I made Ina Garten's easy cornbread, and the dish was so perfect I'm going to make it for every Thanksgiving

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I made Ina Garten's easy cornbread, and the dish was so perfect I'm going to make it for every Thanksgiving
  • I recently made Ina Garten's new recipe for brown-butter skillet cornbread.
  • The cornbread was deliciously moist, with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors.
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Ina Garten has been my role model in the kitchen for the last year, so I knew I wanted to cook some of her dishes for Friendsgiving.

Ina Garten has been my role model in the kitchen for the last year, so I knew I wanted to cook some of her dishes for Friendsgiving.
Ina Garten's overnight mac and cheese.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

With the help of her cookbooks, Garten has turned me from a ramen-burning amateur to someone who can serve pasta dishes that her friends will actually eat (and enjoy, I think).

So when I decided to actually cook something for Friendsgiving this year, there was no question that the "Barefoot Contessa" star was going to be my source of inspiration.

As a huge pasta lover, I knew I had to test Garten's new recipe for overnight mac and cheese. And I'm a firm believer that no Thanksgiving table is complete without carbs, so I also made her parmesan smashed potatoes.

That already seemed like plenty. But when I stumbled on a photo of Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread, I knew I had to add it to the menu.

Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread is a bonus recipe in the reissue of her first cookbook.

Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread is a bonus recipe in the reissue of her first cookbook.
I knew I had to try Garten's new cornbread recipe.Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

I found the cornbread recipe while leafing through the republished version of "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook," which originally came out in 1999, and knew it'd be perfect for Friendsgiving.

In the description of the dish, Garten says she was inspired by The New York Times' Melissa Clark's cornbread with brown butter.

"Since I can't pass up any recipe for cornbread, I decided to test mine with brown butter too," Garten writes. "Best cornbread I've ever made!

That was all I needed to hear — time to get baking!

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Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread only needs a few basic ingredients.

Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread only needs a few basic ingredients.
Garten's cornbread includes fine cornmeal, eggs, and baking powder.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make Garten's cornbread, which serves 10-12 people, you'll need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal (Garten says this makes moister cornbread than medium grind)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ pound unsalted butter
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder

I began by melting my butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.

I began by melting my butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
I melted two sticks of butter in my cast iron skillet.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I continued to heat the butter until it became browned but not burnt, listening to Garten's advice to "watch it very carefully!"

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Once the butter was ready, I poured it into a medium-sized bowl and added my milk.

Once the butter was ready, I poured it into a medium-sized bowl and added my milk.
Then I added the whole milk.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I whisked the milk into the butter, per Garten's recipe.

Then I cracked my two eggs into the bowl.

Then I cracked my two eggs into the bowl.
I then added my eggs.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I have to admit, I forgot to lightly beat the eggs together before throwing them into the mixture — but it didn't seem to affect the cornbread in any way.

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I added my flour, sugar, and cornmeal into a separate bowl.

I added my flour, sugar, and cornmeal into a separate bowl.
I threw all my dry ingredients into a separate bowl.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I also threw in the baking powder and some kosher salt.

I whisked all my dry ingredients together, then made a well in the middle.

I whisked all my dry ingredients together, then made a well in the middle.
The well in my dry ingredients.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Barely five minutes had passed and my batter was almost ready.

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Then I poured the butter and milk mixture into the well.

Then I poured the butter and milk mixture into the well.
I poured the wet ingredients into the well.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Per Garten's instructions, I stirred everything together with a rubber spatula until it was just combined. The "Barefoot Contessa" star notes that it's OK if the batter looks a little lumpy.

My batter was almost ready! But first, it needed to rest a little (so relatable).

My batter was almost ready! But first, it needed to rest a little (so relatable).
I let my cornbread batter rest for 15 minutes.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's recipe calls for the batter to sit for 15 minutes. She said this step is essential to getting the best cornbread possible, so don't try and skip it.

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Once the 15 minutes were up, I poured my batter into the skillet.

Once the 15 minutes were up, I poured my batter into the skillet.
It was almost time to get baking.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Make sure you don't wipe out your cast iron skillet after melting the butter. Just throw the batter right in.

I smoothed the top, sprinkled it with sea salt, and threw the cast iron skillet into the oven.

I smoothed the top, sprinkled it with sea salt, and threw the cast iron skillet into the oven.
I baked my cornbread for 35 minutes.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's recipe says to bake the cornbread for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After 35 minutes, I stuck a knife in the middle and it came out clean, so I knew the cornbread was ready.

One thing to note: If you're using an 11 ½-inch skillet, Garten recommends only baking your cornbread for 25 to 30 minutes.

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My cornbread came out a gorgeous golden-brown color.

My cornbread came out a gorgeous golden-brown color.
My cornbread came out looking phenomenal.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread definitely makes for a gorgeous centerpiece at the Thanksgiving table (we all know no one really cares about the turkey).

But would it taste as good as it looked?

You could feel how moist the cornbread was just from cutting into it. And everyone at the table agreed it was one of the best they've ever tasted.

You could feel how moist the cornbread was just from cutting into it. And everyone at the table agreed it was one of the best they've ever tasted.
The cornbread tasted unbelievably moist.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I could write an essay on how much I love this cornbread. It was so moist and fluffy, with the sweet and savory aspects working together in perfect harmony. We were all stuffed, but everyone at the table couldn't resist getting seconds of the bread.

"The salt really brought out all the flavors," my friend Oliver said. "10/10 would recommend."

"So delicious," my fellow taste-tester Kayla added. "The outside had a nice salty and crunchy texture, while the inside was moist and sweet."

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I love Garten's cornbread so much, I plan to make it for every Thanksgiving from now on.

I love Garten's cornbread so much, I plan to make it for every Thanksgiving from now on.
Garten's recipe has won a permanent spot in my holiday cooking repertoire.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

There's no doubt in my mind that Garten's brown-butter skillet cornbread was the star of Friendsgiving. It was so perfectly baked, and still tasted just as moist when we ate leftovers on the second and third day.

And for a novice cook like me who never bakes, I couldn't believe how easy and foolproof it was to make. Seeing that cornbread come out of the oven, so beautiful and golden, made me feel like I was about to get Star Baker or a Paul Hollywood handshake.

Garten's recipe has won a permanent spot in my holiday cooking repertoire. I refuse to wait a whole year to eat it again, so I'm already planning to make it for Christmas.