Category Archives: Sweet Stuff

Trader Joe’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, reviewed

Trader Joe's Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate chips are a staple in my kitchen, as they are in almost any kitchen that is equipped with a functional oven. I keep a wide assortment of other types of chips and chocolate chunks, as well. These always include dark chocolate, milk chocolate (as opposed to the semisweet chocolate of “standard” chips) peanut butter, white chocolate and butterscotch, though I often will try out ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Vanilla Marshmallows, reviewed

Trader Joe's Vanilla Marshmallows

A few months ago, Trader Joe’s jumped on the gourmet marshmallow bandwagon and started selling peppermint marshmallows for the holiday season. They were pretty awful – overly sugary and aggressively minty – and it’s no surprise that they didn’t last long. Because of my previous experience, I was a bit apprehensive about trying out their new Vanilla Marshmallows when I saw them this week. My ... Read More »

Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Vanilla Bean Crush

Sonoma Syrup Co.'s Vanilla Bean Crush

In spite of the fact that the Cook’s Illustrated test kitchen has assured us that imitation vanilla extract is at least as good as the real thin in most baked goods, I still use real vanilla extract the majority of the time. My favorite vanilla extract is Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Vanilla Bean Extract Crush because, in addition to being a very high quality extract, it ... Read More »

Circus Animal Cookie Cutters

Circus Animal Cookie Cutters

Barnum’s Animal Crackers, small animal-shaped cookies that come in a distinctive circus car-shaped box, have been around for over a century. They were first introduced in 1902 when they were known simply as “Barnum’s Animal” and were sold in bulk, the boxes sold as optional extras. Now, they’re made by Nabisco and have a lot – to say the least – of nostalgic value since ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Ultimate Vanilla Wafers, reviewed

Trader Joe's Ultimate Vanilla Wafers

I used to love Nilla Wafers as a kid. It’s not that the cookies themselves were so amazing, though. The thing I liked about them was that they are vanilla flavored and, up until the last couple of years, vanilla wasn’t usually a flavor highlighted in storebought cookies . Most cookies were butter cookies, chocolate cookies or chocolate chip cookies – and for a kid ... Read More »

How to make an ice cream cake

Ice cream cake, freshly sliced

Ice cream cakes, like graham crackers and puff pastry, are not something that most people thing about making. They’re something that most people think about buying, and when they do run down to the local ice cream shop (whether it’s a chain, a grocery store or a familly-owned place), they’re buying the cakes for the look of the overall dessert and the taste of the ... Read More »

Ice cream stacks, not scoops

Ice cream stack

Some readers out here on the west coast – even moreso if you’re in Southern California – probably remember eating Thrifty Ice Cream at some point or another. The award winning ice cream was sold at Thrifty Drug Stores before the chain was bought out by Rite-Aid and it was incredibly inexpensive for the quality. I clearly remember getting scoops for 25 or 50 cents ... Read More »

Ginger People Crystallized Ginger Chips, reviewed

Candied ginger

Ginger is an incredibly versatile ingredient. Fresh ginger has that unmistakable bite to it and grates easily into sweet and savory dishes. Ground, dried ginger has a warmth to it that is unique, along with a mild flavor. My favorite kind of ginger is easily crystallised ginger, or candied ginger. Ginger is candied in the same way that orange peels and many other fruits are ... Read More »

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