5@5 - Tips for gluten-free cookies
December 19th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

A few years back, when people heard the words “gluten-free,” the words “tough” and “tasteless” also came to mind. Now, with so many options available in stores and restaurants, gluten-free is kissing its drab reputation goodbye.

Mastering the art of gluten-free baking is easy with a few simple tips to ensure great texture (no cardboard here!) and flavor.

Just in time for the holiday cookie season, Whole Foods Market's gluten-free guru Lee Tobin offers five tips for gluten-free cookies that are good enough to bring to your next holiday party, or even offer up to Santa ... if you're nice enough to share them.

Five Tips for Gluten-Free Cookies: Lee Tobin

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Filed under: 5@5 • Baked Goods • Bite • Christmas • Cookies • Dietary Restrictions • Gluten-free • Hanukkah • Holiday • Make • Recipes • Think

Box lunch: Santa snackage and Norwegian butter threats
December 19th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • The weird, the wacky, the jicama? Surprising snacks left for ol' Saint Nick. - Cooking Light

  • The long and winding road to the perfect potato pancake. - Thirteen

  • Another year, another listicle. Wihtout further ado, the best dishes of 2011. - ulterior epicure

  • A Norwegian is climbin' in your windows, snatching your butter up. - Eater

  • David Cross of "Arrested Development" breaks down the restaurant industry in true comic fashion. - Gourmet Live
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

December 19th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Oh come all ye Christmas carol literalists: PNC Wealth Management recently released its annual "Twelve Days of Christmas" calculation for holiday shoppers in the market for milk maids and French hens.

In 2013, springing for the whole menagerie, from twelve drummers drumming to a partridge (complete with pear tree), will set an aspiring Santa back a hefty $114,651.18.

But in case your house is already crowded enough without throwing eleven pipers into the mix, the scent of gingerbread baking is a wonderful gift - for a smidgen of the true cost of Christmas.

Cronut creator, pastry chef and bakery owner Dominique Ansel will have you run-run-running as fast as you can ... to the kitchen with his fragrantly spiced adaptation of the classic holiday treat.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Bite • Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • Homemade Gifts • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step

Breakfast buffet: National hard candy day
December 19th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

I want candy! - December 19 is National Hard Candy Day!

As if you needed another excuse to indulge in candy this holiday season, forget stuffing your stocking and start chomping on a brightly colored rainbow of hard candy.

This candy with a crunch is made by boiling syrup until it reaches 300 degrees, also known as the brittle "hard crack" stage. Once it hits said temperature, the confectionary genius rips the pan off the stove, whips in some flavoring and then pours it out to set.

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