Written on October 1, 2013 at 9:18 am , by Lauren Katz
Today is Homemade Cookie Day, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by baking some treats of our own. But before we get out the butter, sugar and cookie cutters, there are some tips, tricks and pointers that every baker should know.
Best Baking Tools
Start with a baking sheet and for rolled cookies, a rolling pin. Nonstick silicone baking mats are great because you don’t need to grease a cookie sheet or roll out parchment paper. They’re super easy to clean and double as work surfaces. For a uniform cookie size and shape, use a melon baller or cookie scoop, and you’ll have perfect dollops every time.
Follow the Recipe
Unlike cooking, baking is more of a science, and requires you to follow the recipe down to that tiny 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Don’t use glass liquid-measuring cups for dry ingredients. Dry measuring cup sets allow you to scoop up dry goods and then level them using a straightedge, such as the back of a butter knife. Cool your hot cookie sheets in between batches, or else baking times and cookie shapes will be affected.
To make your cookies last, cool them completely before storing, or else they’ll turn soggy. You can freeze baked cookies in an airtight container up to three months, and you can freeze cookie dough in wax paper up to one month. Wanna send someone some edible TLC? Pack the cookies in cellophane bags, which will help keep their texture. Stack small, flat cookies in cupcake baking liners before packing in a tin, and always remember to follow up with your loved one to make sure your cookies aren’t sitting in a mailbox for too long!
Written on September 2, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Lauren Katz
Happy Labor Day! An end-of-summer celebration means lots of time by the grill, and what better way to include your vegetarian guests than by grilling something so savory and delicious, no one will miss the meat? Here’s your life-saver: The Big, Beefy Mushroom Cheddar Melt. Although this dish has the word “beef” in its name, the only meatiness you’ll find is from the flavor-packed Portobello mushrooms.
For more meatless main’s, including these awesome Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers, click here.
Previous Meatless Monday Posts
Written on August 31, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Lauren Smith
There’s no such thing as an easier or more satisfying snack than trial mix. Which is why we’re so excited to celebrate our favorite on-the-go goodie for National Trail Mix Day by sharing our most popular mixes.
Get more snack recipes!
Written on August 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by Morgan Gibson
Toasted marshmallows are a cookout staple. The cripsy, browned outside and suuuper ooey gooey inside is irresistible in the summertime. And guess what: You don’t have to have a roaring fire to achieve this summer treat! No campfire? No problem! We’ve shared our favorite ‘mallow desserts for you to cook up in honor of National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Be prepared to get your hands a little sticky!
Get S’more marshmallow ideas:
Written on August 11, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Lauren Smith
Beat the heat this weekend! In honor of National Creamsicle Day, we wanted to share our most popular ice cream pop recipes. These mouth-watering sweets on sticks are unique in flavor, and huge on success!
Craving a breezy summer treat? These five-ingredient freezer pops taste like strawberry cream pie on a stick.
Try this exotic, grown-up take on an ice pop: Sangria on a Stick!
This bitter and sweet frozen Cappuccino Ice Pop treat mimics our favorite cup of coffee—down to its caffeine jolt!
Get more summer-favorite sweets:
Written on August 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm , by Allyson Dickman
I have a confession. I’m a s’more-aholic. When I see my favorite bloggers post their version of a delicious recipe involving chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows, it’s almost a guaranteed instant pin. So after a few months, er, maybe years?, of collecting and trying out some of the most delicious eye candy on the web, I’d like to share some of my favorites with you.
These S’more Mini Dippers from Kevin & Amanda are an instant party hit—and so easy to make! Just whip them up, then leave them by your coffee station for some dipping and sipping!
Every girl knows there’s nothing better than the perfect sweet and salty combo. Solution: Pretzel S’more Bites from The Novice Chef.
I made these S’more Brownies from The Bakerella for a book club night (the book, The Interestings, was all about a group of friends who met at summer camp, so S’mores seemed like the natural fit for dessert). Hot out of the oven there were requests for seconds… and thirds… and absolutely no leftovers.
