My Recipe Box
Test Kitchen

What's Your Guilty-Pleasure Food?

Step away from the cake batter. Well, maybe not.

Step away from the cake batter. Well, maybe not.

  • Step away from the cake batter. Well, maybe not.
  • Whats for dinner? Strawberry shortcake, of course!

By Fine Cooking Editors, editor

October 19th, 2009

Guilty-Pleasure Food. Everybody has one. . .or ten, right?

In this post from the Fine Cooking staff, we’re admitting to all sorts of food secrets. . .and not the how-to, technique kind. We’re telling you what we eat when nobody’s looking (and maybe even when a few people are). Just don’t tell our moms.

Laurie kicks us off:

Only ten? In no particular order: Diet Coke (but everybody knows that). Fritos. The red ones in that candy mix that includes red and black licorice balls. Diner-style grilled cheese (white bread and American “cheese”). Chipwiches (tell me I don’t have to explain these). Popcorn (with a Diet Coke) for dinner. A cheese enchilada with refried beans at a very dark restaurant no where near the Mexican border. And a margarita. Bacon rolls (hard to describe but impossible to pass up: sausage meat rolled up in bacon and baked). Pie for breakfast.
—Laurie Buckle, editor

Really, what the heck are Chipwiches, anyway? My guilty-pleasure food is a ham & cheese croissant from the Ovens of France Bakery in Woodbury, CT. I use our on-location shoots as an excuse to buy a bagful for breakfast (we can’t have our authors cooking on empty stomachs, now can we?). And they’re good for you, right?
—Kelly Gearity, photo editor

At least those all count as actual foods. My guilty pleasure is raw doughs and batter (and not just chocolate-chip cookie kind). The pleasure factor: the texture, the sweetness, and—let’s admit it—the illicitness of it. I used to feel much more clandestine about full-face-in licking the bowl, and though I still won’t do it if someone is watching, it’s become much more acceptable somehow. Heck, there’s even raw cookie-dough flavored ice creams!
Lisa Waddle, managing editor

Hmmm, raw dough. That’s something I’ve never tried. Maybe I should… Well, my guilty pleasure is potato chips for dinner washed down with cold beer. Not the baked, organic, lightly salted potato chips, but classic Frito-Lays (I just think they taste better than all their “healthier” cousins). Oh, and frozen pizza. You might think that’s no big deal, especially if you get a decent one from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, but you have to understand, I was born and raised in Italy. For my people, eating frozen pizza is a bit of a disgrace. So, shhhh, don’t tell my mom.
Laura Giannatempo, associate editor

Crab Rangoon. Guilty not only because they’re fried and fatty, but also because they aren’t the least bit authentic Chinese (or authentic anything, for that matter). Still, there’s just something about the combo of molten cream cheese, crab, and scallions in a crackly fried wonton shell that makes me melt. My slightly-less-guilty pleasure (I can pretend they’re a little bit healthy) are peanut butter-stuffed pretzels from Trader Joe’s.
Sarah Breckenridge, Web producer

I’m with Laurie. Narrowing my guilty-pleasure foods down to only ten is a challenge. Is there such a thing as a guilty-pleasure food event? That’s right. I’m talking about fair food. Every September, my family and I head out to the Durham Fair and eat our way from the bottom of the hill to the top. Glistening, super-salty French fries with the skins still on; fried dough (one with sauce, one with sugar); steamed cheeseburgers; pulled pork sandwiches; cheese and potato pierogies; kettle corn; and to be sure we get our daily five: a frozen chocolate covered banana. And, that’s just lunch.
Robyn Aitken, Web producer

Amen to pie for breakfast! There is nothing better in this world. I am also a sucker for a grilled cheese with aged cheddar, salted butter, tomato, and crisp bacon (American cheese, Laurie? Really?!). French fries with ketchup and mayo. Heck, French fries and a Frosty, when the former is dipped into the latter before every bite. Pancakes, for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Spoonfuls of Peter Pan creamy peanut butter straight from the jar. Cheese, all kinds. A vanilla milkshake and onion rings after a hike. Baked potato dinner (cheddar and broccoli optional). And hot toddies with Woodford Reserve bourbon (best when you’re not at all sick). 
Denise Mickelsen, associate editor

It’s not technically a Chipwich, at least not the kind on Laurie’s list (that's for you, Kelly, and anybody else out there who's been missing out), but I like to put potato chips on my sandwich instead of lettuce for a little crunch. Also on my list, frozen mini Snicker bars—they’re easier to eat mini. And, yes, totally agreed: the real Chipwiches are the best!
Melissa Pellegrino, assistant food editor

I'll say it: brownies from a box. Any box. While, I do believe that most baked goods need to be made from scratch for maximum tastiness, brownies are the exception. Give me brownies made from a mix over homemade any day. It’s the uber-sweet chocolate flavor and chewy texture that make me swoon. I like them served molten hot with a scoop of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. That’s my heaven.
Samantha Seneviratne, associate food editor/stylist

In June, strawberry shortcakes for dinner—main course, not dessert. They have to be made with big, flaky, warm, buttered biscuits and crème chantilly. Pie for breakfast? Yes!  Also, French toast for dinner. I dial down the guilt quotient a little by making it with whole-grain bread and topping it with toasted walnuts or pecans and, of course, real maple syrup.
—Enid Johnson, senior copy/production editor

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate (we wrote the book on this one, literally). How is chocolate not on everyone’s list (multiple times, in fact)? Come on, ladies. I’ve eaten with you. 

