Category Archives: Baking

What kind of oil should I use for baking?

Canola Oil

Vegetable oil is a very common ingredient called for in baking recipes. It appears on ingredient lists for everything from pancakes to layer cakes, and can make for a very moist and tender cake. Many recipes don’t specify what kind of vegetable oil to use when baking, however. In the grocery store, you will see generic “vegetable oil” for sale, but you’ll also see a ... Read More »

Cook’s Illustrated Rates Supermarket Cocoa Powders

Cocoa Powders

Cocoa powder is a staple ingredient for everyone who likes to bake and is called for in most chocolate recipes, because it adds an intense chocolate flavor to everything from cookies to pies. Cocoa power is also a somewhat expensive ingredient and, in a recent issue (Nov/Dec 2012), Cook’s Illustrated set out to taste test supermarket cocoa powders to see what brands offered the best ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

The Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars that Channeling Contessa baked recently are the perfect thing to bake when you’re looking for a thick, chewy and satisfying bar cookie. The bars use a whole cup of creamy peanut butter and lots of chocolate chips, and they are also spiked with a generous amount of sea salt to bring those flavors out. These are good for ... Read More »

What is canned pumpkin pie mix?

Pumpkin pie fillings in cans

Cans of pumpkin pie mix, or pumpkin pie filling, line the baking shelves at many grocery stores this time of year. They’re usually set right next to the ready-to-use graham cracker pie crusts, so they catch your eye and get you thinking about baking a pie. The filling mix is also usually next to the regular canned pumpkin puree and many bakers have picked up ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

Bailey Bakes‘ Sweet Potato Carrot Bread is an easy to make quick bread that is a nice addition to fall and holiday gatherings. The bread has shredded carrots, like a carrot cake, and a generous amount of shredded sweet potato. The sweet potato brings another layer of flavor to the bread that it might not get from carrots alone, and brown sugar and cinnamon tie ... Read More »

How to test a cake for doneness with a toothpick

metal cake tester from C&B

Most baking recipes give a window of time in which your recipe might be done. This is because ovens can vary slightly in temperature and both the temperature of the room and your dough/batter can have an influence over baking time. So, it’s important to know how to check your baked goods for doneness to be sure they’re ready to come out and don’t need ... Read More »

How to store vanilla beans

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans are one of the most amazing ingredients a baker can have in the kitchen, perfect for adding a wonderfully floral vanilla flavor to anything from ice cream to pound cake. Vanilla beans can be quite expensive, however, so many bakers reach for vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans, preferring to save the beans for those special recipes. Vanilla beans can last for years ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

The first day of fall is permission to move away from summer berries in your baking and move towards apples, pumpkin and warm spices. The Cozy Apron is kicking off the season with Old Mill Apple Cider Hush Puppies. The hush puppies are like a kind of donut. The batter is made with apple cider and includes lots of finely chopped apple. They’re fried, then ... Read More »

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