February may be the shortest month of the year, but our members were still cooking up a storm. There was a lot of variety in February in which recipes were the most popular based on overall pageviews, but it was a good mix of baked goods and bone-sticking mains that helped them get through the last full month of winter. Our top six included a simple gluten-free cake that uses a popular kitchen appliance, biscuits that take mere minutes to assemble, the perfect pasta, a classic European cookie, and a hearty chicken dish. Keep reading to find out what these six recipes are, and then check out the rest of our top 25 in this collection.
25 Most Popular Recipes in FebruaryCurious what other recipes our members made in February? Check out the rest of our Top 25 collection.
1. Slow-Cooker Flourless Chocolate Cake
This decadent cake requires just a handful of ingredients (chocolate, butter, eggs, and coffee) and can be made ahead of time, for an elegant and fuss-free finale. Removing the cake from the slow cooker when it was just slightly underdone (when it registered 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer) was key because the cake continued to cook and firm up as it cooled. [GET THE RECIPE]
2. Easiest-Ever Biscuits
We wanted to combine the ease of cream biscuits (which eliminate the step of cutting cold fat into dry ingredients) with the ease of drop biscuits (which skip the rolling and cutting) to create the easiest biscuits ever. But the most obvious solution—increasing the amount of cream in a cream biscuit until the dough had a droppable consistency—produced biscuits that spread too much and were greasy. Instead of increasing the amount of cream, we found a way to increase its fluidity: We heated it to between 95 and 100 degrees, which melted the solid particles of butterfat dispersed throughout. This made a dough that was moister and scoopable but that rose up instead of spreading out in the oven, producing biscuits that were appropriately rich and tender but not greasy. [GET THE RECIPE]
3. Pork, Fennel, and Lemon Ragu with Pappardelle
Our white ragu skips tomatoes in favor of bright lemon and rich cream. We ensured plenty of savoriness by creating fond twice. We first browned finely chopped pancetta, onion, and fennel in a Dutch oven and then added water and a touch of cream to create a braising liquid. A pork shoulder, which we halved crosswise to make cooking faster and shredding easier, simmered in this liquid in the oven, where a second fond formed on the sides of the pot. After scraping this second fond into the sauce, we brightened its flavor with plenty of lemon juice before adding the pasta. [GET THE RECIPE]
4. Lemon Pudding Cakes
Despite the ease of a single batter to produce two texturally distinct layers, lemon pudding cake is a very unpredictable undertaking. With an understanding of the underlying processes that cause this characteristic separation, we were able to produce a more flavorful and better textured version that bakes up correctly time and again. [GET THE RECIPE]
5. Belgian Spice Cookies (Speculoos)
Speculoos are Belgian cookies with a crisp, light, open-crumbed texture and a blend of caramelized sugar and warm spice flavors. To achieve the appropriate texture, we rolled the dough thin so it would bake up dry and crisp, used only enough sugar to lightly sweeten the dough since sugar is hygroscopic and makes cookies moist, and added baking powder along with the usual baking soda to produce an open, airy crumb. For a subtle caramel taste, we chose turbinado sugar rather than molasses-based brown sugar or traditional (but hard-to-find) Belgian brown sugar. To nail the spice flavor, we used a large amount of cinnamon along with small amounts of cardamom and cloves for complexity. [GET THE RECIPE]
6. Braised Chicken with Mustard and Herbs
For well-seasoned, juicy braised chicken pieces, we started by brining about 4 pounds of bone-in, skin-on drumsticks, thighs, and halved chicken breasts. We then browned the drumsticks, thighs, and larger breast pieces to create a flavorful fond, to which we added aromatics and just enough flour to emulsify the fat and make the sauce silky. Then we deglazed the pot with water and wine to create a braising liquid. Staggering the cooking of the dark and white meat ensured that the tough collagen in the dark meat broke down before the white meat dried out. Adding the broad pieces of the breasts first gave them a quick jump start before the thinner tapered pieces went into the pot. Finally, we transferred the pot to the oven and let the chicken pieces simmer gently until tender. We finished the sauce with a handful of fresh herbs and lemon juice or vinegar for brightness. [GET THE RECIPE]
Want to see the rest of our top 25? Check out our Most Popular America’s Test Kitchen Recipes in February collection. And view these recipe collections to see which recipes were popular in past months: