Winter Comfort Foods

Claire Fahey, Staff writer

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As winter gets colder, we all have a little more time to spend inside. A great thing to do inside is to cook, and during the winter nobody wants a salad. Here are some of the best comfort foods to make as the temperature drops.

Mac and Cheese

This is the classic comfort food and now you can learn to make it as well as your mom does with this recipe from Ina Garten.


  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook the macaroni noodles and drain well.
  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the macaroni is golden browned.


Ultra Chocolate Cookies

Everyone knows that chocolate chip cookies are and have been the ideal comfort food since we were old enough to talk. Try out this twist on the classic treat from Southern Living.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped (16 cookies)
  • 3 (1.75-oz.) Mounds bars, chilled and chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels


  • Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer until creamy and gradually add sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.
  • Combine flour and cocoa and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in cookies, candy bars, and chocolate chips. Chill dough 30 minutes.
  • Drop dough in tablespoon sized dollops onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes
  • Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes.



There is nothing like having a doughnut with your morning coffee, but as it gets colder, who wants to make the trek to Dunkin Donuts? Try these classic doughnuts from Can’t Handle The Heat.


  • 2 1/4 cup (255 grams) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Canola oil, for frying


  • Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together and add the egg yolks and mix until light and thick. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter to cut out as many donuts as possible or if you don’t have a doughnut cutter just roll the dough and fold into a doughnut shape.
  • Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a deep-fry thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes until golden brown.  Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.
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