Category Archives: Sweet Stuff

What is guava paste?

Guava Paste

Guava paste is an ingredient that pops up in many Cuban, Caribbean and South American recipes, and seems to be popping up more often in markets in the US. This specialty ingredient, also known as goiabada or pasta de guayaba, is basically candied guava puree. It is made by cooking together guava fruit and sugar until it is very, very thick and then leaving the ... Read More »

Cook’s Country rates graham crackers

Graham Cracker Brands

When you have a recipe that calls for a graham cracker crust, you can run out to the store and pick one up that is already made. But like so many things, even graham cracker pie crusts are best when you start with whole crackers and make them into a crust yourself. Graham crackers are tasty in pie crust and s’mores, but how much thought ... Read More »

Rodelle Vanilla Sugar, reviewed

Rodelle Vanilla Sugar

I keep a container full of vanilla sugar in the back of my pantry that I refresh every time I have an extra vanilla bean around. Making your own vanilla sugar is a great way to repurpose vanilla beans that you have already use to infuse a custard or other sauce with vanilla, giving them a second life (and getting your money’s worth!) in the ... Read More »

Chocolate Brunch Ideas for Mother’s Day

Chocolate Brunch Menu

Like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is a day that many people celebrate with gifts of flowers and chocolate, as well as by going out to eat. I prefer to stay in on Mother’s Day and have brunch at home. I know that I’ll get great food when it comes out of my own kitchen and you get to skip the hassle of eating out on ... Read More »

Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Morsels, reviewed

Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Chips

The standard chocolate chip for a chocolate chip cookie is semisweet chocolate, but over the past few years chocolate chip cookie-lovers have been looking for ways to improve on their favorite by chopping up other types of chocolate and adding them to their cookies. You can grab just about any kind of chocolate bar you like, with any cacao percentage, chop it up and add ... Read More »

Cupcakes meet push-pops in Pushcakes

Pushcakes

If you ever visited an ice cream truck as a kid, you’ve probably had a Push-Up. This type of popsicle packed sherbert or ice cream into a cardboard tube and you ate it by pushing up on a plastic plunger. They were usually a bit neater to eat than your average popsicle, and also were a little more fun (at least, I thought so!) because ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Golden Yellow Cake Mix, reviewed

Trader Joe's Yellow Cake Mix

I love to bake cakes from scratch, but I am often curious about cake mixes put out by more gourmet retailers to see how they stack up to the real thing. A good example was the expensive, but outstanding, Ad Hoc Yellow Cake Mix. Trader Joe’s ever-expanding line of baking products includes cake mixes, as well as convenient frosting mixes, so I wanted to see ... Read More »

What does “percent cacao” mean?

61% Percent Cacao Chocolate

Just a few years ago, it seemed like chocolate was chocolate, and while some were better than others, they were all labeled the same. Seemingly overnight, numbers started to appear on chocolate packaging and we suddenly had a way to separate one chocolate easily from another. What does the “percent cacao” or “cacao content” on chocolate packaging refer to? The “percent cacao” refers to the ... Read More »

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