How to Make a Cookie Bowl

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Cookie bowl, ready for ice cream.

Everyone has been abuzz over Dominique Ansel's latest craze, the cookie shot glass. We covered the cronuts and even recreated them here on the Chow Bella blog. But I had to put my foot down on the cookie shot glass. Who wants to drink the milk before eating the cookie? Not me!

That is why we are proud to introduce the cookie bowl!

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5 Substitutes for Basic Baking Ingredients

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Cupcakes with an egg substitute.

It's midnight on a Tuesday. You have promised to bake up your amazing chocolate cupcakes for the office tomorrow. After ripping apart your refrigerator for the fifth time, you realize that dozen eggs you thought you had is only two eggs. Now what?

This happens to me more often than I'd like to admit, either late at night or after I've just returned from the grocery store. Here are some substitutes you can create when you have that "oh shit" moment in your pantry.


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How to Make a South African Milk Tart

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
A South African milk tart.

My husband arrived home with some crumpled printed pages from a website. Bold orange highlighter illuminated some of the words. He handed them to me. Just a few pastry ideas for me from his South African friend at work, Elwin.

After seeing my article on Lamingtons, Elwin wanted to pass along some ideas for South African pastry I should try out. If I was going to make Lamingtons from Australia, he thought I should also try my hand at some of his favorite desserts from home.


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5 Lowbrow Desserts That Deserve More Street Cred

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Banana pudding from Lumberyard Brewing.

Lowbrow - n. One having uncultivated tastes.

When I was a kid -- let's say 8 years old -- I would often spend the night at my grandma's house. She lived in a duplex, and her house was locked with skeleton keys. There was a huge collection of costume jewelry and scarves for playtime, and she would let me clip all the scarves to her clothesline so I could watch the colors blow in the breeze.

The highlight of these sleepovers was a trip to Ponderosa Steakhouse, where I would order the salad bar, then go to town eating an Oreo-laden whipped cream/frosting/pudding concoction that was located near the Jell-O. I laugh now and also am disgusted by how much of that stuff I ate, but I was a kid and Oreo whipped cream was an adventure.


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8 Steps to Making Perfect Buttercream: A Chow Bella Primer, Part Two

Categories: Sugar Rush

Not All Buttercream Is Created Equal: A Chow Bella Primer, Part One

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream.

I received an email order request the other day. It started like this: "I just had one of your chocolate and whipped cream cupcakes at the market."

No whipped cream here, folks, just real buttercream. No shortening, no emulsifiers. Butter. European butter.

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St. Patrick's Day, Pinterest-Style

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Boozy shamrock shakes.

My husband thinks Pinterest is dumb. I honestly don't think he even really knows what it is, considering Facebook and ESPN are the only apps on his phone. However, I believe his dislike comes from wondering where I am at midnight, only to find me in my office, aggressively "pinning" dream kitchens and projects involving reclaimed shipping pallets, by the glow of the computer. He just knows I come up with crazy ideas that he usually has to execute. Hello, DIY backyard pavers, goodbye weekend!

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5 Things Your Pastry Chef Really Doesn't Want You to Do

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Dark chocolate cupcakes with black cocoa frosting and vanilla buttercream with bourbon caramel.

Who doesn't have a list of "don'ts" at work? Today's the pastry chef's turn. We love making people happy with sweet concoctions, and we work hard to make that happen. Here are some tips to remember when dining on sweets that will keep your pastry chef from turning into a sourpuss.


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5 Choices for State Pastry for Arizona. Cast Your Vote!

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Date cake with honey caramel.

Last summer, Wisconsin named the kringle as the state's official pastry -- not to be confused with their proposed state dessert, the cream puff. A kringle is a Scandinavian flaky pastry, similar to a danish pastry in texture, then filled with nuts, fruit filling, or custard. Since Racine, Wisconsin, apparently is the epicenter of Danish-American culture and full of expert kringle makers, it just made sense.

Maine has blueberry pie. Maryland has Smith Island cake. Massachusetts obviously has Boston cream pie. South Dakota claimed kuchen. Texas got the strudel and the sopaipilla. What would Arizona's state pastry be? What are we known for as far as sweets are concerned? Those lollipops with the scorpions in them at the airport?

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How to Make a King Cake for Mardi Gras

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Slices of king cake.

Before I knew Mardi Gras was associated with copious alcohol consumption or showing breasts for beads, it was all about the cake.

Tucked away in the loft of a Lutheran church, my grade-school French class would indulge in yeasty cinnamon cake every snowy February. I would cross my fingers under my desk, hoping to be crowned queen, as everyone carefully devoured a piece of the king cake, searching for the whole almond.


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