Sour cream pound cake: a simple, sweet tradition
March 19th, 2013
11:15 AM ET
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Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes tackling English toffee, channeling summer with sunflower cheesecakes, sharing people-pleasin' pizza dip and green soup, cajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.

There is a grace in the harmony of simple flavors and taking the time and care to introduce them to one another. I like to think it’s embodied in a perfect pound cake.

Take a moment to get to know the grand dame of Southern desserts.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Cookbooks • Dessert • Make • Nostalgia • Recipes • Southern • Vintage Cookbooks


March 8th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
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One of a bagel’s greatest virtues is that it's a single serving of fresh-from-the-oven bread, baked just for you.

Even better: if you do the baking yourself, there's usually at least 11 more just like it cooling nearby, creating a perfect excuse for a weekend get-together.

Bagel lovers, especially New Yorkers and people of Eastern European descent, have strong opinions about what makes a bagel great - or not so great.

For the owners of Surfside Bagels in Far Rockaway, New York, the hand-rolled boiled and baked bread should be dense and chewy. Its exterior, shiny; its interior, yeasty but not too sweet. Fortunately, they’re willing to spread their knowledge.

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December 19th, 2012
08:00 AM ET
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Sugar cookies in every seasonal shape - from snowflakes to Christmas trees, stars to Santa hats, snowmen to holly leaves - overcrowd the dessert table this time of year. Even Santa is crying "Uncle!" for a little variety by the time he reaches St. Louis.

This year, try adding a little New York attitude to the traditional cookie swap with black-and-white cookies, a staple of New York bakeries and deli counters.

More cake-like than cookie-like, this oversized sweet is downsized into a fantastically festive treat by pastry chef Stephanie Teekaram of Kutsher's Tribeca in, where else, New York City.

"Seinfeld" fans might remember the baked good being forever immortalized in the episode, "The Dinner Party."

"The thing about eating the black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite," said Seinfeld. "Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate, and yet, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved."

In this season of good tidings, peace and goodwill toward all, harmony vis-à-vis a cookie is a welcome addition.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Cookies • Hanukkah • Holiday • Homemade Gifts • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


iReport: The Devil Dog is in the details
December 4th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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Hostess Brands - the maker of popular baked goods such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread - announced it is shutting down, blaming a strike by bakers opposed to a new contract.

As the 82-year-old company begins the liquidation process, analysts say that some of its most iconic brand names will likely live on, getting scooped up at auction and attached to products from other companies.

Or ... you can just make your own like these CNN iReporters!
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Filed under: Baked Goods • iReport • Junk • Make • Recipes • Twinkies


National cookie day
December 4th, 2012
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.

Haul out the cookie tins - 'tis the season for baking! In honor of December 4, National Cookie Day, here are some tips for the ever-popular cookie exchange:

- Form a group of participants. Make sure the people swapping cookies are committed to doing so. (It’s not as much fun otherwise!)

- Establish a date for the swap as early as you can, before the holidays get hectic.
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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Cookies • Food Holidays • News


Have a sweet holiday and save kitchen memories while you can
November 28th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Everything tasted better when my grandma was around.

Growing up, we didn't get to see my dad's side of the family all that often, but I noticed at some point that all the food we ate in Grandma Kinsman's presence was exponentially more delicious. Later on, I came to realize that it wasn't due to some special grandmotherly mojo, but rather that she used real butter rather than margarine, and my family shopped accordingly when she was in town.

No matter the ingredients, I was predisposed to enjoy her cooking. I loved her and she loved me, her weird, short-haired, misfit granddaughter, even if the rest of the world wasn't inclined to. Seldom did I feel that love so strongly as when her yearly shipment of holiday cookies arrived.
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Filed under: Buzz • Chilled Out and Cheery • Christmas • Cookies • Family Recipe Index • Favorites • Feature • Holiday • Holidays • iReport • Make • Recipes


iReport: Want to make Hostess cakes at home? Don't sweat faking the fakeness
November 19th, 2012
03:30 PM ET
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Casey Barber, a food writer in Clifton, New Jersey, says many Hostess products and their associated feelings of nostalgia are easy to conjure up in a home kitchen, but there's one thing she's never been able to replicate: "There's just a fakeness about them, a teeth rattling extra super-sugaryness that comes with the high fructose corn syrup that you're not going to get if you make a Twinkie or Devil Dog at home."

She made these raspberry "Zingers" - a snack cake sold under both the Dolly Madison and Hostess brand names - in October. The recipe is in her forthcoming book,"Classic Snacks Made from Scratch."

Barber advises:
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Mars (snack) attacks!
August 6th, 2012
05:15 PM ET
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Like your Oreos with a far-out twist? The hundred-year-old brand paid homage to today's Mars Curiosity rover landing with an installment of their Daily Twist campaign featuring a split-open cookie with red-dyed cream and tire tracks to mimic the impression left by the craft on the planet's surface.
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Filed under: Cookies • Outer Space


April 26th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes perfecting pineapple upside down cake, tackling English toffee, sharing people-pleasin' pizza dip and green soupcajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.

I’ll always remember the summer of 2008 as a dream come true, full of rock concerts and soft pretzels.

Like many other families across the country, we were perfecting the art of the “staycation.” People were rediscovering the glory of their own cities, neighboring towns, and even their backyards.

But perhaps the greatest gift of that season was our summer tour of concerts. For two music lovers like my mom and me, concerts were manna from heaven.

Not wanting to indulge in a heavy meal before we danced around and sang along with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Keith Urban, Foreigner, Bryan Adams or the Steve Miller Band, one snack emerged as our concert-day favorite.

But we ignored the chemical-laden, overpriced food at the snack bar and tailgated beforehand with homemade salty soft pretzels.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Food Holidays • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


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