Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

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

Do I need to Scald Milk for Baking?

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

Double Crust Blackberry Pie

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 »

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 »

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