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Archive for March 30, 2012

VIDEO: Alton Brown’s Secret Ham Crust

 

Contemplating how to cook the Easter ham? Consider Alton Brown’s favorite way, with his grandmother’s “secret” ham crust recipe.

The secret is now out of the bag: brown sugar, mustard, bourbon and pulverized ginger snap cookies.

  • Brush on a layer of mustard (we prefer deli-style or Dijon)
  • Pat on a layer of brown sugar
  • Spritz bourbon in a spray bottle (we repurposed a small pump spray, instead of the large one Alton uses in the video)
  • Pat on a layer of ginger snap cookie crumbs
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    Watch Alton do it!

       

       

  • Want a different ham crust? Take a look at these ham glaze recipes.
  • How much do you know about ham? Here are the different types and cuts.
  • Take our Ham Trivia Quiz.
  • After tasting 20 “gourmet” hams, our favorite hams.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Adjust Your Oven Racks

    Ever wonder why recipes specify that you bake your item on the top, bottom or middle rack?

    Most items bake evenly in the middle of the oven.

    When it’s important to brown the bottom of the food—like a fruit pie where the crust can get soggy—the lower rack is required. It puts the pan or baking sheet closer to the heat source, on the bottom of the oven.

    Conversely, if you want more browning on the top—a meringue topping, for example—place the pan on the top rack. The meringue will brown without heating the fruit curd underneath.

    If you want to bake two cake pans at once, advises Lauren Chattman, author of The Baking Answer Book, two nine-inch pans can be placed side by side. But for even baking, you’ll need to rotate them after the cakes begin to set.

    With cookie sheets, you can place one on the bottom and one on the top, rotating them midway. Advises Lauren, “I recommend this only for items like cookies that require a relatively short baking time. With longer-baking items, the risk of burning is greater and not worth the savings on time.”

     

    A meringue-topped pie needs to be baked on
    the top rack of the oven. H.D. Connelly | Dreamstime.

     

    These directions don’t apply to convection ovens, which have an even circulation of air that avoids hot spots and cold spots of traditional ovens.

    Find our favorite cake and cookie recipes.

      

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    PRODUCT: Biscoff Spread, Now In Crunchy

    Biscoff spread sweetens a bagel. Photo
    courtesy Lotus Bakeries.

     

    One of our favorite products of 2011 was Biscoff Spread, a creamy, all-natural bread spread that looks like peanut butter but is actually made of ground Biscoff cookies and is nut-free. (Read our review.)

    Now, a crunchy version is rolling out across the U.S., at Central Market, Cost Plus World Market, The Fresh Market, Market Basket, Schnucks, Shop Rite, Walmart, Wegmans and Winn-Dixie. We even saw a private label brand at Trader Joe’s, called “Cookie Spread.”

    Crunchy Biscoff Spread takes the original creamy caramel spread delight and adds chunks of caramelized Biscoff cookies. The combination of creamy and crunchy is even better than the original. Imagine the possibilities:

  • Crunchy Biscoff Spread on toast or on pancakes and waffles
  • Luscious frosting layers or fillings in cakes and cupcakes
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  • A filling for cookie sandwiches—and of course, regular sandwiches and tea sandwiches, with or without some apple slices
  • Just licked off the spoon
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    Biscoff Spread Creamy is available at Central Market, Cost Plus World Market, The Fresh Market, Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Hannaford, Kroger, Market Basket, Safeway, Schnucks, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Wegmans, and Winn-Dixie and others, as well as through Biscoff’s website.

    A complete list of retail locations is available at www.biscoff.com.

    Or, you can buy it online now.

    Find more of our favorite bread spreads: product reviews, recipes and more.

     

    Find it on your grocer’s shelf or online.

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