Dark Chocolate

Published November 1, 2013.

It’s easy to find a great snacking chocolate. But cooking is different: Choosing the right dark chocolate can make the difference between a dessert that’s flawless and one that’s a flop.

Dark Chocolate

Processed Egg Whites

Published February 1, 2013.

How do these packaged products compare to fresh egg whites—both in taste and performance?

Processed Egg Whites

Ready-Made Pie Crusts

Published December 1, 2012.

Many store-bought pie crust options are grim: dense and doughy or greasy and cracker-crisp. Could we find a crust that’s closer to homemade?

Ready-Made Pie Crusts

Supermarket Cocoa Powder

Published November 1, 2012.

These days cocoa powder fetches anywhere from $7 to nearly $24 per pound. But is price any indication of rich chocolate flavor?

Supermarket Cocoa Powder

Almond Extract

Published February 1, 2012.

Just ¼ teaspoon of almond extract can perfume entire cakes with the unmistakable scent of almond. Given its potency, will any brand do?

Almond Extract

Molasses

Published November 1, 2011.

Terms like "mild," "full," and "robust" are meaningless when it comes to molasses. The only surefire way to know what we were getting was to taste them.

Molasses

Vanilla Beans

Published July 1, 2011.

For custard-based recipes in which vanilla is the star, we’ve found that vanilla beans impart deeper flavor than vanilla in its more familiar form, extract.

Vanilla Beans

Whole Wheat Flour

Published March 1, 2011.

If you thought all whole-wheat flours are created equal, you were wrong.

Whole Wheat Flour

Creamy Peanut Butter

Published March 1, 2011.

“Natural” peanut butter used to mean an oil slick on top and a texture so stiff you could stand a stick in it. Is the new breed of butters any better? And what exactly makes them “natural”?

Creamy Peanut Butter

Milk Chocolate

Published February 1, 2011.

Has trendy dark chocolate changed our taste for good old milk chocolate?

Milk Chocolate

Unsweetened Chocolate

Published November 1, 2010.

With no added sugar or dairy, 100 percent pure chocolate can be a clear route to rich chocolate flavor—or bitter proof that not all bars are created equal.

Unsweetened Chocolate

Instant Espresso Powder

Published March 1, 2010.

Is the right espresso powder the secret to intense chocolate flavor in brownies and other baked goods?

Instant Espresso Powder

All-Purpose Vegetable Oils

Published March 1, 2010.

Vegetable oil should stay behind the scenes, whether you’re baking, sautéing, or making salad dressing. But pick the wrong oil, and your food could taste like old fish.

All-Purpose Vegetable Oils

Cinnamon

Published November 1, 2009.

Cinnamon used to be the most basic spice in your cupboard. Now it’s gone upscale. So will a fancy brand from Vietnam costing $8 an ounce actually make baked goods taste better?

Cinnamon

White Chocolate

Published November 1, 2009.

We tasted real white chocolate alongside "fake" supermarket brands to determine if the real deal was worth tracking down.

White Chocolate

Steel-Cut Oats

Published July 1, 2009.

Judging from the brands and styles cramming supermarket shelves, there's an oat for almost every taste. Are any better for breakfast or for baking?

Steel-Cut Oats

Rolled Oats

Published July 1, 2009.

We prefer rolled oats for baking. Here are our recommendations for what brand to use.

Rolled Oats

Stone-Ground Oats

Published July 1, 2009.

We tested one brand of stone-ground oats. Could they please our tasters' palates?

Stone-Ground Oats

Quick Oats

Published July 1, 2009.

For emergencies only?

Quick Oats

Dark Chocolate Chips

Published May 1, 2009.

Do Nestlé Toll House morsels still deserve to be the nation’s top-selling chips?

Dark Chocolate Chips

Milk Chocolate Chips

Published May 1, 2009.

We were looking for a chip with intense chocolate flavor, moderate sugar, and a goodly amount of cocoa butter.

Milk Chocolate Chips

Vanilla Extract

Published March 1, 2009.

In the battle of pure versus imitation extracts, could we declare a winner?

Vanilla Extract

Lemon Curd

Published April 1, 2007.

We tasted jarred varieties to see if we could find an acceptable substitute for home-made.

Lemon Curd

Quick Shine—Aerosol Spray For Bread

Published January 1, 2007.

This product supposedly helps seeds stick to dough. Is it worth buying?

Yellow Cake Mixes

Published December 1, 2006.

Can any come close to homemade?

Yellow Cake Mixes
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