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

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Ina Garten Thanksgiving cornbread
I tried Ina Garten's easy corn bread, and it was so good I'm going to make it for every Thanksgiving from now on.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider
  • I recently made Ina Garten's new recipe for brown-butter skillet corn bread.

  • It was deliciously moist, with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors.

  • The corn bread was a hit at Friendsgiving, and I loved it so much I'm going to make it every year.

Ina Garten has been my role model in the kitchen for the past year, so I knew I wanted to cook some of her dishes for Friendsgiving.

Ina mac and cheese
Ina Garten's overnight mac and cheese.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

With the help of Garten's cookbooks, I've turned 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 corn bread, I knew I had to add it to the menu.

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

Ina Garten
I knew I had to try Garten's new corn-bread recipe.Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

I found the corn-bread 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 corn bread 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!

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

Ina Garten cornbread ingredients
Garten's corn bread includes fine cornmeal, eggs, and baking powder.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make Garten's corn bread, which serves 10 to 12 people, you'll need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup fine cornmeal (Garten says this makes moister corn bread 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.

Melting butter for Ina Garten cornbread
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 burned, listening to Garten's advice to "watch it very carefully!"

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

Making batter for Ina Garten cornbread
Then I added the whole milk.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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

Then I cracked my two eggs into the bowl.

Mixing wet ingredients for Ina Garten cornbread
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 corn bread in any way.

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

Adding seasoning to batter for Ina Garten cornbread
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.

Making batter for Ina Garten cornbread
The well in my dry ingredients.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

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

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

Adding wet ingredients to batter for Ina Garten cornbread
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).

Making batter for Ina Garten cornbread
I let my corn-bread 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 corn bread possible, so don't try to skip it.

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

Adding batter to cast-iron skillet for Ina Garten cornbread
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.

Ina Garten cornbread
I baked my corn bread for 35 minutes.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's recipe says to bake the corn bread 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 it was ready.

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

My corn bread came out a gorgeous golden-brown.

Ina Garten cornbread
My corn bread came out looking phenomenal.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten's brown-butter skillet corn bread 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 it was just from cutting into it. And everyone at the table agreed it was one of the best they've ever tasted.

Slice of Ina Garten cornbread
The corn bread was unbelievably moist.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I could write an essay on how much I love this corn bread. It was so moist and fluffy, with the sweet and savory elements 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."

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

Slice of Ina Garten cornbread
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 corn bread 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 corn bread come out of the oven, so beautiful and golden, made me feel as if 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.

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