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Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

While Paris is always beautiful, when winter comes, the city gets rather cold and gray – called la grisaille. In fact, it’s so cold that I refuse to go outside until spring. Believe me, all those romantic photos of Paris you see are taken during the spring and fall..and are very deceptive. And although it’s very pretty, it would take a mighty big levier (crowbar)…

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Crepes Dentelle cookies (Gavottes)

These may be the best cookies in the world. Okay, they’re not really cookies, per se. At least not in the French sense. Les cookies refers to chocolate chip cookies and these ultra-thin, ultra-crisp, and ultra-buttery tasting crêpes dentelles are so different, yet so good, you’ll find yourself eating your way through several of them in no time. To prove that point, as a courtesy, the…

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Mansoura

One of the appeals of Brooklyn is the rich ethnic mix of cultures, cuisines, and traditions, that is somewhat of a microcosm of America. Many of our grandparents, including mine, arrived on Ellis Island and assimilated to life in America in New York City. And it still remains a lively, if sometimes uncomfortable, mix of upscale, downscale, rich, poor, happy, angry, frustrated, and content. But everybody’s gotta…

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Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Some of my favorite candies are marshmallows. Actually, I should backtrack a bit and say at the very top of my all-time favorite things to eat are marshmallows. I love their pillowy softness and their tender sweetness with undertones of vanilla. If it sounds like I’m getting a little Proustian for them, you’re right. I recently made several batches for some projects, which not only…

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Prune-Stuffed Prunes

In what could be the hardest-sell on the planet, I always try to talk people who come to Paris into trying Pruneaux d’Agen fourrés, which are prunes stuffed with prunes. In spite of their reputation, prunes are a great delicacy in France and rightfully so; one taste of even just a regular pruneau d’Agen (especially mi-cuit, or “partially dried”), and you’ll plotz the first time…

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Recchiuti’s Asphalt Jungle Mix

Michael Recchiuti was recently here in Paris for a few weeks, visiting, and eating his way around town. Because he’s a chocolatier (from San Francisco), of course, he concentrated on chocolate. Interestingly I couldn’t remember how we met, but he recalled the event pretty well. Apparently a group of us had been invited to Robert Steinberg’s kitchen, since he was working on developing ScharffenBerger chocolate….

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Le Bonbon au Palais

I just realized that I haven’t used the word “astonishing” in a while. I’m not jaded or anything. I still walk around the streets of Paris sometimes and think, “Wow, this place is pretty spectacular.” And on my travels, including a recent trip to Chicago, I was wowed by everything from terrific Mexican food to a wonderful bakery. But sometimes adjectives aren’t enough, and every…

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Economy Candy

I’ll spare you any quips about feeling like kids in a candy store, but from the squeals of delight all around us (and there was no one under eighteen in Economy Candy), there we were, a roomful of adults, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling displays of candy—from the new to the long-forgotten. And I could hear every few moments someone saying, “Oh my God!” or “I LOVE…

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