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    greater boston area

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  1. Oreo Cookies

    and yet another new Oreo Limited Edition Flavor: Hot Cocoa. Not too bad! Crispy crunchy cookie and a thin layer of the regular filling and another thin layer of a chocolate filling. It's been a long while since I've had chocolate oreos so maybe it's the same filling? I'm sure the husband and kid will polish off the bag in no time!
  2. are you near them to be able to buy a pastry and see what it is like? Perhaps call a leading hotel and ask to speak to their pastry chef and see what the recommendation is. Or perhaps call the most sought-after wedding planner in Dubai and see what cake shop they recommend. I agree with Lisa's assessment; they have a lot of custom designs and lots of fondant work (which is neatly done; at least I didn't see any glaring errors but it's not top tier, You might not have a lot of choices though.
  3. I second Nick Malgeri's Great Italian Desserts; it's a wonderful book. Anything by the late Carol Field is also excellent; I have all of her books and the recipes work, they are accessible and are not heavy or dense. If your mom enjoys reading cookbooks, there is one called Bitter Almonds by Maria Grammatico (she has a co-writer Mary Taylor Semiti) that tells her story of a childhood in a convent to leaving the convent and opening a bakery. The first month the only tool she had was a chef's knife. Her recipes are old fashioned, but it is an enjoyable read.
  4. Starbucks

    The other bakery they had doing their pastries a while ago... they bought them out, used them for a few months (a year maybe?) then shut it down and everyone (at the bakery) lost their jobs. Hopefully the Italians are careful about who they are getting involved with ....
  5. Pistachio Paste

    @Kerry Beal if you are still there can you ask him where he is getting the 100% pure Sicilian paste from please?
  6. Pistachio Paste

    I don't have the tin any more so I can't tell what else was in there but they also sell a 100% pure pistachio paste so they definitely have two different pistachio products. I would venture a guess it had some almonds in there as well as some sugar; it was wonderful even with that. This is what's on the PastryChef.com site: http://www.pastrychef.com/MEC3-Gelato-Flavoring-Pastes_c_53.html and this is what I was hoping for: sicilian pistachio paste
  7. Pistachio Paste

    I have used the MEC 3 - it was labelled for gelato so it wasn't the pure paste I was really after. But it worked in all the applications I needed it for: buttercream, ganache (not confectionery, for cake fillings), cheesecake and was better than other brands I tried. I think I got it from Pastry Chef Central at the time. I ran out and needed some quickly a few weeks ago for an order of pistachio eclairs so I bought the Sosa from AUI. The Sosa was sweeter (to my taste) than the MEC3. It has nice color and was ok for adding to the pastry cream; but I don't think I would buy it again for what I need it for. I'm going to get more of the MEC3. I wish more Agrimontana stuff was available here. Their apricot bakeproof jam was the stuff of dreams. People still talk about the apricot linzer tarts I made with it, and I haven't been able to get my hands on Agrimontana apricot jam in at least 8 or 9 years
  8. Refrigerate or Not? Help requested

    Yes, I would refrigerate this tart (speaking as a pastry chef). I also think you can get away with baking the mascarpone filling and the tart shell; then refrigerating that. bake the apples separately (at the same time as the filling/shell is baking would be my choice) then refrigerate both of them. Put the (baked) apples (with any accumulated juices) on just before serving, glaze it, and et voila! No worries!
  9. Oreo Cookies

    Let me save you all from the abomination that is the Mystery Oreo; it comes in a white package and you're supposed to "guess" the flavor. One of the girls at work was describing it and I saw some at the supermarket yesterday so I bought a package for work and another to bring home. Gross is what immediately came to mind as I bit into one. It reminds me - and not in a good way - of Trix cereal or if you are old enough, the St Joseph Baby Aspirin that had an orange taste to it. No one at work liked them, so we threw them out. And no one at home is eating them either so they'll be in the trash tomorrow. It's the usual chocolate cookie, with a white filling (no tell-tale bits of anything in the filling so you can't tell just by looking. The cookie part is fine; the filling is what's disgusting. It's a chemical-y orange taste that is awful. So you've been warned - don't go into the deep end of the pool - and if you do, don't say you weren't warned!! LOL
  10. Vanilla sticker shock

    I've had good experiences with Sapna Foods in Atlanta; I use the double fold extract and the vanilla paste and the quality is fine. The vanilla paste is especially good - no added sugar or anything. It's so dense that we normally stretch it by adding extract and it lasts use many months. This past spring, when we needed more vanilla, I nearly fainted when he quoted me close to $300 for a gallon of extract.
  11. Oreo Cookies

    I have just bought two packages of the Cookie Butter Oreo: graham cookie and cookie butter creme filling. They aren't bad. I sort of like the graham cookie part, it's crispy/crunchy. But the creme? Yuck! Biscoff is probably already prepping the lawsuit....seriously, Nabisco why didn't you just buy a few trainloads of Biscoff and use that to fill the cookies with! FWIW: we spit out the apple pie ones and threw the rest of the ETA: apple pie flavored:cookies in the bin
  12. Custom Polycarbonate Molds

    I have never regretted spending the $ when I'm in the thick of things (e.g., running a little late ) and having the extra weight/size/the right tool for the job. Having the wrong tool makes my life miserable. Will you be thankful every time you can scrape the molds without worrying you're exerting too much pressure? How much aggravation will it be to have to deal with the bar or rack to rest them on (I feel like I'm speaking a different language - I have no idea what scraping, a bar, a rack or a melter IS! LOL) So yes, spend the $ now, you will be happy you did later. The return on the investment will happen.
  13. Those are just sugared almonds, we make them often,and I am sure lots of other places do too. We go with a 2/4/6 "ratio" (at least, that's how I remember the proportions: 2,000 gms sliced almonds with skins; 400 gms simple syrup (toss the nuts well in this) then add 600 gms sugar (we use bakers special for everything but any granulated sugar works here) and toss well. Bake at 300 low fan (high fan won't hurt) on well sprayed (clean) sheet pans - toss/break up the clumps after 15-20ish minutes and then bake until they are as dark as you like. They are addictive and I am always fantasizing about pouring chocolate all over them. I usually make a double batch because someone is always filching them while they cool on the speed rack.
  14. I can't get past the "I want to pick it out myself" - whether it is dairy, meat, fish, produce .... I want to know it's not just a few days from expiration or the berries on the under part of the packaging are wet and won't last the day before the whole package goes south. It might be from constantly checking the stuff that we bring in house from our distributors - if I buy a case of heavy cream, I want to know the expiration date is a month out because that tells me they just got it in; versus Restaurant Depot having heavy cream on the shelf that has a use by date within 7 days because that tells me they've been sitting on it for a while and their turnover is not that great. I can send it back if I don't like how something looks when it arrives, and I can bypass the stuff I don't want on the shelf and choose something with a later date/etc. With the meal plan, how do you send back the food if you don't like the look of some of what's in the box? Then what do you do - call for pizza? For those younger people who use it, is there a tutorial or something you can follow along on a smartphone while you do your own prep for the featured recipe/meal? - and getting some experience with it maybe that, in turn, will inspire them after a while to venture out and shop/buy/cook outside the meal plan.....
  15. Amazon Prime Day - your loot ?

    My sister is lusting after my Instant Pot so I might bite if that makes an appearance. I'm not entirely sure what Prime Day is all about though; is it just hype to get people to buy when they normally wouldn't? Or is it like the day after Thanksgiving where stores/retailers pretend to have phenomenal deals to jump start holiday shopping?