My other weakness: Red Velvet. Combine it with S’mores and you’ve got one great, over-the-top treat. Try these Gooey Red Velvet S’mores Bars from Sugarcrafter.
And last, but certainly not least, Jessica over at How Sweet It Is nails it with all of her recipes and these No Bake S’mores Cheesecakes are no exception. Seriously, try them.
Looking for more sweet eats? Try our Every Day with Rachael Ray twists on the classic S’more:
- Mocha S’more Squares
- S’more Lava Cakes
- Bonbon S’mores
- Grilled Gingerbread S’mores Cake
- Warm and Gooey S’mores Treat
Written on August 10, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Allyson Dickman
There’s nothing like a gooey s’more to bring out the kid in all of us. It’s the campfire treat you can enjoy all year long, but August 10th is National S’mores Day, and in celebration, we’re rounding up the sweetest gear for your marshmallow roasting and sandwiching. Whether you like your ‘mallows burnt to a crisp or sans-graham cracker, this set up will have you craving s’more:
1. Not everyone can light a campfire, so turn to this tabletop S’mores maker, with compartments for all your treat components. It turns on with the easy switch of a button. $60, overstock.com
2. Whoever said there’s only one way to make a s’more never met Lisa Adams. In her cookbook “S’mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion” she shares more than 60 recipes, replacing your standard graham cracker with delicious foods like apple slices, croissants and brownies. $14, barnesandnoble.com
3. Go gourmet and make your own marshmallows for roasting with the help of this easy DIY marshmallow mix. Follow the instructions then add your own twists with fun flavors like vanilla extract or colors like lavender. $13, surlatable.com
4. Traditionally, they may be kids-only, but this bottle is just-for-adults. Pour a glass of boozy s’more-flavored chocolate milk for a sweet dessert drink. $16, Adult Beverage Co. for locations
5. We love an ol’ fashioned Hershey bar on our snacks, but if you’re looking to spice up your creation add chocolate bar flavors like five spice, Mayan chile and peanut butter to your stack. $24 for 4 bars, PocoDolce.com
6. When you’re ready for dessert, there’s no time for hunting down twigs. Instead, use this handy marshmallow skewer over the flames! $20, Williams-Sonoma
Want s’more? Try our recipes:
- Mocha S’more Squares
- S’more Lava Cakes
- Bonbon S’mores
- Grilled Gingerbread S’mores Cake
- Warm and Gooey S’mores Treat
Written on August 5, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Judith Pena
Sure, beer is great to drink, but it’s also an amazing cooking ingredient too! Don’t believe me? Check out 10 of my favorite beer recipes below in honor of International Beer Day.
The first time I heard of steaming a whole chicken on the grill with the aid of a beer can, all I could think was “That’s Genius!” If you’ve never tried this before, then I urge you to try it ASAP. It’ll be one of your new favorite summertime grilling techniques. I promise.
This easy 7-ingredient recipe is perfect when you have extra cans of Guinness hanging around the house, say after St. Patrick’s Day.
What’s not to love about this hearty soup that brings together two wonderful foods: beer and cheese? Keep this recipe on hand for Oktoberfest and as an easy staple when the cooler months start kicking in.
One of our most popular margarita recipes of all time, this large-batch beer margarita is made in a pitcher and easily serves four people. Bottoms up!
Braising is a super easy technique that infuses chicken with moisture and flavor. In this easy braising recipe, tangy mustard and hoppy beer come together to give this dish an unforgettable flavor.
The Chew host Carla Hall shared this amazing Maryland Crab Boil recipe with us in our September issue (on sale tomorrow). While any light beer will work, we especially love this recipe with a pale ale or IPA (India pale ale).
I’m usually not very impressed by food served in mugs–I’m thinking of you cup-a-soup–but this Buffalo Chicken Chili with Blue Cheese-Corn Mug Toppers is an exception. For this recipe, feel free to use whatever type of beer is your favorite.
