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Black Magic Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 14, 2015
This classic, decades-old recipe is my favorite cake in the universe. One note, though...due to the chemical composition of this cake, the batter rises A LOT when baking. When making small forms like mini-bundt cakes, fill the forms no more than halfway or the batter will expand and spill all over your stove.
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The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 24, 2014
There's no other way to say it. If your dough isn't right, you're doing it wrong. I didn't change anything at all about this recipe and it came out great. I'm taking a half batch with me to work (I didn't have time to roll out and cut the whole batch...this makes a loooot of dough!) today to share. The dough is a bit wet when you begin working with it, but it's OK because as you are rolling and adding all that extra flour, the dough doesn't turn into a brick. I even tried doing some letterpressed cookies with it and even they turned out great!! I was surprised how the details in the letterpressed cookies were pretty intact through baking. I didn't have time to decorate these either, and I am looking forward to having the time to actually decorate some of these beautiful and wonderfully tasty cookies! POST NOTE: I brought these to work, and becaise I was worn out from the holidays I had no time to do anyhting fancy with them. Served them totally plain, just cut into cute wintery shapes, and they STILL disappeared on me. No color, no decorations, no icing. So there ya go!
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Old Fashioned Onion Rings

Reviewed: Dec. 16, 2014
Oh what light through yonder window breaks? It is my happy self after eating these perfect onion rings!! And i've never tried to make onion rings before. Are they messy to make? Yup...and you should expect that with ANY fried food. Are they worth five stars after 950+ reviews? Yup! I did the breading in three bowls for this...the dry, the wet, and Panko crumbs so I can sorta do this assembly-line fashion. My wet batter was about as thick as heavy pancake syrup, because I just like a lot of breading on my rings. To season the wet and dry breading parts, i threw in some pepper, some paprika, some onion flakes to both, and some freeze-dried garlic pieces to the wet part. I used a 5qt cast iron dutch oven with about an inch of peanut oil to fry these. It worked great although it was annoying regulating the stove temperature, but that's just how glassceramic stoves work as opposed to other kids of stove and not this recipe. Don't fry any more than two or three pieces or the temp doesn't regulate well. And just make these. Really, GO and make them. They are fabulous even without dipping sauce to go with them. Make them, eat them, love them, make them again and again!
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Persimmon Bread I

Reviewed: Dec. 8, 2014
Loved this, and in fact I'm eating some now as i type. I made 8 mini loaves of persimmon bread. I used 2 Fuyu persimmons (which really aren't the "baking" kind but they were what I had and good anyway) and buzzed them in the blender as someone suggested with the wet ingredients. I cut up a 3rd persimmon sort of finely and put that in too for more flavor. I added in BIG dried cherries and craisins for texture, as I don't like nuts and my mother hates raisins. I used 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 white instead of all white sugar. Very moist and delicious, thank you!!!
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Squash Pie

Reviewed: Nov. 19, 2014
I had purchased a very large Hubbard squash when on the way to getting my vehicle maintained at the distant dealership. The thing was about a foot and a half long and easily over 10 lbs. I cut it in half and roasted half at a time in a 14" cast iron skillet, poked holes through the flesh and smeared it with butter and dark brown sugar. After scraping it out I froze it and divvied it up between various other things and this pie. I used 2 cups of packed roasted hubbard squash for this pie. The squash has better flavor when roasted and not boiled I think. I doubled the "Basic flaky pie crust" recipe here on AllRecipes and then put the crust in a 10" cast iron skillet. The amount of filling was perfect for this size with no leftovers. I too was concerned as the filling is so watery...but it baked up beautifully (it needed a lot more time than just 40 minutes...more like an hour and a half) and it tastes delicious. I substituted brown sugar for all the white and sprinked in just a pinch of cloves because I just like cloves. Thank you for this recipe!! i'll definitely make this again.
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Restaurant-Style Buffalo Chicken Wings

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2014
2000+ reviews and 5 stars? Must be a reason. So let me tell you the reason. It's that I never thought I could make fried wings this good. Lordie. I put about 1 inch of oil in a 14 inch cast iron skillet and used a heavy, high quality, metal spatter cover for this recipe...next time I might use the dutch oven. I bought 3 dozen wings already so I can freeze em and eventually make a bunch of these wings again--i didn't know the pack i used had only 6 wings. So anyway, these came out fantastic. Yes the secret seems to be letting them rest and getting the coating a bit gummy before you fry them. After frying, I let them rest on my metal broiler rack/oven sheet combo from my toaster oven. I didn't use the sauce in the recipe, I just slapped on what we had out of the bottle...Frank's, Sweet Baby Ray's, and Tropical Pepper co. habanero/mango/coconut sauce. They were not the least bit oily or greasy. Fried doesn't have to equal bad, but badly fried food, now that is in fact, bad. I'd love to make these regularly.
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Graham Cracker Crust I