Oh, and I also have to fess up about this disgustingly rich pasta casserole that my mom makes; the secret ingredient is sour cream. It’s so rich it could kill you, but somehow I find myself scarfing it down all winter.
Rebecca Freedman, senior editor

There you have it. We've been known to eat breakfast and snack food for dinner, box brownies, and frozen pizza. Your turn, food lovers. Spill it. What's your guilty-pleasure food?

posted in: Blogs, chocolate, cheese, Pizza, brownies, Fine Cooking editors, guilty-pleasure food, fast food
Comments (9)

ebarbour writes: Denise - aren't they the perfect, moreish combination? I only buy them once in a blue moon because they disappear at a frighteningly fast rate. And I'm normally a chocolate girl! Posted: 8:50 pm on October 23rd

Lazurusbunny writes: :O) I am so ridiculously sick! I make tamales and the raw masa is so good LOL

Normal guilty pleasures are, cheesecake from Cheesecake factory, and a Gyro from Jordan's! Yummo, there is prob. 5,000 calories in a gyro combo! Posted: 12:39 pm on October 23rd

DMickelsen writes: Evan, I forgot about Vienna Fingers! I loved those as a kid. Something about the super sweet filling and the rather bland cookies... together, they're magic! Posted: 11:51 am on October 23rd

ebarbour writes: oh man, i've got tons. $1 pizza on St. Mark's Place in New York City, preferably at 4 AM after a few too many Blue Moons. "combos" - those so-bad-but-so-salty-good, cheese-filled pretzel snacks. vienna fingers, dipped in vanilla soy milk. cinnamon puffins, eaten straight out of the box. peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on cinnamon raisin bread. those sugared nuts from New York City street carts. mcflurries, frosties, or blizzards of any kind. Pommes Frites (my guilty pleasure foods have an NYC bias), with roasted garlic mayo for a Saturday 2 PM breakfast after a Friday night out, preferably with my roommates. That's 8, but I've embarrassed myself enough. Posted: 11:05 pm on October 22nd

ChristR writes: Hot dog with Merkt's cheese spread and fresh cut fries - oh heck, may as well put the cheese on fries too. If I ride my bike to hot dog stand, not as guilty. Also, home made popcorn with parmesan cheese - you have to add enough butter to get the cheese to stick. Mac-n-Cheese from the box with the powdered cheese (take out some of the dry noodles to increase cheese to noodle ratio). Melted Velveeta on nachos. I just noticed they all involve cheese or fake cheese! Posted: 11:32 am on October 22nd

isabellepilon writes: I like to secretly eat Nutella and Peanut butter straight from the jar in the middle of the night. Heavenly, for PMS moods as you get 3 out of 4 party food groups in one sinful spoonful (salt, sugar and fat). I find drinking and eating directly from the container makes me feel both irresponsable and strangely happy...especially since I'm bashing my kids for doing the same thing.
(I'm with you Laurie on the Chipwiches).

Izza Posted: 9:47 am on October 22nd

cairodee writes: My guilty pleasure is dark Dove Chocolate. They come in little red foil-wrapped bites. Heaven! I can't get See's Chocolates in KY, so Dove does the job. Yum! I made a recipe called Perfect Chocolate Icing a couple of nights ago, and I think it would do just fine made into truffles, Forget the cake, I just LOVE the icing! I can picture putting good bourbon into it and eating it with a spoon. I could go on, but-- Posted: 11:43 pm on October 21st

MHSfoodstylist writes: There are so many, it's hard to know where to begin... Besides cookie dough and Snyder's Cheddar Cheese Flavored Pretzel Pieces, when I'm feeling really sorry for myself sometimes I will open a can of sweetened condensed milk and eat it with a spoon.... Then I go into a diabetic coma! Posted: 11:32 pm on October 21st

BasementBaker writes: Hey, I don't see Don on this list, or how about Scott. Let's get a guy's perspective! Greasy burgers and a brown paper bag full of fries from Five Guys! Every time I go buy supplies for my bakery I stop there. And my wife always wonders why I go to the Restaurant Depot around lunch time... Posted: 4:07 pm on October 21st

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More