One thing I've never understood: cummerbunds. Another thing I've never understood: pancake mix. As you can see, I thought I easily had my plate full with life's mysteries. Then during a routine purchase of one slotted spoon at Crate and Barrel, I spotted a canister of The Barefoot Contessa's French Crepe Mix, and everything unraveled again.
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Lately it seems like every time I stop by a specialty food store, Ina Garten has debuted a new baking mix based on one of her popular recipes. In fact, according to her website, she now has more than twenty breakfast and dessert mixes. At this rate, she's poised to take on King Arthur Four and Betty Crocker. This week I tried out her new coconut madeleines. Dainty and delicate, they seemed perfect for spring.
The cookies were crispy, sweet, and scented faintly with vanilla. Each bite began with a slick of rich dark chocolate and ended in a satisfying crunch. I was impressed that the cookies had absolutely no hint of artificial, cloying, from-a-mix flavor. Seriously, you could say you baked them from scratch and no one would be the wiser.
I have always thought of marshmallows as a sort of "magic" food, like Pop Rocks or bubble tea. How, exactly, are they made? Sugar is obviously a major ingredient, but what else goes into them?