Reviewed: Sep. 20, 2014
I made this for the Chocolate Cream pie II recipe here on AR, topped with swiss meringue. I was told the crust was exquisite. I smashed 2 packs of Honey Maid graham crackers for a 9 inch Pyrex pie plate, and I had a bit of crumbs left over after measuring 1 1/2 cups. The only thing I did differently was just a tiny bit of cinnamon. I was worried because the crust really shrunk during baking but I had no time to make another one...didn't matter, the crust was still fabulous, but next time I might use a bit less butter or all the graham cracker crumbs I made.
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English Muffins

Reviewed: Sep. 20, 2014
Made these twice now and they're awesome to stash in the freezer until you want them!! Fantastic for homemade Eggs Benedict. I fried them in a big cast iron skillet and they came out fabulous. The texure was, in fact, as another reviewer stated, more like a bagel, but didn't have that "hockey puck" texure a bagel has. It is VERY different from a store-bought english muffin, but I like knowing that there are only simple ingredients in my food and I'm not eating process plastic...lol. Thanks LindaPinda.
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Chocolate Cream Pie II

Reviewed: Sep. 20, 2014
As other reviewers have noted, I used 4 egg yolks and 4 heaping TB of corn starch + some. I added some extra cocoa for laughs, too :) I forgot to add the butter at the end, but it didn't seem to matter...I used 1 cup of half and half to begin with along with 2 and 2/3 c milk so I guess that's why. I made my own graham cracker crust using the Graham Cracker Crust I here on Allrecipes. I cooked it a long time. If this pie isn't solidifying for you, you didn't cook it long enough. It was a very very thick pudding texture while still hot in the pot, so I know it'd be solid enough when it cooled and stiffened. I used the 4 leftover egg whites to top this with swiss meringue. I let the pie cool as much as my time would allow and topped the pie, then set it in a hot toaster oven for just a few scant minutes. It was a perfect topping for this pie! My secret ingredient for this was half a Tahitian vanilla bean that I left in there to cook along with the rest of it instead of using extract. The reviews I got were so deliriously happy they are not appropriate for a family forum...lol. I've already had 2 people tell me to make this again. Great recipe, so simple if you don't have a lot of time to fuss. Will make again very soon so my mom and I can have a pie all to ourselves. Thank you Cecil and Allrecipes, you are awesome!
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Tiramisu II

Reviewed: Aug. 17, 2014
Omg. Absolutely fabulous. I made my own lady fingers for this using the recipe here on AR dot com. Can't believe my mother and I put away this whole thing in a couple days. ;_; As the other commenters noted, let it sit for two days before eating it. When you do, it's like heaven in a bowl.
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Lemon Souffle Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2014
I made it exactly as the recipe is written, though I used a 10-inch springform pan which was the perfect size, and I put some Grenadine in the blueberry syrup for a kick :) This was FANTASTIC and a big hit. The cake is sooooo light and fluffy you can hardly tell it's a cheesecake. It's got a wonderful bright flavor and the blueberry sauce hits it out of the park! I had no problem unmolding this but I wonder if it will cut better frozen...it was a bit messy to cut. If you're serving this to a crowd it might be better to make this into single serve, little cheesecakes. But in the end WHO CARES how it cuts, it was so good and a perfect combination of fluffy and rich nobody will really care...it tastes too good. Just go make it, you won't be sorry.
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Banana Bread

Reviewed: May 31, 2014
This was some great banana bread. Very heavy, dense and moist, and I like it that way! We had three bananas that were getting very black and really on their way out the door, as opposed to just yellow or spotted...and that helped contribute a lot of moisture and sweetness to the bread. What's also nice about this is that it doesn't make a huge quantity of bread, it was just enough for my mother and myself to eat over maybe two or three days. The only things I did differently was butter up a ten inch cast iron skillet and put it in there, and used brown sugar instead of white...it came out wonderfully!!! Will keep this recipe handy.
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Amazing Apple Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 28, 2014
This cake is absolutely fantastic. I made some tiny changes: I subbed light brown sugar for white sugar. I only put in one tsp of cinnamon. I subbed melted butter for oil. This is a very very apple-y, superdense, moist cake...just how I like 'em!!! Yes the batter looks bizarre when you have everything in there but the apples, but just DO IT and put the apples in...it works. I cut the apples into really tiny pieces and that made it moist. To save some time, I used a corer/sectioner that divides into 12 pieces then sliced the sections very thin and small. I used I think 3 medium Granny Smiths and one red delicious. I baked it in a 10-inch Lodge cast iron skillet. This recipe will be in my permanent collection. It's everything I love in a fruit cake!!
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Makhani Chicken (Indian Butter Chicken)

