Category Archives: Sweet Stuff

What are macarons?

Macarons

French macarons are thin, flavorful meringue cookies that are sandwiched together with some kind of filling. The meringues are what make the cookies unique. They have a smooth, crisp shell and a moist, chewy interior. They are made with egg whites and lots of ground nuts, which helps them to attain that chewy texture without drying out and becoming too crispy, like a simple meringue ... Read More »

Macarons at Bottega Louie, Los Angeles, CA

More macarons

French macarons are not as easy to find at bakeries as chewy, coconut macaroons are. While I am a big fan of a good coconut macaroon, I like finding a place that sells great macarons even more because I encounter it so much less frequently. One place in Los Angeles that sells great macarons – and lots of them – is Bottega Louie in downtown ... Read More »

What is molasses?

Molasses bottles

Molasses is a byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into sugar. It is a thick syrup, dark in color, with a very strong sweet and somewhat bitter flavor. It is frequently used in baking and it is particularly popular in recipes for spice cookies and cakes, where it adds a lot of brown sugar flavor without making a recipe too sweet. Like honey, ... Read More »

Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix, reviewed

Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle Cookies

The next time you take a stroll down the baking aisle at your local grocery store, take a look at the baking mixes. Where there used to be just cake and brownie mixes, there are now all kinds of different options, including cookie mixes. Cake mixes tend to have an ultra-soft texture to them that is unique to cake mixes, while the cookie mixes, on ... Read More »

How to get sprinkles to stick to cookies

Cookies with Sprinkles

Adding sprinkles seems like an easy way to decorate a batch of butter cookies or other relatively plain-looking cookies for holiday or some other festive occasion. They’re bright, colorful and, unlike frostings and glazes, need no prep time. But sprinkles can come with their own problems because they don’t always end up where you want them to be; frequently, when you’re applying sprinkles, you end ... Read More »

5 Must-Make Christmas Cookie Recipes

Soft Cutout Christmas Cookies

When you’re baking cookies for Christmas, it isn’t quite enough to do one batch of cookies. After all, if you’re going to bake only one day out of the year, it is probably for Christmas and you may as well go all out. A great cookie plate should have a variety of cookies that are all distinct in appearance, so your guests (and Santa) don’t ... Read More »

How to Pack and Ship Holiday Baked Goods

Package of Baked Goods

Homemade baked goods are one of the best gifts that you can give during the holiday season. They’re good any time of year, of course, but the holiday spirit seems to make people enjoy baked goods even more than usual! Baked goods, even some as simple as chocolate chip cookies made with the back-of-the-bag recipe (which is generally a good one, incidentally), are tasty, relatively ... Read More »

What is royal icing?

Gingerbread Man with icing

Royal icing is the standard for icing gingerbread cookies or other cutouts that need decoration. It is made primarily from confectioners’ sugar and lightly beaten egg whites, and often a bit of cream of tartar or lemon juice is also added into it. The icing is very popular because the basic recipe can be flavored or colored very easily, giving you a lot of options ... Read More »

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