Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

A Sweet Guide to Tasting Chocolate

Looking for a fun time with other food-minded friends? Or, do you just love chocolate and want to know everything out it? Consider a chocolate tasting! Like wine, chocolate is a multifaceted food, with each step of its growth and processing—from bean to bar—impacting its texture, flavor, and usability. No […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Add Parchment Cones to Your Pastry Toolkit

When it comes to the fine details on picture-perfect pastries, there is a handy tool all pastry chefs keep in their toolbox: parchment paper cones. Unlike large piping bags, parchment paper cones are very small. This makes them steady and easy to grip, but it also allows for a very […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Chocolate

Bewildering arrays of cocoa and chocolate products exist and vary widely in quality and availability. The first step in properly selecting these products is to understand the makeup of each and their uses. Bittersweet/semisweet chocolate Often simply called dark chocolate, the FDA regulates that this type of chocolate must contain […]


Black and White Cookies

Make about 2 dozen cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 3 eggs 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup sour cream 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Vanilla Glaze Ingredients 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons […]

Cookies, Desserts

Candy Bowl Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies These cookies are a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a twist. In place of chocolate chips, we’ve used chip-sized pieces of Halloween-favorite chocolate candies, like peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered caramels, and chocolate-coated toffee pieces. Use whatever you like best, adding as many textures as […]

Cookies, Desserts

Checkerboard Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies To make sharper-looking cookies, reserve a portion of vanilla or chocolate dough, roll it to about 1/8 inch thick, brush lightly with water, and wrap around the checkerboard block. Refrigerate, slice, and bake. Ingredients Vanilla Dough 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 cup confectioners’ […]

Desserts, Family Fun

Chocolate Cereal Crumbles

Makes 4 to 6 servings So simple and satisfying, these little treats are a snack for kids and grown-ups! Use your favorite cereal and experiment with a mix of dark, milk, or even white chocolate, if you like. We love peanuts in this recipe, but you can replace it with […]


Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 45 cookies Make these cookies super-size to take on picnics or serve at kids parties, or miniaturize them to include as part of a cookie plate to serve at a tea or reception. Ingredients 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/2 […]

Desserts, Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments

Chocolate Glaze

Makes about 1 1/2 cups, or enough to glaze a 9-inch cake This chocolate glaze stays shiny but soft and is a perfect topping for cream puffs or éclairs. Use it to glaze a cake or to drizzle into vanilla ice cream for a chocolate ripple effect. Ingredients 1/2 cup […]