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2014
Delicious, tender chicken and very versatile. I don't feel like I spent hours in the kitchen making this. The time I spent making this was a little more than ususal because I had to make garam masala (we have no Indian stores nearby so I had to combine my own) and I made ghee. But the recipe is really simple...marinate once, dump yogurt and spices in, marinate overnight. Then make the tomato sauce next day whenever you're ready for it. I didn't put so much garlic in it...too much garlic makes me queasy. I could have put more ginger in it though. I used one small can of tomato paste and put in a LOT more honey and cream to smooth over the tomato taste. But it was great, and you really can adjust it to taste, and I made some rice and naan to go with it. Floral and spicy and fragrant. Very tender chicken!
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Easy Garam Masala

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2014
I live very far away from any sort of store which sells Indian food, and wanted to try making some...so I was left to my own designs to find substitutes for the spices. So I followed this recipe, and the only things I had to buy were the cardamom (expensive!) and the cilatro/coriander. I only used 1/2 tsp of cumin as I really really do NOT like cumin, but I know that it'd be missing something without a bit of it. I used extra cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. I combined all the stuff into a cermaic mortar/pestle and combined it that way. Ended up very floral and fragrant! Very intersting combination. Thank you for this recipe!
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Corn Fritters

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2014
As other reviewers noted, I increased the salt to 1 tsp and increased the sugar to 4 tbsp, and probably put in a lot more corn than 12 ozs..I see the batter as simply a delivery system for that good sweet corn. And I didn't deep fry them, I pan fried them in about 1/8" oil in a ten inch cast iron skillet, flattened them out and flipping them over...makes an easy recipe even easier! They were still wonderful! The only thing is I did warm the corn up before I put them in the batter...I left the corn frozen last time I did this recipe (also pan-fried them) and they were a little underdone in the middle. These are not messy to make, and pan fying them is especially good for cast iron. Just one bowl and a few utensile to wash, and just wipe out the skillet...done!
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Butter Flaky Pie Crust

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2014
Easy and versatile. I use this for everything that needs a crust, and double it for things that need a double crust. I've made lemon meringue pie, apple tarts, and cobblers from this crust. FANTASTIC! I just pull the butter right out of the fridge when i want to make some crust, quickly cut the butter into little pieces and slap the pie crust together fast with a pastry cutter. Great!!
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Pumpkin Custard Pie

Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2013
I made quite a few adjustments to this recipe. First, I didn't make it into a pie, I just made little custards. This recipe (one 15-oz. can of pumpkin puree) perfectly filled 4 little ramekins. I used a bain-marie (set the custards in a roaster and then poured 1 or 2 inches of water in the roaster). I used 3/4 c dark brown sugar instead of white, and it made the flavor HEAVENLY! I only used 1/4 cup milk because I see some folks had trouble with the batter being too thin. It was probably alright for me to use the entire 1/2 cup of milk because I really let the pumpkin get BONE DRY in the saucepan. This took a lot longer than 10 minutes. Maybe some pumpkin purees are more moist than others, and that's where the trouble is. Make sure your puree is really *really* dry. Mine easily clumped into a big ball in the pan before I called it done. I didn't have ginger so I subbed some pumpkin pie spice to go with the cinnamon that I did have. Other than that, the custards were wonderful, and they were even better the day after. I'll definitely save this one. This recipe is a keeper!!!
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Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2013
I did as Kyo suggested, put in all the dry stuff and added in the cold wet stuff. Worked great!! I also used raw milk (which is legally sellable in my state) and this was a great use for it as it is cooked...and the supercreamy milk only added to the richness!! Instead of vanilla extract, I just split and plopped in what I had left of a Madagascar vanilla bean (I already had maybe a quarter of it cut off to make something else and wanted to use it very soon), and let it sit in there during the whole cooking process, taking out the bean pod when the pudding was thick enough. It only made this more wonderful and rich. The flavor really comes through because of using the cornstarch and not using eggs. I also just bought three Tahitian vanilla beans, which do NOT have the same smell and taste as the Madagascar beans...and I bet you'd really be able to tell the subtle difference in the beans using *especially* this recipe! Next time I might quadruple this. The original recipe doesn't make enough. I already doubled it and my mom ate almost half of it in one sitting. Thanks mom. :P
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Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

Reviewed: Jul. 31, 2011
Whoa...yeah, definitely PMS cookies. I did exactly like the recipe said, except I didn't have any coffee or espresso powder on hand. The coffee probably would have added an interesting subtle note, but I sure as heck didn't really miss it because of all that chocolately goodness! I used a combination of chocolate I had sitting around for the 1 lb. (Baker's semi-sweet and some morsels), but I made sure to use Wilbur Dutch Processed cocoa. I made one huge mistake...I told my mom I'd make something she can take to work for a pot luck charity lunch, and it ended up being these. *sigh* Next batch is all mine.
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