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Deb Perelman

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  • Favorite foods: Artichokes, arugula, beans, salted butter caramel and aperitifs. Not together.

Chocolatiers for Baking in NYC

I just ran all over the city this week looking for Valrhona white chocolate, so maybe I can help. I often used WF for Valrhona because their prices were surprisingly decent on it, but for whatever reason, they've decided not to sell the white and sometimes the milk chocolate anymore (at least at Bowery and Union Square; they claim they have it at the Tribeca location but that's out of my orbit). Anyway, frustrated that they select random types of chocolate for random stores, I headed to NY Cake & Baking where they have all types of Valrhona and Callebaut, always on sale. Sliiightly (barely) inflated prices but much less than you'd pay if you mail-ordered from ChefShop.com or the like. So, they have my vote for reliably finding a good range of top-notch baking chocolate. Hope that helps.

Happy Macaron Day!

Two years ago today, my husband and I finally got to Pierre Herme on our last day in Paris. We had about 5 euros left between us so we figured we'd just try one or two. They insisted we have three each and we (in our pitiful French) kept trying to explain that we didn't want all that and were terrified of going to the register and having to explain that they'd have to put them back but Voila! It was Macaron Day and they were free! We thought we'd won the lottery.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever (Unless You Have a Better One)

I completely forgot about these--they were one of the first recipes I made for my site! We used them for ice cream sandwiches and they were awesome. One thing I would love to do in the future is try them smaller and see if they're still as charming. Yes, I know, moderation: how boring.

Photo of the Day: Martha's Prop Room

I was there a few months ago and almost fainted with delight when I saw the 300-plus cake stands and 200 cutting boards. They had to drag me out, kicking and screaming. Curiously, I haven't been invited back since...

Photo of the Day: Best Menu Ever

I always see this, and it cracks me up. But really--why are our recipe titles so unimaginative? They could be poetry!

Got a better recipe for these chocolate pretzels?

The first thing that is horribly, ridiculously wrong with that recipe is the 35 minute baking time, which is why I think the results were really dry. When I lowered it to 15 minutes, I ended up with a much more cookie-like confection--crisp exterior, slightly soft in the middle. You might even be able to lower it to 12, if you let them rest in the pan for 5 minutes while they cool, so their shapes can settle.

After that, I upped the cocoa, swapping out the same amount of flour. Even though I really don't like things overly sweet, I would definitely add more sugar next time, maybe an extra couple tablespoons of brown sugar, for more flavor. However, it might be worth it just to try another, more reliably flavorful chocolate cookie recipe, like the Dorie one I recommended (though haven't tried as a pretzel yet), and just use the pretzel technique from the original recipe.

They really are adorable, but the recipe is pitiful.

Do Cherries Make You Happy? What Do You Do with the Pits?

Mine arrived yesterday as well! They're WONDERFUL. I ate so many, my teeth are still a little garnet-tinged.

My New Favorite Chef: The Pioneer Woman

I adore this site and everything about it. She's hilarious. I'm so glad you've given her the mention she deserves! Her photography just incredible, as well.

The 100 Calorie Solution: The Answer to Our Prayers?

I have to confess a weakness for salty, crunchy things with lunch, but having no interest in swallowing some 250-cal (1/5 of my daily suggested calories!) chips, I'd much rather reach for a 100-calorie pack. I think the product is brilliant. Unlike products that brag "low fat" (but are ridiculously high in carbs) or "sugar free!" (but are loaded with all sorts of garbage) or the generic "healthy!" (I believe I last saw this on Fruit Loops), they kind of are what they are.

The 100 Calorie Solution: The Answer to Our Prayers?

I have to confess a weakness for salty, crunchy things with lunch, but having no interest in swallowing some 250-cal (1/5 of my daily suggested calories!) chips, I'd much rather reach for a 100-calorie pack. I think the product is brilliant. Unlike products that brag "low fat" (but are ridiculously high in carbs) or "sugar free!" (but are loaded with all sorts of garbage) or the generic "healthy!" (I believe I last saw this on Fruit Loops), they kind of are what they are.

Eating in Portland, Maine

My husband and I had one of our BME (best meals, ever) at Fore Street when we were in Maine last August. We also had a fantastic meal at a newish place nearby called Vignola, which I understand is run by the same people who run the more-established restaurant Cinque Terre. The best lobster roll was definitely from the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, I believe an older F&W recommendation. I can't wait to go back this year.

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