Our Resident Baking BFF’s Go-To Tools for Better Pies, Cakes, Cookies—You Name It

In Bake it Up a Notch, or Resident Baking BFF, Erin McDowell—and her trusty sidekick, Brimley, our Resident Pie Pup—shows us everything we’ll ever need to know to make our baking faster, easier, and better than ever. From equipment recommendations to i…

In Bake it Up a Notch, or Resident Baking BFF, Erin McDowell—and her trusty sidekick, Brimley, our Resident Pie Pup—shows us everything we'll ever need to know to make our baking faster, easier, and better than ever. From equipment recommendations to in-depth technique tutorials to fixes for every mishap imaginable, Erin's here to save the day (and save our cakes).


If you know someone who loves to bake, they are likely spending more time in the kitchen than ever before. This list is made up of tools I turn to time and time again, that have withstood the test of time and beyond frequent use in my home kitchen—plus a few sources of inspiration for year-round baking. Any baker would be thrilled to unwrap one of these goodies! Wishing everyone happy holidays and happy baking!

Read More >>

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Erin McDowell’s New Cookbook

I baked my first pie alongside my Grandma Jeanne when I was 14 years old. It was for a church social, and she was experimenting with an olive oil crust.

I’d always loved cooking and baking, but Grandma’s country kitchen was less stressful than my moth…

I baked my first pie alongside my Grandma Jeanne when I was 14 years old. It was for a church social, and she was experimenting with an olive oil crust.

I’d always loved cooking and baking, but Grandma’s country kitchen was less stressful than my mother’s, because Grandma was more accepting of a mid-process mess. I distinctly remember the proud feeling carrying the pie into the church and serving it. Many bakers will tell you that sharing baked goods with others is their favorite part—and it quickly became mine.

Read More >>

How to Make Perfect, Just-Fluffy-Enough Blini

I recently fell back in love with blini. Yes, we had been on a bit of a hiatus—I remembered them as not-always-flavorful disks, mere vessels for whatever tasty filling tops them. But true blini, made from yeast-risen buckwheat batter, are actually burs…

I recently fell back in love with blini. Yes, we had been on a bit of a hiatus—I remembered them as not-always-flavorful disks, mere vessels for whatever tasty filling tops them. But true blini, made from yeast-risen buckwheat batter, are actually bursting with flavor and have a lovely texture.

They make amazing appetizers and cocktail party fare, but larger-sized blini (read on!) can make fabulous brunches and even dinner entrées, especially with a crisp salad nearby. Want to get in on the blini action? Here’s what you need to know.

Read More >>

These 16 Savory Tart Recipes Are Buttery, Flaky, Delicious

In winter, the constant desire to have something delicious baking in the oven, warming and perfuming the house, has me making a lot of savory tarts.
I love them: Add a pile of lightly dressed greens and you’ve got a meal, but cut off a sliver a few ho…

In winter, the constant desire to have something delicious baking in the oven, warming and perfuming the house, has me making a lot of savory tarts.

I love them: Add a pile of lightly dressed greens and you’ve got a meal, but cut off a sliver a few hours later and it’s a perfectly acceptable snack. And like many of my favorite baked goods, they are open to tons of possibilities, which leaves the window wide open for creative combinations.

Read More >>

Everything You Need to Know About Par-Baking

We should all have a solid command of the ABCs of baking. Today, cookbook author Erin McDowell and photographer Sarah Stone are here to help us all make flakier, creamier, just-plain-better pies. This lesson covers how to par-bake pie crusts, so t…

We should all have a solid command of the ABCs of baking. Today, cookbook author Erin McDowell and photographer Sarah Stone are here to help us all make flakier, creamier, just-plain-better pies. This lesson covers how to par-bake pie crusts, so they're crisp, golden, and perfect every time. Plus, all the ways to fill them. 

Alright, you’ve mastered the how-tos of mixing your pie crust. Now comes the pie-related question I am asked more often than any other: How do you handle baking? And a lot of this comes down to par-baking.

Read More >>