Category Archives: Product Reviews

PaperChef Culinary Parchment Lotus Baking Cups, reviewed

PaperChef Culinary Parchment Lotus Baking Cups, reviewed

I have a huge array of baking cups in my pantry. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The wrappers that are the most eye catching tend to be the “lotus” baking cups, which are made of parchment paper and designed so that excess paper rises up over the top of the muffin. This style of wrapper is often seen in higher end bakeries ... Read More »

Cooks Illustrated Tests Large-Batch Ice Cream Makers

Cooks Illustrated Tests Large-Batch Ice Cream Makers

Most ice cream makers intended for use in the home are fairly compact. They are designed not only to churn up delicious ice creams, but to be convenient to store when not in use. They generally churn 1 to 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream at a time. This amount is fine, given that most ice cream recipes (including my own!) are scaled to meet ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Flake Coconut, reviewed

Trader Joe's Organic Unsweetened Flake Coconut

In the baking aisle, the most commonly found coconut is sweetened, shredded coconut. This soft, fluffy coconut is and was the gold standard for baking. But it isn’t the only coconut option out there. Trader Joe’s recently added an Organic Unsweetened Flake Coconut to their line of baking products and it’s an affordable and easy-to-find alternative to the traditional sweetened stuff. This coconut is made ... Read More »

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour, reviewed

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour, reviewed

As gluten free baking becomes ever more popular, the gluten free options at the grocery store have continued to improve. Where once you could only find a few gluten free “flours” and had to experiment with the ratios between them in your own kitchen, now you can choose from dozens of different flour blends and a variety of gluten free mixes. While a cake mix ... Read More »

Wilton Whipped Icing Mix, reviewed

Wilton Whipped Icing Mix, reviewed

When you think of prepackaged cake icing, you usually think of canned buttercream-style frostings that are ready to spread onto a cake. There are also several frosting mixes out there to choose from, dried powders to which you add your own liquid ingredients – such as butter or water – and reconstitute when you need them. Boxed frosting mixes take up a lot less shelf ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Butter-Flavored Cooking Spray, reviewed

Trader Joe's Butter-Flavored Cooking Spray, reviewed

Cooking spray is a wonderful thing to have on hand in the kitchen. The pressurized sprays coat skillets and baking sheets evenly in just a few seconds, giving you a nonstick surface and ensuring that you don’t need to worry about part of your cake sticking into the corners of the pans. I particularly like cooking sprays for coating pans with complex designs, such as ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Banana Bread Mix, reviewed

Trader Joe's Banana Bread Mix, reviewed

Banana bread will always be a staple in my kitchen. I always have bananas on hand that are at varying stages of ripeness, ready to be mashed and stirred into a quick, easy loaf. My One-Bowl Banana Bread is a recipe that you can’t go wrong with. An option that is about as easy – and I say “about” because it requires a trip to ... Read More »

Rodelle Reserve French Oak Aged Vanilla Extract

Rodelle Reserve French Oak Aged Vanilla Extract, reviewed

High quality vanilla extract is essential to a baker. Vanilla is a rich, complex flavor – despite the idea of “plain vanilla” being ordinary – that has the unusual ability to not only taste delicious on its own, but to make other flavors taste even more delicious. While some tastes tests have found that artificial vanilla extract can fool tasters in some recipes, there is ... Read More »

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