Category Archives: Baking

Bites from other Blogs

When I think of crisps, cobblers and other such desserts, I tend to think of peaches, apples and other fruits that usually also make it into pie fillings, not of fruits like mandarin oranges. The unusual filling in Culinary Concoctions‘s Rhubarb and Mandarin Orange Crisp seems to work well, however, with the sweetness of the oranges taking the tart edge off of the rhubarb. The ... Read More »

Butter vs shortening in pie crust

Double Crust Blackberry Pie

Pie crusts are usually made with butter, shortening or a combination of the two. The solid fats are rubbed into a flour mixture, creating a dough that resembles coarse, wet sand before some liquid is added to it and you can press it together into a ball. The procedure is the same, but the two fats will give you different results in your recipes. Butter ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

Truthfully, I don’t know if I can say that a croissant is a “real” croissant if it isn’t made with real butter – and lots of it – but I am very impressed that Bittersweet was able to make Homemade Vegan Croissants without using a bit of butter. These croissants actually use margarine, but the method of making a “butter block,” encasing it in dough ... Read More »

What is cocoa butter?

Cocoa butter

In the simplest terms, cocoa butter is the fat in chocolate that makes it melt in your mouth and in your hand. It is a plant fat from the cocoa bean that has a melting point that is just around body temperature (somewhere around 95F, give or take a few degrees, actually), meaning that it is a solid at any temperature below that point and ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

Olives are a fairly standard pizza topping, but somehow switching olives for olive tapenade, as Baking Obsession did in a Black Olive and Tapenade Pizza, makes them seem a lot more gourmet. This pizza doesn’t have any sauce, just a layer of very flavorful potatoes and a combination of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Fontina cheeses, as well as just the right amount of the tapenade, of course. ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

The first thing I noticed about A Yankee in a Southern Kitchen‘s Roasted Tomato & Vidalia Onion Tart was the big chunks of crispy bacon that went into it, adding a smokiness and enriching the flavor of the dish. Bacon aside, the tart is made with fresh, roasted tomatoes and sweet, roasted onions. The veggies (and bacon) are layered with both cheddar and gruyere cheeses ... Read More »

Julie and Julia, the movie

The Julie/Julia Project was a blog about one woman’s – Julie’s – adventure of cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. The blog was eventually turned into a book, Julie and Julia, and that book has now been turned into a major motion picture of the same name. It stars Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as ... Read More »

What is shortening?

Crisco shortening

Shortening is a type of solid fat that is made from vegetable oils, such as soybean and cottonseed oil. Shortening seems to get its name from the fact that it shortens gluten strands in wheat by adding fat. Since it is 100%, as opposed to the 80% fat content of butter or lard, it results in a very tender baked good. It is frequently seen ... Read More »

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