Broque Monsieur with Greg Jensen

by Stoves and Bros


My good friend and actor extraordinaire, Greg Jensen is in the kitchen helping make a simple but satisfying ham and cheese sandwich. 

Ingredients: 

Bread
Black forrest ham
Gruyere
Mustard
Mayo
 

Instructions: 

1. Spread the mustard on one side of the bread
2. Grate gruyere and sprinkle the cheese on both sides of the bread
Note- you can add as much as you want but you definitely want enough to cover the sides of breads evenly
3. Put two or three slices on one side of the bread and close the sandwich
4. Spread mayo on both sides of the sandwich
Bro tip: This seems odd but it will make the outside of the sandwich so crusty and delicious
5. Heat up a skillet (or any pan you have) on medium and add some Pam
Note- if you don't have Pam, a small chunk of butter will do
6. Put your sandwich on the stove and cook each side for about two minutes

Enjoy!


Recipe Review Monday: Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken Breasts

by Stoves and Bros


Part of the big struggle to cooking is finding a great recipe. So many times I have seen beautiful looking recipes in magazines, dropped a hundo at Whole Foods, only for the recipe to be conceived and yield sad results. Ask my mom about the butter hazelnut cake debacle of 2010: For weeks,I tried the same time intensive recipe cake recipe and it still didn't work (looking at you NYTimes). 

I've never had that experience with Idna Garten's recipes. They are so simple and consistently come out great your first time using them. I listened to Bon Appetit's interview with her and she said before she publishes a recipe she will take an amateur cook to the grocery store and follow them around. If it's too hard to shop for, she rewrites the recipe. I was dyingggg when I read that- take me shopping, Idna!!! @Idnagarten, please take me to your local Hamptons Citerella #kthanks

So with that being said, I don't even need to break down this recipe for you guys. She already did. The lemon chicken breasts is a must do when want to do 5 minutes of prep and nothing else. Pair it with some pasta, like buccatini tossed with olive oil and parm and you have a very respectable meal. 
 


Create a Winter Wonderland

by Stoves and Bros


Let me preface this post by saying that I am terrified of ice skating. As soon as the temperature drops, every girl I know gushes about how romantic ice skating around Rockefeller Center seems and how they hope their boyfriend takes them. The single girls whine and lament about their singleness but mostly reference their wish to go ice skating as their reason for feeling sad. I guess the lesson here is: guys, if you want to make girls happy this winter- take them ice skating. However, if you are in the unique situation of dating me, do not suggest it. All I can imagine is me falling and getting a limb sliced off like a scene straight out of Scream Queens. Anyway, because of my personal phobias I created a list of alternative winter actives because I know I can't be the only one out there who's worried about getting run over by the Zamboni. 

1. Classic night of cuffing: if you read my previous post, you should have locked down a cuffing partner. So now all you need is a good movie to watch while you decidedly don't go out in the freezing temperatures to meet girls.

Low ball: let her put on Love, Actually

Step up: recreate the scene with the cue cards and Kiera Knightley but that's a gesture on a proposal level. 

2. Make s'mores: s'mores can be made on a gas stove if you don't have a fireplace available. If not you can make the s'mores dip I've seen plastered on Pinterest (recipe here). It's a cheap date so show a little effort. Perhaps bring in cookie dough or Reese's cup or have melted chocolate available to dip. You don't have to stage it like a buffet because that would look like you're trying too hard but have the ingredients ready to go so the activity seems effortless.

3. Christmas punch: everyone knows I love a good punch. It's a nice way to start the night before dinner or do a more intimate pregame with your love interest. My favorite recipe is located here. 

4. Take a nice walk: it's been a very mild winter and we are lucky enough that in middle of December we are able to keep our jackets unzipped and the gloves are still at home. Grab a hot chocolate and find a nice Christmas display to walk through. A few suggestions would be the windows at Bergdorfs or see the lights on college walk at Columbia (shout out to my alma mater for having the prettiest nondenominational holiday set-up in the game). 

5. Make a brunch: it's cold out. Invite your date over for a simple brunch spread (bagels, cream cheese, lox, and maybe eggs) and make her a latte or classic hot chocolate. 


Easy Roast: Winter Squash

by Stoves and Bros


I've said it once and I'll say it again- roasting is the easiest way to cook something for yourself. You put it in the oven and chill until your timer goes off.

Winter Squash is beautiful and looks very sophisticated even though it's a low maintenance side dish.  

