20 Cozy Winter Recipes Inspired By Vermont

Starring maple syrup, Cheddar and so much more, these comforting dishes will keep you warm all season long.

December 13, 2021

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Comfort Food, Vermont Style

This winter take your cooking cues from the location of HGTV Dream Home 2022: Warren, VT. What would you want to eat in a cozy cabin surrounded by the forest and mountains of Vermont? Our vote is for comfort food favorites, from dishes featuring local stars like maple syrup and Cheddar to campfire classics that will have you coveting the Dream Home’s double fire pits.

Start with our test kitchen's favorite buttermilk waffles, then be sure to check out HGTV Dream Home 2022. Enter twice daily, once on FoodNetwork.com and once on HGTV.com, for your chance to win HGTV Dream Home 2022, a grand-prize package valued at over $2.4 million.

Get the Recipe: The Best Buttermilk Waffles

Classic S'Mores

When the temperatures start dropping, there's nothing better than gathering around a fire with the people you love, especially if there are s'mores involved! To perfect this classic, you have to have melty chocolate, gooey toasty marshmallows and crisp graham crackers.

Get the Recipe: Classic S'mores

The Perfect Grilled Cheese

The classic and simple grilled cheese sandwich can be reimagined multiple ways just by changing up the bread and cheese. One of our favorite combos? Cheddar (yes, from Vermont!) and brioche, brushed with butter.

Get the Recipe: The Perfect Grilled Cheese

Maple-Walnut Cheesecake

Seeking a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for dessert? Look no further than this showstopper, which boasts buttery walnuts in the graham cracker crust and both maple syrup and extract in the rich, creamy filling.

Get the Recipe: Maple-Walnut Cheesecake

Shortcut Slow-Cooker Apple Cider

This homemade cider couldn't be easier: Cut a dozen of your favorite apples into wedges — skins, seeds, stems and all — and add to a slow cooker with some spices and water. A bonus: your house will smell delicious too!

Get the Recipe: Homemade Apple Cider

Pie Iron Breakfast

The trick to these tasty individual hash browns is preheating the pie iron. The heat of the cast iron helps to sear all the ingredients and keeps the cheesy, eggy goodness from seeping out.

Get the Recipe: Pie Iron Breakfast

Maple Buttermilk Tart

We love everything about this simple tart: the flavors (maple syrup, buttermilk and cornmeal); the fact that you only have to roll out one crust; the clean, fluted round edges; and the elegance of the final wedge on the plate.

Get the Recipe: Maple Buttermilk Tart

Apple-Cheddar Soup with Bacon

A classic Vermont pairing, apples and Cheddar are good for so much more than pie. Make them the stars of this comforting soup topped with bacon, chives and cheesy croutons.

Get the Recipe: Apple-Cheddar Soup With Bacon

Campfire Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fondue

Whether you're camping in the great outdoors or lucky enough to have a fire pit, this sweet and salty dip is super easy to make. Just add the ingredients to a saucepan and stir over the fire until melted. Put your dippers in coffee cups and pass them around the fire.

Get the Recipe: Campfire Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fondue

All-Cheddar Baked Mac and Cheese

Custardy baked macaroni and cheese is our favorite way to celebrate a special occasion. We came up with an easy, stir-together sauce of cream, evaporated milk and eggs, then loaded it up with sharp Cheddar. Topped with buttery breadcrumbs, the entire dish gets rich, bubbly and brown in the oven.

Get the Recipe: All-Cheddar Baked Mac and Cheese


Beloved for their simplicity and hardiness, hermit cookies have been a staple throughout New England since the early 20th century. This version is chock-full of golden raisins, cranberries, walnuts and crystallized ginger.

Get the Recipe: Hermits

Pumpkin-Hard Cider Cheese Dip

Quality hard cider is plentiful throughout Vermont and makes a divine dip when teamed with Cheddar, cream cheese, pumpkin puree and bacon.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin-Hard Cider Cheese Dip

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Celebrate Vermont's state fruit by making these spectacular doughnuts. Dipped in cider glaze and rolled in cinnamon sugar, they're just the thing for brunch or dessert.

Get the Recipe: Apple Cider Doughnuts

Pie Iron Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

We set out to make a stuffed French toast that is easy to prepare on a cookout using a pie iron but doesn't require space in your cooler for perishables. What we came up with was exactly that — and also vegan, for a delicious double whammy!

Get the Recipe: Pie Iron Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

Maple Candy

Maple syrup takes center stage in these irresistibly chewy candies. All you have to do is boil, beat and cool the syrup, then cut the resulting candy into sweet little squares.

Get the Recipe: Maple Candy

The Best Mulled Wine

We love a well-spiced, fragrant mulled wine and this one hits the spot. The spices steep in the cider to intensify their flavors before everything is combined to create a warming, winter drink.

Get the Recipe: The Best Mulled Wine

Lamb Stew

Did you know Vermonters eat more lamb per capita than most Americans? Take a page out of their book and make this satisfying stew with lamb shoulder. Trust us, you won't miss the beef!

Get the Recipe: Lamb Stew

Cheese Cornbread

Cornmeal made from old heirloom varieties of corn is having a resurgence in Vermont, and this cornbread would be the perfect showcase for it. The recipe also calls for plenty of Cheddar (it's almost like a cornbread version of mac and cheese!), so get ready to double up on iconic Vermont ingredients.

Get the Recipe: Cheese Cornbread

The Best Baked Beans

If you think baked beans only come from a can, you're in for a treat. Bacon, molasses and bourbon add depth and flavor to our classic recipe that's perfectly spiced with paprika, mustard and Worcestershire. A bit of brown sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness and to keep things easy, the beans require no soaking! They get tender and delicious right in the oven.

Get the Recipe: The Best Baked Beans

Maple-Pepper Bacon

Brushed with maple syrup and seasoned with black pepper until perfectly caramelized, this bacon is an extra-special breakfast treat.

Get the Recipe: Maple-Pepper Bacon