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Choosing or making a double boiler

“Double boiler” is the term that describes a two-pan setup, where an upper bowl is used to cook heat-sensitive food and a lower pan is used to simmer water to gently heat the upper bowl. The upper bowl is never exposed to direct heat in a double boiler setup, but is only heated from contact with the steam from the water in the lower bowl. ... Read More »

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars

vanilla cheesecake bars

Most of the people I know enjoy cheesecake and, if I had to guess, I would say that you probably know a lot of fans of the rich and creamydessert, too. But full-sized cheesecakes can be difficult to make. Water baths are often required to achieve the perfect texture and if you’re pressed for time, you can’t just wait around for a cheesecake to bake, ... Read More »

All American Desserts

All American Desserts cookbook

For some reason, especially around holidays during the summer, I get a craving to make lots of really classic American desserts. Strawberry shortcake, apple pie, star-spangled cupcakes. Since they’re all delicious desserts, I rarely make an attempt to fight this desire, and instead turn to a cookbook like All American Desserts to find the perfect dish. This cookbook is very comprehensive, with over 400 dessert ... Read More »

Malted Milk Ball Cookies, or Malteser Cookies

malteser cookies

If you’re in Canada, the UK or Australia, as well as a variety of other countries, you know them as Maltesers. If you’re in the US, you know them as Whoppers. The finer flavor points of the candies are often debated by fans of the individual brands, but no matter what you call them, they’re always delicious. The candies I’m referring to, of course, are ... Read More »

What is overmixing?

cookies, baked

When you’re reading through recipe instructions, particularly for baked goods, you probably come across the phrase “do not overmix” fairly often. The notion of “overmixing” can be confusing if you’re just getting into baking – after all, cookie dough is either mixed, or it isn’t, right? The final stage of making a cookie dough or cake batter often involves stirring flour, or a flour mixture, ... Read More »

Dinner with a steamy chef

steamychefs

I’ve been watching Bravo TV’s Top Chef¬†reality show since season one (they’re now in season three) and am a huge fan. It’s natural, then, that a Top Chef-related contest would catch my eye. Glad – which is a huge sponsor of Top Chef – is running a contest to find the steamiest chef in America. The nominees are Sam Talbot, Dave Lieberman, Govind Armstrong, G. ... Read More »

Funfetti brownie how-to

homemade funfetti brownie

In spite of the fact that the mix looked so promising, the results of my own venture into making a homemade version were not particularly exciting. The brownies were excellent, of course, but the sprinkles didn’t add the same sort of festive look that they lend to funfetti cupcakes. I mixed rainbow sprinkles into the batter of one of my best brownie recipes¬†and discovered that ... Read More »

Funfetti brownie mix

funfetti brownie mix

I’m not necessarily one to endorse using boxed mixes instead of baking from scratch, but there are certainly some decent mixes out there to choose from. Brownie mixes tend to be consistently good, for example, and it’s not bad to have one on hand for chocolate emergencies (especially if you have kids who don’t really want to wait around while you fiddle with butter and ... Read More »

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