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SpiceShot Spice Dispenser

SpiceShot Spice Dispenser

Baking is often described as a science, a type of cooking that rewards precision. This is true in general, but not every single element of baking needs. Spices are an excellent example because, while they can make or break the flavor of a dish, they’re not (or only very, very rarely) essential to the chemistry of a baked good. I don’t always measure out my ... Read More »

Southern Banana Pudding Tart

Southern Banana Pudding Tart

Banana pudding is a classic, homestyle Southern dessert made with layers of vanilla wafer cookies (Nilla Wafers), sliced bananas and pudding or custard. Sometimes the dish is also topped with meringue or whipped cream to finish it off, as well. The dessert has actually been around for quite a while, as cooks around the turn of the 20th century looked for ways to use the ... Read More »

Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time

If I see a cake that looks good, or a recipe that sounds good, I am going to jump right into baking. You might do the exact same thing. After all – baking is easy and fun, isn’t it? But some people need a little more persuading to get into the kitchen and pull out their baking ingredients because baking from scratch seems like a ... Read More »

Belmont Breeze

Belmont Breeze

In horse racing, a “breeze” is where a racehorse is asked to show some speed and run at a fast gallop, but not to push himself too hard. It’s a good indicator of speed and fitness in a horse. At Belmont Park in New York, it’s still a racing term (of course) and it is also a drink. The Belmont Breeze is the official drink ... Read More »

Dark Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Dark Chocolate Cookies

I often hear people saying that they want to reduce the sugar in a recipe, or they don’t want something to be “too sweet.” I’ve had cookies that are made with too much sugar and they taste grainy and unpleasant, but I don’t generally want to reduce the sugar in any other recipes. Sugar is a huge contributor to the texture of baked goods, helping ... Read More »

Circus Animal Cookie Cutters

Circus Animal Cookie Cutters

Barnum’s Animal Crackers, small animal-shaped cookies that come in a distinctive circus car-shaped box, have been around for over a century. They were first introduced in 1902 when they were known simply as “Barnum’s Animal” and were sold in bulk, the boxes sold as optional extras. Now, they’re made by Nabisco and have a lot – to say the least – of nostalgic value since ... Read More »

Plastic bags vs. pastry bags for piping

piping bag with cupcakes

I’m a big fan of tricks that make my life easier in the kitchen and one that I use often is substituting a plastic bag for a pastry bag. A pastry bag is little more than a conical plastic bag that is open at the wide end and sealed at the bottom. To use one, you just need to snip off the closed tip after ... Read More »

Choosing a revolving cake stand

revolving cake stands

The advantage of having a revolving cake stand is that it gives you easy access to all sides of the cake for frosting. It’s not an absolutely necessary kitchen tool, even if you’re a baker, however. When you only frost a cake once in a blue moon and it’s for your own personal enjoyment, it’s not critical to have a showpiece-like cake and you can ... Read More »

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