Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

How to pasteurize eggs at home

Eggs in a pot

When recipes call for uncooked eggs, many cooks shy away from them. There is good reason for this, of course, since there is a small chance that raw eggs contain salmonella. This is a very small risk to begin with, and few recipes call for uncooked eggs (mayonnaise and some mousses, just to name a few), but you can always pasteurize your eggs to ensure ... Read More »

How to make Homemade Peanut Butter

how to make your own peanut butter

Peanut butter is a delicious and versatile ingredient that we can spread on sandwiches, mix into cookies and use as a base for all kinds of savory sauces. Most of the time, we buy our peanut butter and choose from one of dozens of varieties available at the supermarket. If you have a food processor, you can actually make your own peanut butter very easily ... Read More »

How to bring eggs to room temperature

Eggs in a bowl

Many recipes call for room temperature or softened butter because it is easier to incorporate into a cake batter or cookie dough than rock hard, cold butter is. The same is true of eggs, even though most recipes don’t specifically call for eggs to be at room temperature. Refrigeration keeps eggs fresher for a much longer period of time than storing them at room temperature, ... Read More »

Whole milk vs low fat or skim milk in baking

Low fat milk

Many baking recipes call for milk as one of the main ingredients. Many recipes will call for a specific type of milk – whole milk, low fat, skim – and others will simply call for it without specifying the fat content. This brings a couple of questions to the surface: what is the difference between whole milk and skim milk, and does it matter what ... Read More »

How to get sprinkles to stick to cookies

Cookies with Sprinkles

Adding sprinkles seems like an easy way to decorate a batch of butter cookies or other relatively plain-looking cookies for holiday or some other festive occasion. They’re bright, colorful and, unlike frostings and glazes, need no prep time. But sprinkles can come with their own problems because they don’t always end up where you want them to be; frequently, when you’re applying sprinkles, you end ... Read More »

How to keep a pie crust from shrinking

Imperfect Pie Crust

When you put the effort into making a homemade pie crust for a Caramel Banana Cream Pie or other recipe that calls for a prebaked crust, it can be very disappointing if the crust that you worked so hard to make shrinks and gives your pie a less-than-perfect presentation. There are two ways that pie crusts can shrink and a couple of things that you ... Read More »

How to make a Flaky Pie Crust

Pie crust is typically made with just a few ingredients: flour, water, salt and fat. The fat is usually butter or shortening, and occasionally a little bit of sugar or cinnamon makes its way into the crust for flavor. It’s a simple recipe and it should be simple to make, but the reality is that it can be tricky to make a perfectly flaky pie ... Read More »

How to make Vampire Cupcakes (video)

Nicole's Vampire Cupcakes

A few years ago, I published a recipe for Vampire Cupcakes. I absolutely love these cupcakes as a Halloween treat and I make them every year. They’ve also been a big hit with Twilight fans, True Blood fans and anyone who likes vampires in general. They also inspired me to create other vampire treats for Halloween, like Vampire Cookies and even Vampire Pancakes. Nothing beats ... Read More »

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