sprinkles, peanut butter ghosts)
  1. Bake the brownies in 2 9×9 pans according to the package directions. Let cool completely. 
  2. Place the first layer on a serving plate and top with chocolate frosting. Top with gummy worms, bones, and crushed wafer cookies. Top with the second layer of brownies and frost the top. 
  3. Decorate with candy to mimic a graveyard. This is the fun part, so get creative! You can cut graham crackers with a bread knife to make tombstones. Use the crushed chocolate wafers for dirt. Use the green frosting to draw vines, leaves and grass. Use a toothpick to prop up peanut butter ghosts. Mound frosting in front of tombstones to mimic a freshly dug grave. Spooky!

How to Make Homemade Pear Butter

homemade pear butter on toast
this + a cup of coffee = the perfect fall breakfast

Need something new to spread on your toast on a crisp fall morning? We did—so we developed this luxurious, ultra-delicious homemade pear butter recipe.

Fruit “butters,” like nut butters, are named for their smooth, spreadable consistency. Make this spiced pear butter ahead for about a week’s worth of breakfasts. It’s delicious on toast, but we also like it on oatmeal: stir chopped dark chocolate and toasted hazelnuts into a bowl of plain oats, then top it off with pear butter and more chocolate.

Homemade Spiced Pear Butter

Makes: 1 1/2 cups
Time: 80-90 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 lbs ripe pears (about 5-6 large pears), peeled, cored, and medium diced
1/4 cup apple (or pear) cider
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Cook the pears:

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter on medium until melted. Add the pears, cider, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pears begin to break down. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 60 to 65 minutes, or until softened and broken down.

pear butter ingredients
Prepared pear cubes

Make the pear puree:

Transfer the cooked pears to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. If you prefer a more rustic texture, you can skip this step and add the spices next.

Cook the pear puree:

Return the pear purée to the same pot. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Place on the stover over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching, 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened.

homemade pear butter
Cook down for a perfect creamy consistency