When I’m not pairing margaritas with my Tex-Mex food, beer is always my next choice. While the recipe recommends using a light beer, I’m sure the steak would be delicious marinated in a more robust darker beer or even a spicy michelada (which is now sold in cans by Tecate).
Beer-battered and fried? You can dress up any ingredient–onion rings, jalalpeno poppers or cheese sticks–like this and I will be a fan, but beer-battered fried chicken might just be the best. While no specific type of beer is listed, I would recommend going with a light-colored beer to ensure that the end result will have a light, brown and golden fried crust. (A darker beer may make the batter appear dark and may turn even darker when fried.)
This 30-Minute Meal from Rachael Ray was created for her dad who’s from Louisiana. “This is a combination of jambalaya–a local dish–and pasta, which he developed a love for with all of us Italians in the house!” says Rach. I think an amber ale or lager tastes best when combined with the andouille sausage and tomatoes, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Written on August 4, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Judith Pena
The chocolate chip cookie has been an American favorite since its serendipitous invention in 1937, when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn–ring a bell, anyone?–added pieces of a chopped chocolate bar to her cookies. In honor of National Chocolate Chip Day, we present you with some of our favorite recipes inspired by Ruth’s fabulous invention and delicious tiny morsel, the chocolate chip.
Get the recipes:
Written on August 3, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Every Day with Rachael Ray Staff
In honor of National Mustard Day, we’re sharing with you one super mustard-obsessed man: Barry Levenson. He knows the exact moment he started collecting mustard: 2:30 a.m, October 28, 1986—after the Red Sox lost the World Series. Despondent, he pushed a cart down the aisles of a 24-hour market (“a good place for a walk”). He knew it wasn’t healthy for a grown man to be so depressed over a game. I need a hobby, he thought. Just then, he looked up to see jars of mustard. “They seemed to say to me, ‘If you collect us, they will come.’” Barry quickly snapped up the 30 mustards sold nearby, then mail- ordered more. And more. The local paper ran a story about his collection once it reached 500 jars. A friend of his quipped, “What is this, the Wisconsin Mustard Museum?” For Barry, it was a lightbulb moment. “I didn’t want to look back at my life and wonder what if?” he said. So he quit his day job—as an assistant attorney general for the state—and rented a 1,400-square-foot space. The National Mustard Museum now displays more than 5,300 jars and welcomes 35,000 visitors a year. If you’re one of them, you’ll be able to buy—and taste—450 varieties, watch a video on mustard’s 700-year history and tackle some trivia questions. [Does American yellow mustard get its color from a) saffron; b) food dye; c) turmeric; or d) crayons? If you guessed “c,” you are correct.]
If not for mustard, Barry wouldn’t have met his wife, Patti. She heard Barry on the radio, singing a fight song for “Poupon U,” the museum’s so-called university. Patti tracked him down and asked him to organize a tasting at her social club. “I guess you could say it was love at first squeeze,” he said. Barry actually talks like this. He also signs his e-mails “Condimentally yours” and, in reference to a lunchtime interview, quipped, “I’ll bring the mustard!” At the museum, if you’d like to watch a video, you’ll have to do it in the “Mustardpiece Theatre.” What about the condiment inspires this level of devotion (and this many puns)? Barry’s quick to rattle off its attributes: It’s healthy, with a rich history and versatility. “Mustard is a blank canvas,” he says. “You can paint works of art with a little creativity.” To that end, artisans add lemon, lavender and even root beer. Barry insists that each deserves a special place on his shelves. He thinks back on the supermarket trip that started it all: “What struck me was that I’d never be lonely, because I would belong to a community of mustard lovers, and every year we’d all meet up at a collectors’ convention. It turns out nothing like that existed.” In opening his museum, he created something even better.
Get one of our favorite mustard-inspired recipes: Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette!