Category Archives: Product Reviews

Trader Joe’s Frozen Pie Crust, reviewed

When it comes to pie crusts, I am a firm believer in making my own when I can. They’re really not that difficult to make by hand, and you can also blend the dough in a food processor. The more you practice, the better you’ll get – and you also have a great excuse to bake more pies this way. Still, there are plenty of ... Read More »

Ad Hoc Milk and Dark Chocolate Frostings, reviewed

Ad Hoc Milk Chocolate Frosting

Ad Hoc is one of Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurants in Yountville, California. The restaurant has an interesting story behind it, but even more interesting is the food, which is high quality, family style fare. They actually have just one menu each day – just like Mom might make (assuming that she is a truly excellent cook) for dinner. Since the food is homestyle, it’s not ... Read More »

Dreyers’s Tagalong Ice Cream, reviewed

Dreyers’s Tagalong Ice Cream, close up

Since it’s Girl Scout cookie season again – whether you’re buying from a local troop or using it as an excuse to make some Homemade Girl Scout Cookies – it also means that Dreyer’s has put its seasonally available Girl Scout cookie ice creams back in grocery store freezer cases. These limited edition ice creams feature some of the most popular Girl Scout cookie flavors, ... Read More »

WSJ reviews mail order cupcake companies

Mail Order Cupcakes

There is nothing better than a batch of homemade cupcakes, but a dozen or so from a favorite bakery can come in at a close second – and can actually take the first place spot for those who don’t bake. Cupcake shops are still more popular than ever (especially here in LA), but that doesn’t mean that you can find one as easily as you ... Read More »

CR rates hand mixers

I have had my trusty KitchenAid hand mixer for more than a few years. In fact, I actually don’t remember when I first got it, only that it has help up very well and works well. This is a good testament to the longevity of my model, but hand mixers can actually vary a lot in size, power and their ability to get the job ... Read More »

Deep Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart

Deep Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart

When I saw Wilton’s Tasty Fill Heart Cake Set, I knew that I wanted to try making one of the lovely heart-centered cakes myself. A cake with a heart-shaped center is perfect Valentine’s Day. After I picked up the cake pan set, all I needed to do was decide what flavor cake I wanted to make. I decided to work backwards and, knowing that I ... Read More »

CI tastes tests instant espresso for baking

Instant coffee is a great ingredient to have in the kitchen pantry if you like to bake. Many recipes, especially recipes involving chocolate, call for either a small amount of brewed coffee or simply for a bit of instant coffee to be added to highlight the darker chocolate notes in the recipe. It’s very convenient to be able to whip up a strong cup of ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Macarons à la Parisienne, reviewed

Trader Joe's Macarons, close-up

French macarons are a little bit more difficult to make than your average chocolate chip cookie. They’re not by any means impossible, but the light meringue cookies take a bit of time and patience to bake and sandwich together. The finished cookies are well-worth the wait because of their lovely texture, with a crisp shell and creamy center, and how flavorful they are. Another thing ... Read More »

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