Winter squash with maple dressing

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Ingredients:  

1. 3 winter squash

2.  olive oil

3. salt

4. pepper

5. Maple syrup

6. Mustard 

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut the squash in half
3. Scoop out the inside pulp and seeds
4. Drizzle and spread olive oil inside and sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on each side
5. Put the squash on a baking sheet or aluminum foil
6. After 40 minutes, take a fork and see if the flesh of the squash is soft; if still not tender keep in the oven and check every five minutes
7. Mix two tablespoon of maple syrup with one table spoon of olive oil and 1/2 a tablespoon of mustard. Mix and add ingredients to taste


Cut-throat Kitchen: Knives Skills 101 at ICE

by Stoves and Bros


Recently, I decided to sign up for a cooking class. Instead of going for the trendier option of pasta making or surf and turf, I opted for the very practical “Knife Skills 101” class. As someone who is generally teaching themselves on the trial and error model, I thought knife skills would be one area where it would be useful to have a professional on hand. Full disclosure: my knives are colorful and from Walmart. Anyone in the class who had nice knives seemed to have received them from their wedding registry. This is not currently in the cards for me so I may start saving or start some sort of crowd funding campaign. 

For those of us not lucky enough to have been gifted immaculate sets of German steel by our relatives, the professionals at Institute of Culinary Education recommend starting out with a smaller set and not just buying the biggest block of knives you see at BBB. Here is what they said was necessary: 

Shears, a peeler (you only need one - not both), a scraper, a paring knife, a deboning knife, a 6" chef's knife, a serrated knife, a honing steel, a sharpener and an 8" chef's knife

Shears, a peeler (you only need one - not both), a scraper, a paring knife, a deboning knife, a 6" chef's knife, a serrated knife, a honing steel, a sharpener and an 8" chef's knife

I know I wasn't able to mince like an Iron Chef but I also didn't think my entire approach to cutting an onion was wrong. These are the mistakes they pointed out and this is what I had been doing my entire culinary career:

1. The smallest knife (called a paring knife) shouldn’t be your go to
2. You don’t hold a knife like you hold a tennis racquet- I was gripping it all around the handle and that is very wrong
3. Your finger nails on your non dominant hand should never show. Curve your hand like a bear claw when pushing the food towards the knife. 
4. Don’t start slicing vegetables the way they are- make extra cuts so the food sits flat. (i.e. chop the bottom off the onion so it doesn’t roll)

I know Knife Skills doesn’t sound like the sexiest cooking course in the directory but I do recommend taking one. It will speed up your prep time, make your dishes look more professional, and if you do ever get knives, you’ll know how to take care of them. Also being able to cut your garlic like Bobby Flay will impress girls. 


Five ways to guarantee a cuffing season partner (I promise apple picking didn’t make the list)

by Stoves and Bros


In the words of every GOT character, “Winter is coming.” While cuffing season usually creates anxiety amongst millennial girls everywhere, it should also instill fear in bros as well. I promise as the temperature drops, so will the number of girls going out. Don’t be that guy who watches all his friends pair off for the season while you find yourself ice skating in Rockefeller Center by yourself (because, you know, it’s a good quad workout). Be proactive in the fall and maybe even court a girl or two so you have a prime lady to make you watch The Bachelor.

1. Donut tasting: Give the poached eggs a break and instead of the traditional Saturday morning brunch, wake up a little early to pick up coffee and a half a dozen donuts in fall flavors. Not only will your date be impressed by the effort (however small) but it’s always fun to go through a bunch of flavors and taste a little bit of everything. Try: Donut Pub, Doughnut Plant, Dough (now selling at Whole Foods), Elsie’s Parlor

 

 

Dough.jpg

2. Cider Week: For those in the New York area, Cider Week is happening November 6-15. This is perfect because girls like apples and also for all the bros dating those gluten free girls, cider is the way to go. While the entire calendar looks amazing, I would suggest the GF Oktoberfest or the Lower East Cider Festival.  

3. Go glamping: Take a weekend and embrace the great outdoors, in moderation. Glamping is a happy medium between roughing it in the forest and renting a ScareBNB. You can pick from fancy tents, cottages, and even tree houses. Make some s’mores, tell a few ghost stories, and I promise your date will be smitten until next spring.

4. Punch bowl: Maybe it’s for a pregame or maybe it’s for a binge of Homeland. Either way, making a giant batch of cocktails with warm, delicious fall ingredients is an easy way to impress a lady and seem like a genuine mixologist. May I suggest Moscow Mules for everyone?

