Dining Section Roundup: 12.14.05

Yesterday’s Dining Section in the NY Times was a holiday baker’s playground. There are five different articles about cookies, cakes and the secret methods and gadgets one might use to make them. If you weren’t in the holiday mood yet, you are now.

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A Bakery Rolls With the Technology: Julia Moskin, who admits to not being the best baker, tries out a variety of new gadgets meant to make baking better, and decides she needs more shelf space.

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The Cake on the Bed: Mark Bittman offers a Simple Chocolate Layer Cake topped with whipped cream. The trick is using the best ingredients available.

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Two Paths to Glory: Smashing Desserts: With her customary wink, Nigella Lawson seduces us again with the ease of baking, and the rewards that follow. Recipes are for gooey Molten Chocolate Babycakes and a Chestnut Cheesecake.

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For Wheat Watchers, a Chance to Indulge: Arguably not as sexy as Nigella’s take, but Catherine Saint Louis gives hope to those who usually fear the holiday season’s tempting confections: those allergic to wheat. Chiffon Cake…Spiced Coffeecake… and Fresh Ginger Cake.

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For Perfect Cookies, Add a Big Dollop of Blithe Abandon: Melissa Clark, with a wink of her own, encourages experimentation in baking via a recipe for Shortbread with dozens of variations.

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Champagne: How Low Can You Go?: Asimov and his panel taste a dozen Champagnes under $30 and come out with a few winners.

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