Do I need a flour sifter?

There are lots of recipes out there that call for sifted flour – particularly cake flour – and even more that ask you to sift together dry ingredients before incorporating them into the batter of whatever it is you’re making. Do you need to have a flour sifter to ensure that the recipes work properly? And for that matter, does flour really need to be ... Read More »

Valentine’s Day Sweets for sweeties

We’re getting down to the wire on Valentine’s Day, but there is still plenty of time to do a little bit of baking for your valentines – whether you have one or many. Chocolate is the first option on every list. Don’t fight it. I like to opt for smaller or individual chocolate treats because they seem cuter when compared to a huge cake. Dark ... Read More »

Simple Dark Chocolate Souffles

I think that a dark chocolate souffle is the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert. Chocolate is practically required eating on Valentine’s and souffles, because they aren’t as commonly made as other types of desserts, always seem to be extra-special – perfect for sharing with that special someone. For all the mystique about them, souffles are not that hard to make. This one in particular is dead-easy ... Read More »

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook

There is certainly no shortage of recipes that use chocolate when it comes to baked goods, and there are plenty of chocolate-oriented cookbooks out there to choose from, so it can sometimes be difficult to recognize a good one on sight. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbookis one that you can get away with choosing based on its name alone. Ghirardelli has been one of the most ... Read More »

Roast Beef and Caramelized Onion Panini

Rpast Beef and Caramelized Onion Panini

A sandwich doesn’t need to be complex to be delicious, but it does need quality ingredients to come out well. In most cases, it also helps if the sandwich is toasted, as well. I always have a method of toasting a sandwich at home, so once I hit the store to look for filling ingredients, the sandwiches seem to make themselves. This sandwich was completely ... Read More »

Strawberry Jam Crumb Coffee Cake

Strawberry Jam Crumb Coffee Cake

┬áIs it necessary for a coffee cake to have some kind of streusel or crumb topping to be called coffee cake? I tend to think not, but with the exception of coffee cakes that are baked in bundt pans (and often have a layer of streusel running through them), it generally seems to be true. Untopped cakes can easily fall out of the coffee cake ... Read More »

Dessert for Two Heart Pan

I can’t resist throwing in yet another cute Valentine’s Day-appropriate bit of baking gear, and because the holiday is more-or-less about indulging your heart’s desire, I’m not going to feel too guilty about it. The Dessert for Two Heart Pan is a little pan that turns out two heart-shaped cakes that can be stacked together and served as one miniature – and romantic – layer ... Read More »

Are European-style butters better?

Walk into just about any grocery store and, in the dairy aisle, you’ll see several butter packages labeled “European style.” The descriptor was seen rarely only a few years ago and now brands like Plugra are all over the place. Some cooks swear by these specialty butters – but are they better than the standard American-style? The difference between European-style and American-style butters is butterfat ... Read More »

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