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Test Kitchen

Test Kitchen Essential Tool #4

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I've found nothing more indispensable for baking than the simple spring-loaded ice cream scoop. It makes portioning muffin, cupcake, fritter or cookie dough batter virtually foolproof. Even when I'm not baking, my scoops get put to good use: Meatballs, dumpling filling, crab cakes, tortillas/pupusas and rice balls all benefit. If I'm making a huge batch of cookies or meatballs, I know that the last ones will be the same size as the first ones-something that rarely happens when done entirely by hand.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.