Category Archives: Test Kitchen

The test kitchen is a collection of lessons learned exploring different recipes and cooking techniques It’s also where you’ll find my favorite recipes that covers a wide variety of items from cookies to breads to pasta and even guacamole!

Chocolate Chip Cookies: recipe, tips and secrets

Chocolate Chip CookiesI always enjoyed my mom’s chocolate chip cookies growing up. I can still remember the aroma that filled the kitchen while she baked them. Getting them while they were fresh out of the oven and still warm was a treat. The only downside was that the cookies would get hard after setting for more than a few days. Granted, this was rarely a problem since the cookies went fast. However, after using my mom’s recipe to bake cookies with the kids, I was convinced there was a way to make softer cookies.

A Google search for soft chocolate chip cookies pointed me to the “Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe at After just one use, we were hooked. Using this recipe, the cookies are soft and stay this way for days. The family absolutely loves them, and we get rave reviews anytime we take them somewhere as a dessert dish.

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Grandma’s apple pie recipe

One of my favorite memories growing up was going to my Grandma’s house after she baked her homemade apple pie. I can still remember the smell in her kitchen, and there was nothing like the taste of warm apple pie fresh out of the oven.

My mother, who is a great cook in her own right, took over my Grandma’s apple pie recipe. She can, and still does, make a pretty mean apple pie herself. I’d be hard pressed to choose which one I like better – Mom’s or Grandma’s.

In any case, I decided a few years ago that it was time for me to start learning how to make Grandma’s apple pie myself. On one of my mom’s trips out to Southern California, she brought the recipe and assisted me on my first try. It was good, but not like what I remembered.

Since then, I’ve made a few pies, but the one I recently baked over Thanksgiving came out best. It’s the closest I’ve come to matching my mom and grandma’s work. I still need more practice, but I figured I’d share my variation of the recipe along with a few secrets I’ve learned so far.

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