The culinary mega-giant, Bon Appétit, is a monthly American food and entertainment magazine that, in recent years, has gained enormous attention for its online presence. Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel has made stars out of its chefs, gracing us lowly peasants with the likes of our favorite happy-go-lucky New Jerseyan and star of It's Alive, Brad Leone, and the smelling-aficionado Chris Morocco, star of Reverse Engineering.

It’s super obvious that Claire Saffitz is the undisputed queen of culinary YouTube. Saffitz is a fan-favorite pastry chef from the beloved BA Test Kitchen featured on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel.

Claire’s fame shot to colossal heights with the success of her YouTube series, Gourmet Makes, featured on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel. First airing in July 2017, Claire and her iconic grey streak elevate popular snack foods, ranging from Doritos to Twinkies to Peanut M&M’s, on the show. 

Gourmet Makes has an episode that perfectly captures joy, sorrow, and all of the emotions in between through DIY cake molds and candy thermometers. Trust me, Claire has experienced it all. So sit back, grab a snack, and hit play on an episode for whenever you need a pick-me-up or something to just pass the time.

Taylor Kozloski

For when you’re feeling overwhelmed: Pastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Pop Rocks

Have you ever felt like you were facing impossible odds? Did that coveted summer internship fall just out of reach? Or does that ten-page paper have you feeling like you’ve been typing forever? Don’t worry—Claire’s got you covered in this iconically difficult Gourmet Makes pop rocks challenge.

In this episode, Claire truly endures an emotional rollercoaster as she grapples with how to make her candy produce the signature “pop” sound without making the BA Test Kitchen explode. Who knew candy-making could be so exciting?! After some necessary support from her trusty friend and fellow BA Test Kitchen chef, Brad Leone, Claire not only nails her own unique take on everyone's childhood-favorite candy but also reaches an important conclusion that all of us should remind ourselves of sometimes: perfection is overrated anyway. 

For when you’re feeling on top of the world: Pastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Hot Pocket

Okay, we get it, Claire. You’re the master in the kitchen, and we must bow down to your ingenious culinary technique. Sheesh, you didn’t have to flex so hard on us normal people.

It’s an understatement to say that Claire dominates this challenge. Especially after so many episodes where Claire struggles to do something crazy like making actual pop rocks, it’s really satisfying to watch her thrive. There’s something truly magical about seeing Claire work within her comfort zone, chopping and mixing with seasoned confidence. I mean, Claire is a professional, Harvard-educated pastry chef for crying out loud. I bet she mixes pastry dough in her sleep. The moment that Claire bites down on her final creation, you can just tell how proud she is of herself, and it’s contagious. Like maybe with some effort (and a little salt and pepper), you too can achieve anything you set your mind to.

For when you’re feeling nostalgicPastry Chef Attempts To Make a Gourmet Twinkie

Ah! The very first Gourmet Makes episode. It’s truly fitting to think that it all started with a classic dessert: the all-American Twinkie. Now if this doesn’t take you back to a time of elementary school cafeterias, then I don’t know what will.

It’s really fascinating to gauge how much the series has changed over the past few years, especially as the show skyrocketed in popularity in 2018. Coming in at a mere 11 minutes and 30 seconds, this episode is the shortest by far and doesn’t feature the distinct Gourmet Makes editing style yet (you know, like the “Make Me a Twinkie” title card...who is she?). It’s also oddly satisfying to see Claire pre-fame and be reaffirmed that she’s exactly the same. It almost feels like watching an old friend #WeLoveYouClaire. 

Gail Rabasca

For when you’re feeling angryPastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet M&M's

It’s impossible to watch this episode of Gourmet Makes and not feel frustrated for Claire. I don’t even want to count how many times she tugged on the salad-mixer pull-string when coating her chocolate-covered peanuts with the candy-coating.

The lengths that Claire goes through for her candy recreations are truly astonishing, and her annoyance with the candy-coating is palpable. The spray can, salad mixer, towel drying process just to coat some lousy pieces of chocolate in a candy-coating seems mind-boggling tedious. Kudos again to Claire for reminding us that the candy-making process is loads more difficult than we could’ve ever imagined. Plus, it does kinda feel nice to know that no matter how tough my day has been, at least I’m not trying to recreate peanut M&M’s from scratch. 

For when you’re feeling supportedPastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Starbursts

Look, we all need friends, even culinary superstars like Claire. Thankfully for Claire, she has an entire BA Test Kitchen full of friends. Faced with the goliath task of not only making her own taffy but also different flavors that are up to par with the signature Starbursts, Claire enlists the help of her fellow BA Test Kitchen chefs. Together, they made a taffy-pulling assembly line (now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write).

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a rare occurrence that the BA Test Kitchen collaborate on camera, but the joy (and subsequent chaos) that ensues is undeniable. From Chris Morocco’s dedication to following Claire’s suggestions to a dutiful degree to Claire’s shouting of instructions, this episode isn’t one to miss if you’re in need of some good ol’ friendship. It’s a great reminder that sometimes life is just more fun with friends. 

For when you’re feeling overjoyedPastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Pop-Tarts

Is there anything in the world that brings people as much happiness as a Pop-Tart? For that reason alone, this episode of Gourmet Makes earns bonus points from me.

Claire’s “Pop-Tarts” don’t disappoint. However, she manages to take the artificial sugary goodness of the classic breakfast food and turns it into everything you wish a Pop-Tart actually tasted like. She adds a flaky, buttery crust and home-made sprinkles, transforming Pop-Tarts from a guilty pleasure into something that can feasibly pass for a well-balanced meal (pastries have fruit, so they’re healthy, right?). Any morning that I can get away with eating frosting and strawberry jam for breakfast is a good one #adulting. 

For when you’re feeling like learning a new skillPastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Almond Joys

All season long, Claire had been struggling to temper chocolate, and this episode is no exception. Even though she may have culinary skills that the average person can only aspire to possess, Claire doesn’t hide the fact that there are several pastry-related techniques that even she finds difficult. Yet, she keeps trying, and even though she doesn’t nail the tempered-chocolate part of the recipe, her Gourmet Makes Almond Joy recreation still looks pretty damn good.

As cheesy as it may sound (food pun intentional), Claire does a great job of reminding us that there’s so much to gain in the process of learning something new. There’s so much joy to be found in the journey when you stop worrying about aiming for perfection. 

Clearly, Claire is a national treasure, and we must protect her at all costs. I mean, who else is gonna indulge us with crazy, overly-fancy versions of our favorite snack foods? Thanks for all your hard work, Claire!