Category Archives: Sweet Stuff

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 »

All about candied flowers

All about candied flowers

One of the most beautiful ways to finish off a cake or pastry is with flowers. Sugar and gumpaste flowers are the two types usually favored by those bakers who do a lot of cakes because they are consistent and easy to adapt. Real flowers tend to be a bit more impressive, however. I’ve seen large wedding cakes studded with mini bouquets that are meant ... Read More »

A Vanilla Taste Test

vanilla sugar

In their ceasing quest for culinary excellence, the cooks in America’s Test kitchen will test every ingredient, every pan and every recipe they come across. I recently read one of their pieces that really struck a chord with me. It was a taste test of vanilla – extract, imitation and whole beans – and since vanilla is such a vital flavor in baking, I found ... Read More »

What is almond milk?

almond milk, various flavors

Almond milk is not milk, although it does resemble milk in color. The creamy white liquid is made by grinding almonds and water together, then removing the almond solids and leaving only the liquid behind. Since most of the almond solids are removed and the nuts are not pressed to squeeze out all of the oil, almond milk is low in both fat and calories. ... Read More »

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