Tahini - ground sesame paste - is basically the peanut butter of the Middle East and western Asia. Instead of sweet applications, it is traditionally found in savory dishes like hummus, baba ganoush, and drizzled atop crunchy falafel. In the last couple of years, tahini has made a name for itself in the U.S. too - adding richness to dressings, marinades and dips. I held on to relatively lukewarm feelings about the condiment until I spotted modest yet intriguing tahini cookies in the November issue of Bon Appetit. I gave the recipe a few tweaks in order to use . . .
In the practice of food styling, props are meant to complement the recipe, build a story, and make the food look as delectable as possible. Typically, the recipe is chosen first and the styling decisions are made after. But, once in a while, a very special 'prop' comes along and begs to be found a recipe for. On a recent Saturday, my friend Paige and I braved the cold to pay the Chelsea flea market a visit. I was on the hunt for unique tableware - as I am often wont to be. There weren't a ton of tableware vendors that day but the one booth that was there was all I . . .
This post has been updated from its original March 28, 2011 version. My friend Sofya hosted a girls' brunch at her house this weekend and naturally, I embraced the role of head chef for the day. For dessert, I wanted to make something that everyone would be sure to love and that I could make a day in advance. It wasn't long until I settled on these brownies, which are, as the title of the post suggests, the best ever. I developed the recipe a few years ago and it's been published since then but I wanted to revive it and update it with new photos, since the old . . .
The slightly irregular shape, the golden brown tops, the crumbly texture and buttery flavor make scones one of my all-time favorite sweet treats. Scones and biscuits are actually almost the same, except biscuit dough tends to have more butter and scone dough, more sugar. But while biscuits are a staple of savory Southern-style brunch, scones represent something a bit different. They originated in the United Kingdom so they usually appear during teatime, which gives them an air of aristocracy and makes them a sign of leisure. "Cheerio!" they seem to say. Or at least to . . .
You know what I don't understand? The term 'blondies'. No, not girls with blond hair - the dessert bars. How did they come to be? Was someone making brownies one day, then realized midway that they're out of chocolate and ended up making regular cake bars instead? 'Blondies' doesn't make sense because it's not defined by an ingredient, but rather by the lack of one. I refuse to use the term, even though that's what this Bon Appetit recipe is originally for. I shall call them squares, and I guess one can call them bars, depending on how they're cut. I adore . . .
Love chocolate cake but don't want to eat all that frosting? Love chocolate cookies but don't have all day to chill the dough and roll them out? Need an intensely chocolate treat to satisfy a craving - and fast? Then these chocolate and hazelnut cookies are for you! Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, these cookies are ridiculously easy and fast to make - you don't even have to cream butter and sugar together! - and they turn out cakey and chewy on the inside and enticingly shiny on the outside. The secret is using good quality dark chocolate as the base, as . . .
I have had this Bon Appetit ginger cake recipe tucked in my recipe inspiration folder for almost two years. Every time I came across it, I grew very excited and determined to finally make it. And then, clutching the magazine tear-out on my way to the kitchen, I would realize that I don't have one crucial ingredient - molasses. This happened on several occasions, yet every time it did, I was surprised. Like, shouldn't I have realized that I don't have any freakin' molasses and bought some already? Ah, woe is me. The thing is, sweets like this (and this) are my . . .