With amusement parks shuttered and restaurants unable to offer sit-down service because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people may be left in quarantine missing their favorite, one-of-a-kind treats.
Luckily, United, Disney Parks, the DoubleTree hotel chain and several restaurants are pulling back the curtain on some of their iconic dishes so people can make them from the comfort of quarantine.
“A warm chocolate chip cookie can’t solve everything, but it can bring a moment of comfort and happiness,” Shawn McAteer, senior vice president and global head of DoubleTree by Hilton, said in a statement sharing the recipe for the hotel’s signature cookies.
Here are official make-your-own recipes of famous dishes that you can enjoy until it’s safe to venture out for the real thing.
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United Airlines’ stroopwafel treats
A perk of flying with United is the airline’s stroopwafels, made by the company Daelmans.
The stroopwafel is a cult favorite for passengers. The airline announced via tweet in late 2018 that the Dutch-made cookie, which features a layer of caramel syrup pressed between two thin waffle cookies, would return as one of its in-flight snack offerings beginning in January 2019.
In the midst of coronavirus flying fears, the airline and the food company have released recipes incorporating the tasty treats for people to enjoy on the ground.
Here’s the recipe for stroopwafel banana bread. For the stroopwafel ice cream sandwiches and coffee-pairing recipes, click here.
- 3 small overripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1½ cups (spelt) flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 packet of Daelmans Stroopwafels or 10 stroops
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the loaf pan with baking paper or grease it well.
- Remove the skins of the bananas and mash them finely. Mix the banana mash with the eggs, oil and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder and mix well with a whisk.
- Chop the stroopwafels into pieces. Spoon about ⅔ through the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and divide the rest of the stroopwafels on top.
- Bake for about 50 minutes in the middle of the oven.
- Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow to cool.
IKEA’s famous meatballs
Though many may know IKEA for its home furniture, the company also sells food and beverages in its in-store cafeterias.
In classic IKEA fashion, the company released its meatball recipe in the form of a construction diagram on Twitter. The directions reveal how to make the meatballs, as well as the “iconic Swedish cream sauce” that accompanies them, for four people.
Disney Parks’ Mickey Mouse-shaped beignets
This recipe, shared by the Disney Parks Blog, recommends pairing these tasty treats typically found in the parks’ New Orleans Square and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter with a viewing of “The Princess and The Frog.”
Come hungry! This recipe makes 10 large Mickey Mouse-shaped beignets or 2 dozen small beignets.
- ½ teaspoon dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water (105°)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup boiling water
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Combine sugar, shortening, salt, heavy cream, egg, flour and boiling water in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. With the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the dough just until combined and smooth. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut individual beignets with a Mickey Mouse-shaped cutter or cut into 2½ to 3-inch squares. Cover with a towel and let dough rise until doubled in size in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1½ hours.
- Using caution, heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels to drain. Dust warm beignets with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Disneyland’s French toast
From Disney’s PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel in Disneyland comes a sweet combo: chocolate, peanut butter and banana French toast. This recipe serves four.
- 8 thick slices day-old challah bread
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup low-fat chocolate milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Chocolate syrup and powdered sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Slice bananas into 1/2-inch slices, and add to bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Combine peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon and salt in a blender. Process until smooth.
- Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Stir gently until bread cubes have absorbed egg mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
- Before serving, drizzle with chocolate syrup and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Disney Parks’ famous Dole Whip
When many people think of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort, the taste of pineapple Dole Whip, a soft-serve ice cream sold outside the classic Enchanted Tiki Room, may also come to mind.
Though the Tiki Room isn’t taking visitors right now, the Disney app My Disney Experience has published how to make a fruity pineapple soft serve to fill the Dole Whip void. The following recipe serves four and takes five minutes to prep. (According to a recipe on Dole’s website, the original soft serve is dairy-free, so you may want to opt for dairy-free ice cream to keep your creation authentic.)
- 1 big scoop of ice cream
- 4 ounces of pineapple juice
- 2 cups of frozen pineapple
- Add pineapple, ice cream and juice to a blender.
- Start blending at low speed and increase to high speed. Blend until smooth. Make sure that lid is on tight!
- Use a piping bag with a star tip to create a classic swirl, or just scoop right into bowls.
Disney Parks’ churro bites
Another Disney dessert option is the churro bites served throughout the parks. Here’s how to make them at home, according to the Disney Parks Blog. The recipe serves four.
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups vegetable or canola oil
- ½ cup sugar
- Combine water, butter, salt and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in 1½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring pot to rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Add flour and stir vigorously until mix forms a ball. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-7 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined. Set aside.
- Heat oil in medium skillet or 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat or until temperature reaches 350 degrees.
- Spoon dough into piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1-inch strip of dough over saucepan, cut with knife, and drop into hot oil. Repeat until churro bites fill saucepan with room to fry.
- Fry churro bites until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or mesh spider strainer.
- Drain churro bites on paper towel.
- Mix sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl. Toss in churro bites until coated. Place on serving plate and serve with favorite dipping sauce.
