Recipe Spotlight

The Most Popular America's Test Kitchen Recipes in September

Apples, soup, and warm cookies. What other recipes are helping our members break into fall?

Published Oct. 10, 2019.

Fall is officially here, and our members have started to get in the spirit. Instead of grill-focused recipes and summery ingredients like berries and corn, our community of home cooks opted for hearty dishes that will warm them up on a chilly fall night. They also utilized their fresh apples, celebrated Taco Tuesday, tried one of our most popular vegan recipes, and of course, enjoyed chocolate chip cookies. (But of course, you don't need a season change to do that.) Get inspired for October by checking out our top six most popular recipes in September based on pageviews, and then check out the rest of the top 25 in this collection.

25 Most Popular Recipes in September

Curious what other recipes our members made in September? Check out the rest of our Top 25 collection.  
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1. Simple Applesauce

When we decided to develop an applesauce recipe, preserving the taste of fresh apples was paramount. First, we chose the right apple. We chose McIntosh for their colorful skins, their balanced sweet/tart flavor, and their tendency to break down readily. Second, we learned it was best not to peel the apples; cooking the the fruit with the skin on further boosted flavor in our applesauce recipe. [GET THE RECIPE]

2. Crispy Tacos (Tacos Dorados)

Commercial taco kits are convenient, but the seasoning packets taste dusty and flat and the shells are short on flavor and prone to cracking. Frying your own shells results in great taste and texture, but the process is tedious and messy. Instead, we made tacos dorados, a Mexican preparation in which corn tortillas are stuffed with a beef filling before being folded in half and fried. The tacos are then opened like books and loaded with garnishes. We first tossed ground beef with a bit of baking soda to help it stay juicy before adding it to a savory base of sautéed onion, spices, and tomato paste. Next, we stirred in some shredded cheese to make the filling more cohesive. To build the tacos, we brushed corn tortillas with oil, warmed them in the oven to make them pliable, and stuffed them with the filling. Finally, we pan-fried the tacos in two batches until they were supercrispy and golden. [GET THE RECIPE]

3. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe had to produce a cookie that would be moist and chewy on the inside and crisp at the edges, with deep notes of toffee and butterscotch to balance its sweetness. Melting the butter gave us the chewiness we were looking for. Cutting back on the flour and eliminating an egg white also improved texture and brought the brown sugar flavor to the fore. To give our chocolate chip cookie recipe the crisp edges and toffee flavor we wanted, we let the sugar dissolve in the batter for 10 minutes, then baked the cookies at a high temperature so the edges darkened while the centers stayed soft. [GET THE RECIPE]

4. Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Harira)

This recipe carefully streamlines the ingredient list and technique of this classic Moroccan soup to deliver all the bold North African flavors you'd expect from harira in just a fraction of the time. Using canned chickpeas rather than dried saved about 2 hours of cooking time, and paring down the number of spices to a key five made it a dish most people can prepare without a special trip to the market. Using large amounts of just two herbs made for quicker prep and a more efficient use of fresh ingredients. Finishing the dish with fresh lemon juice helped focus all the flavors. [GET THE RECIPE]

5. Easy-Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs

Boiled eggs that start in cold water are hard to peel because the proteins in the egg white set slowly, which gives them time to fuse to the surrounding membrane. When you try to remove the shell, parts of the white cling to the membrane, and the surface of the egg is unattractively pockmarked. Instead of a cold-water start, we place cold eggs directly into hot steam, which rapidly denatures the outermost egg white proteins, causing them to form a solid gel that shrinks and pulls away from the membrane. The shell slips off easily to reveal smooth, unblemished hard-cooked eggs. [GET THE RECIPE]

Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Deemed “better than wings” by our tasters, these crunchy, tangy, spicy, and just plain addictive cauliflower bites will be the new star of your game day table. The key was to come up with a flavorful, crunchy coating that would hold up under the Buffalo sauce. A mixture of cornstarch and cornmeal gave us the ultracrisp exterior we wanted. But because cauliflower is not naturally moist (like chicken), the mixture didn't adhere; we dunked the florets in canned coconut milk first, which had the right viscosity. We got decent results when we baked our bites, but we absolutely flipped over the crackly crust and tender interior we achieved through frying. We served our bites with an herby ranch dressing, a cooling foil to the kick of the bites. [GET THE RECIPE]

Want to see the rest of our top 25? Check out our Most Popular America's Test Kitchen Recipes in September collection. And view these recipe collections to see which recipes were popular in past months:

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