5. Make a fall pizza together: There’s something about working as a team that breaks the ice. Rather than sending a Netflix and chill text, try “pizza, then Netflix and chill? Pizza is great because 1) everyone loves it 2) you can be creative about the toppings 3) it’s really hard to mess up. Try something festive and go for a butternut squash pizza (Bro tip: buy the dough at a grocery store or local pizzeria so you aren’t stuck making the whole thing from scratch). 



Happy Fourth of Bro-ly: Grilling Lobster Made Easy

by Stoves and Bros


Lobster is probably one of the most intimidating dishes imaginable. 1) Its the only protein you are expected to kill. 2) Its expensive so after you kill the little creatures and shelled out $100, you better make it good. 3) Lobster can be difficult to time; its not like a steak where you can just cut it in half and make sure you like how its prepared. All that being said, its one of my favorite foods and I knew I needed to master it. If its bad its really bad, but if its good, its really really amazing. 

I decided to grill it for a few reasons- it seemed more laid back and fun and I love the smoky sweetness. Also, while I was home in sunny Florida, I was determined to conquer the grill (more posts to come). 

Ingredients (serves 4): 
1. 4 live lobsters 
TIP: If you do not have the heart to kill them yourself, you can ask your fishmonger to split them for you- this means you should cook them ASAP but also means you don't have to hear the lobstah scream (this is what I did and then followed the steps below).
2. 1 stick of butter
3. 1/2 a bunch of parsley
4.  2 lemons 
5. 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
6. Dash of pepper

PREP: 
Before you start: light up your grill to medium and let it heat up while you prep (takes about 10 minutes) 
1. Start by boiling water in a large pot. While the water is heating up, if you the lobsters are already split, take all the green gunk out of the middle by running them under COLD water

If you are working with live lobster follow the instructions here to kill and clean them- sorry guys, not posting a video of me doing this because #peta

2. Next you declaw them by using kitchen scissors and cutting at the joint
3. Take your butter, parsley, and pepper and throw it in a food processor or bullet blender 
    If you don't have either, just try to chop the parsley as much as you can and mix it with the other ingredients in a small bowl
4. Throw your lobster in the boiling water, starting with the claws, for TWO minutes; while the lobster is boiling, quickly prepare an ice bath (this is just a big bowl of water and ice)
5. After the two minutes, using tongs, place the pieces in the bath
6. After they cool, place the pieces on a large plate or cooking sheet and slather the halves with the butter mix 
 

Grilling:
Here's where it gets a little tricky: the claws take a bit longer than the halves so you have to time it out accordingly. 

1. Place the claws on the grill 2 minutes before the halves
2. After the 2 minutes, place the halves shell down for four minutes
3. Take the halves off and then take the claws off after 2 more minutes
4. Take off the grill and serve with more butter and lemon

Suggestions: serve with corn, a watermelon salad, and a grain


Broasting Eggplant

by Stoves and Bros


Eggplant can be tricky. Easily overdone or undercooked- it can be hard to find the perfect way to prepare them. However, they are so pretty when you pass in the supermarket and make for a more creative side than the usual asparagus or broccoli. After grilling, dicing, cubing and sauteing, these purple plump guys, I have found that the superior way to prepare is to slice and roast, creating a baked eggplant chip. For an extra dimension of flavor I like to add a sliver of garlic and insert it into the middle of the eggplant slice. The whole piece gets infused with garlic and it tastes like a healthy, refreshing Mediterranean slice of heaven. Full recipe below. 

image.jpg

Serves: 6

ingredients: 

two medium sized eggplants

*TIP* the thinner the eggplant, the less bitter so you can use 4-6 thin, small eggplants if you prefer 

4 cloves of garlic (sliced) 

2 tablespoons of olive oil

dash of pepper  

tablespoon of salt  

instructions: 

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees  

2. remove half of the skin of the eggplant after washing  

2.  remove the top of the eggplant (stem) and slice the eggplant very thin

3. add salt to the eggplant and allow to sit for 10 minutes; with a paper towel remove any water 

3. using a knife pierce the eggplant in the middle and insert the slice of garlic

4. brush the eggplant with olive oil  

5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, flip and then bake for another 20 until crispy


Valentine's Gift Guide for your Kitchen Goddess

by Stoves and Bros


 

1. The chef with no backyard: click and grow herb planter~ $99

2. For the hostess with the mostess: monogramed cocktail shaker~ $32

3. Learn what foods heat up the kitchen: An appetite for seduction couples class ~$240

4. For the master pastry chef: creme brûlée set~ $40

5. For the cook who needs some self-love: Laura Mercier dessert collection ~$24

6. For the tech savy chef: iPad stand and speakers~$200


Start the Weekend with a Punch

by Stoves and Bros


Anyone who knows me, knows I am obsessed with punches. All a bar or lounge has to do is offer punch bowls and I freak out and have to go. Some of the best ones I have been to in New York are Cienfuegos and the Bourgeois Pig. While I was home I decided to make a festive one using pomegranate, cranberry, lemon juice to make a bright, tart, and sweet cocktail. 