Toy Story Land’s grilled cheese
For National Grilled Cheese Day, the Disney Parks Blog shared how to make the grilled three-cheese sandwich offered at Woody’s Lunch Box in Disney World.
Here’s how a serving for four is done.
Cream cheese spread ingredients:
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup shredded Double Gloucester or cheddar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Garlic spread ingredients:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
Grilled three-cheese sandwich ingredients:
- 8 slices of artisan bread
- 8 cheddar cheese slices
- 8 provolone slices
Directions for cream cheese spread:
- Combine cream cheese, Double Gloucester or cheddar, heavy cream and salt in food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Directions for garlic spread:
- Combine mayonnaise, garlic and salt in small bowl and stir until blended. Set aside.
Directions for grilled three-cheese sandwich:
- Lay out artisan bread slices on parchment paper or large cutting board.
- Place two slices of cheddar on four bread slices. Place two slices of provolone on remaining bread slices.
- Equally spoon cream cheese spread on slices with provolone. Gently smooth cream cheese spread over each slice.
- Press cheddar side and provolone side together.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, until hot.
- Brush both sides of the sandwiches with garlic spread.
- Grill sandwiches for 2 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.
The Disney Parks Blog isn’t the only place people can find famous recipes. McDonald’s UK, which has closed all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, shared on Twitter how to make a sausage and egg McMuffin.
Want to make the meal creamier while staying true to the original? Use butter instead of liquid margarine. In 2015, the fast-food chain made a key ingredient switch, announcing that it would use butter instead of margarine across all its breakfast items. Before then, it had used margarine to toast biscuits and English muffins and to cook eggs.
DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies
DoubleTree, the hotel chain known for serving its guests warm cookies at check-in, understands customers might be craving them by this point. That’s why the company has published its recipe for the first time.
Here’s how to make 26 cookies.
- ½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2¼ cups flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2⅔ cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1¾ cups chopped walnuts
- Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space about 2 inches apart.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.
- Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.
- Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.
DoubleTree delights road warriors:Hotel shares chocolate chip cookie recipe for first time
Pret A Manger classics
Pret A Manger, the international sandwich shop based out of the U.K., has shared multiple recipes on social media during the pandemic, including directions for its dark chocolate chunk cookies and dark chocolate vegan cookies.
Panera Bread dishes
Here’s its recipe for gemelli primavera with shrimp, for four.
- 12 ounces dried gemelli
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces thin asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths on a diagonal
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Zest and juice of ½ lemon
- ⅛ cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 4 ounces grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- ⅓ cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ loaf Panera Bread Three Cheese Bread, sliced and toasted
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender yet chewy, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus, peas, scallions and garlic, and cook 1 minute.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to pan along with lemon zest and juice. Cook until bright pink, 2 minutes.
- Drain pasta, reserving ¾ cup pasta water. Add pasta and pasta water to pan along with Parmesan, stirring until creamy. Stir in tomatoes, olives and 2 tablespoons of basil.
- Divide among plates and garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and Parmesan. Serve with toasted Panera Bread Three Cheese Bread.
- Tip: Gemelli is a twisted short pasta, but you can use any short, shaped pasta for this dish. Try cavatappi, cut fusilli or penne instead.
Cheesecake Factory specialties
Cheesecake Factory has published recipes online for many of its dishes, including its almond-crusted salmon salad, California guacamole salad and chicken bellagio. Click here to find out how to make these tasty creations and others.
Here’s how to make the restaurant’s Cajun jambalaya pasta for two.
- 2 ounces olive oil
- 1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Tbls. Cajun spice blend
- 4 oz. red, yellow, green peppers, cut into thin strips
- 4 oz. red onions, cut into thin strips
- 6 oz. shrimp (shells, tails and veins removed)
- 1 Tbl. blanched garlic, minced
- 2 tsps. Cajun spice blend
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 4 oz. roma tomatoes, diced in 1-inch pieces
- 1½ cups spicy chicken-seafood broth
- 1 Tbl. chopped parsley
- 1 lb. linguini pasta (fresh)
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Place the chicken into a clean mixing bowl. Sprinkle the Cajun spice over the chicken and into the bowl. Gently toss the chicken until each piece is evenly coated with the spice.
- Add the chicken into the sauté pan and cook until it is about half done. Add the peppers, onions and shrimp into the pan. Cook until the shrimp are about half done. Add the garlic into the pan. Season all of the ingredients with kosher salt, ground black pepper and a little more Cajun spice.
- Add the diced tomatoes and chicken-seafood broth into the sauté pan. Gently stir the ingredients together. Continue to cook until the chicken and shrimp are done and the vegetables are tender.
- Drop the pasta into boiling salted water, and cook until al dente.
- Place the pasta into serving bowls. Spoon the jambalaya over the pasta. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.
Taco Bell’s approved copycat recipes
Not every restaurant chain is sharing their secret recipes, but there are plenty of close copycats out there. For example, the website Top Secret Recipes has instructions for making at-home versions of the popular Popeye’s chicken sandwich and IHOP’s red velvet pancakes.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, David Oliver