The latest. I candied a Buddha’s Hand, baked chocolate chip and bacon cookies, and made gluten-free breadsticks.

Thank you, Caroline Carter, for this recipe! It’s a sticky mess, which makes it one of the more fun and rewarding recipes I’ve tried. Those brave enough to do this should enjoy creative license in cutting the Buddha’s Hand–I did not want to slice through the fruit’s “fingers” my first time, but I think the unique shape lends itself to myriad attractive cuts. As candy goes, the Buddha’s Hand pieces began to harden soon after coming off the heat. I tried to conserve sugar by placing the candies in this pan and rolling them in a rather shallow bed of sugar (see below), but next time, I will not be so frugal. Excess coating sugar can be used again–or it could add a little hint of citrus to your next cup of tea.

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Chocolate chip and bacon cookies. They taste exactly how you’d think they taste. But you might be surprised that it works. I simply followed a recipe for “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies” in Cooks Illustrated’s Best Recipe Cookbook, halved the salt in the recipe, and added about 1/3 cup of crumbled crispy bacon (about 3 large strips of bacon, after the chef nibbles on one). I like plain bacon, and maple and honey infused bacon work, too, but I must recommend against heavy mesquite and hickory bacons. Use the full measure of chocolate chips your recipe calls for, if not extra–the idea is to think you’re eating a chocolate chip cookie and have the bacon provide the salty, unctuous warm-fuzzies of the perfect comfort food.

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Thank you, Gluten-Free NYC, and Risotteria in New York City, for sharing this recipe! I made rice noodles a couple of weeks ago and got my first taste of gluten-free food. It’s delicious, and a labor of love for those with the flour allergy. (My heart goes out to you!) The breadsticks were another sticky mess–the texture of uncooked gluten-free food can be really off-putting, and I don’t know if the soapy feel comes from the rice flour, tapioca flour, or xanthan gum. But the texture of the finished process is amazing–little crunch at first, then it gives to a soft, gummy, chewy, salty bread that I loved all over again. You really do need all of the butter and salt to finish them–I tried one or two without, and no good.

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