The recipe is here: (note because it's a punch you don't have to use top shelf liquor for it to be tasty)

2 cups chilled pomegranate juice
1 cup chilled cranberry juice
8 ounces (1 cup) vodka
8 ounces (1 cup) Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
1 cup chilled club soda
1/2 cup lemon juice (from 6 lemons)
1 cup sparkling wine
1/2 cup Simple Syrup


Valentine's Day Guide for Every Girl

by Stoves and Bros


From left to right.. links are in the descriptions 

1. For the girl who's phone is always dying on her- back up phone charger ~ $30

2. For the modern girl who still loves something classic - Tiffany's thin wire T bracelet ~ $1,500

3. For the girl who loves to make a statement - See by Chloe bucket bag ~$495

4. For the girl with a little subtle edge- Joolz earrings ~ $150

5. For the girl who likes to snuggle up with something warm- UGG's double knit robe~ $125

6. For the picky girl- Warby Parker's try 5 pairs for 5 days allows here to pick her favorite ~ $95


How to put together a meal

by Stoves and Bros


Me and my spread 

Me and my spread 

This year I was in charge of Christmas Eve dinner. I was a little intimidated by creating a cohesive dinner with a large number of servings. Putting together a meal doesn't have to be a daunting task. If you are having people over, do not feel the need to put together an elaborate menu: most people enjoy simple, hearty food and when you're making food for a large group you don't want to make anything that will be off putting to people. 

The simple formula is an appetizer like soup or salad (salad is great because you can prepare it the day before with dressing on the side and you don't have to heat it up) plus a protein dish, carb heavy dish (like pasta or rice), and some sort of vegetable. An easy combination for an entree would be steak, pasta, and broccoli rabe. 

When searching for recipes you want to keep the different elements coherent by using the same spices and similar types of cuisines. 

For my dinner, I wanted to do more classic European dishes with warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. After doing some research I decided on a simple spinach salad to start following with Wolfgang Puck's Spaetzle (a German dumpling/pasta), butternut squash, and apple glazed pork

For dessert I made Ina Garten's chocolate cake which is always a hit. 

Here's some variations that you can throw together when having people over or impressing your parents with the fact that you're a real person. 

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Steak dinner: 

Spinach salad

Risotto

Steak 

Brussels sprouts 

Healthy dinner: 

Mixed greens

Quinoa

Spicy Chicken

Fingerling Potatoes 


Recipe Review: Jean-Georges' Meyer Lemon Risotto

by Stoves and Bros


While I was home I tried to attempt as many recipes as possible while I had access to a giant dishwasher, real utensils, and a huge variety of pots. My parents have these huge lemon trees in their backyard so I thought it was the perfect time to make Jean-Georges' Meyer Lemon Risotto. 

Behold! The beauty of fresh squeezed lemon juice

Behold! The beauty of fresh squeezed lemon juice

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This recipe worked beautifully. The risotto was rich and creamy and the instructions were relatively easy to follow. I modified the recipe slightly, leaving out the chile and celery rib because I didn't have them accessible. Additionally, I didn't use multiple types of lemons because who has time for that. One thing that is really nice about about foodandwine.com is that they will usually list a wine pairing that goes perfectly with the meal. 

I used this recipe to accent a steak dinner with brussels sprouts. All the components of the meal can be found in the archives.  

Recipe is below: 

  1. 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 tender inner celery rib, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup chopped leaves
  5. 1/2 Thai chile, minced
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
  8. 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
  9. 1/2 cup white vermouth
  10. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  11. 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  12. 1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  13. 1 tablespoon finely grated Eureka lemon zest
  14. 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
  15. 1 tablespoon fresh Eureka lemon juice
  16. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons julienned basil leaves
  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, cover and keep hot. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery rib and chile, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the celery leaves and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring until glossy, about 1 minute
  2. Add the vermouth to the rice and simmer over moderate heat until almost absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring constantly between additions, until most of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when it's tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes total. Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, the mascarpone, the lemon zests and juices and the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls and serve, passing additional Parmesan at the table.

