Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

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 »

What is white whole wheat flour?

White Whole Wheat Flour

White whole wheat flour almost sounds like a misnomer. Whole grain flours, and baked goods made with them, are supposed to be brown and noticeably darker than baked goods made with processed white flour, right? White whole wheat flour has been becoming steadily more popular over the past few years as interest in whole grains and whole grain baking continues to rise. It has gone ... Read More »

How to use fresh ginger

Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger is not as friendly looking as powdered ginger, which comes in a neat little canister along with all of the other dried spices. It goes into baked goods along with dry ingredients and requires no prep time. Fresh ginger, on the other hand, looks a little alien by comparison. The bulbous root is firm and it’s not obvious how to use it – ... Read More »

How to make brownie pops

Me with a brownie pop

One of the many culinary activities that I took part in during my trip to the Betty Crocker test kitchens was making brownie pops. Brownie pops are simple to make, lots of fun to decorate and – of course – lots of fun to eat. Kids love these, so it’s a good activity for them to help with and a big batch is sure to ... Read More »

What is coarse salt?

Maldon sea salt

There are lots of recipes that call for coarse salt these days. Coarse salt refers to sea salt or kosher salt, salt that has a much larger grain to it than common table salt – hence the name “coarse” salt. The reason that coarse salt is so popular is not that it is saltier or more flavorful than regular salt, but because it has a ... Read More »

How to bake without eggs

The majority of baking recipes, apart from breads, involve eggs in addition to ingredients like flour, sugar, butter and leavening. Eggs are crucial parts of many recipes, but with the big egg recall going on, you might want to consider some options for egg free baking. Cooking eggs thoroughly and washing your hands when handling eggs should drastically reduce your odds of having a food ... Read More »

How to melt chocolate

Melted Chocolate

There are many recipes out there that call for melted chocolate, from brownies to cakes. Melted chocolate might not sound like a tricky ingredient, but it actually can be and is a place where many would be brownie-bakers run into problems. This is because chocolate tends to hold its shape as it melts (because the cocoa butter melts and the cocoa solids don’t), so unlike ... Read More »

What is semifreddo?

Tim Tam Semifreddo

Ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt all show up regularly at shops and restaurants but semifreddo is another delicious frozen dessert that might be a little less familiar. Semifreddo – which translates to “half cold/frozen” -  is a dessert that falls halfway between mousse and ice cream, with the consistency of a frozen mousse and the flavor of ice cream. It is much lighter than ... Read More »

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