Holiday Challenge: Homemade Donuts with Maple Glaze

by Stoves and Bros


Nothing keeps you warm during a polar vortex like pieces of fried dough. This challenge was issued to me by my good friend/cameraman/producer Steph K. I've never made donuts so I did a little research; as per Stoves and Bros' style, usually I try to keep the number of ingredients down. So I went for a recipe that didn't include yeast because that would require an extra trip to the grocery store. This was a miscalculation on my part. The donuts came out delicious because fried dough, by nature, is delicious but more of a fritter than a donut in terms of texture. The maple-sugar glaze was something I just made on the spot but was undoubtedly delicious and soooooo easy. I will be using this on scones, pancakes, waffles, and my future batches of donuts. I will provide the recipe I used but honestly not every challenge can be a win so I provided a recipe that includes yeast. 

Maple glaze:

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons of maple syrup 

1/4 cup milk ( add more if the consistency is too thick)

Instructions: at the maple syrup to the milk, mix it up and then add the sugar. Mix until it no longer seems grainy and is a thick liquid. 

Donuts without yeast: 

For the doughnut holes:
5 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Equipment: Deep-fry thermometer; Small ice cream scoop

Directions:

Make the glaze:

Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Slowly stir in 3 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. If the glaze isn't thin enough, stir in 1 additional tablespoon of milk. Cover the glaze with plastic wrap and set it aside while you make the doughnut holes.

Make the doughnut holes:

Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. (There should be at least 2 inches of oil in the pot and at least 2 inches between the top of the oil and the top of the pot.) Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and the egg. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir the milk-egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in the melted butter, mixing until a soft dough forms.

Once the oil has reached 350ºF, (I don't have a thermometer but I threw in a tiny piece of dough to see if it fried it sufficiently) use an ice cream scoop to drop about 1 tablespoon scoops of dough into the oil, careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Fry the doughnut holes, flipping them in the oil, for about 2 minutes or until they're golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnut holes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet.

Allow the doughnut holes to cool slightly. Place a cooling rack atop a baking sheet, then pour the glaze on top of them and let cool so the sugar gets hard and delicious. 

This is the recipe I would have used if I knew that yeast made a difference. For those of you who aren't experts on bread products, yeast allows the dough to become airy and light which is the number one quality of a donut. 

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Instructions: 

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Then fry the dough for two minutes on each side until cooked through. Let cool and then pour glaze over them. 



Bro-made Homemade Cookies and Creme Peppermint Patties

by Stoves and Bros


For my last holiday challenge, one of my friends requested I recreate this Peppermint Cream Bites from Better Homes and Gardens: 

However, I wanted to adapt it a little bit to make it more peppermint-y and sweeter so I used milk chocolate and peppermint sandwich cookies. 

Found these at Whole Foods

Found these at Whole Foods

Here's my version below using an 8x8 aluminum pan (disposable and from Westside Market): 

Ingredients: 

1 box of cookies (about 15)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups powdered

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature 

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons shortening

Instructions: 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

2) take the cookies and put them in a plastic bag, crush them using a rolling pin or a book/whatever you have handy

3)pour the cookie crumbs into the pan and pour the melted butter over

4)put the pan in the oven for 10 minutes

5) while the crust is baking, mix the confectioner's sugar with the softened butter to create a paste, then mix in the peppermint extract

6)Once the crust as cooled off, spread the paste to make an even layer over the crust and then place in fridge

7) In a glass bowl, add the chocolate chips and shortening and warm up for two minutes in the microwave until evenly melted

8) Pour the melted chocolate over the paste and crust and let completely cool until serving 

These were undoubtedly the best bars I made for the Christmas challenge and I would highlyyyyy recommend making them throughout the winter.  

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Holiday Challenge: Eggnog Milkshake

by Stoves and Bros


I love almost everything about Christmas but the idea of eggnog freaks me out. Raw eggs, cream and booze just seem like a strange and unsafe combination. But when my friend Mel challenged my to try and review it, I couldn't say no. 

I used vanilla bean ice cream, store bought egg nog (the brand pictured above) and a little whipped cream, garnished with peppermint bark. I strongly recommend using a higher quality ice cream and not trying to be stingy with calories or the texture will be wrong. Although initially leery, I have to say that while this milkshake was richhhhhhh it was delicious. The eggnog add a spicy, velvety texture that really made the milkshake feel special. 

The exact recipe was: 

1 cup vanilla bean (I used ben and jerry's)

1 cup eggnog

A dollop of whipped cream

You can add an ounce of rum to make this an adult beverage for a party! (or while you watch the Mindy Project)

Crushed peppermint bark for garnish

These tasted particularly good with my Christmas tree place and bake cookies that are so sugary that they end up being delicious and easy to make.