Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

What is browned butter?

melting butter

Browned butter is pretty much what it sounds like: butter that has been cooked until it is brown. The slightly more formal name for this is “beurre noisette,” or hazelnut butter – a double reference to the light brown color of the cooked butter and the lovely nutty flavor that it acquires during the cooking process. If you’ve ever cooked with butter, using it to ... Read More »

How to store leftover egg yolks and leftover egg whites

CIMG0373

There are plenty of recipes out there that call for only egg whites or only egg yolks. Angel food cake springs to mind as the most obvious example, since it calls for 10-12 egg whites only, but you can end up with a few leftover after making something as simple as an egg white omelette. Storing egg whites and egg yolks is simple, though the ... Read More »

How to make a water bath

creamy cheesecake

Water baths are one of those things that you don’t need too often in baking, but when a recipe calls for them, they’re crucial in getting a good result. A water bath – if you’re not familiar with what they are - is almost exactly what it sounds like: it is the dish of water that baked goods requiring gentle heat are baked in, instead of ... Read More »

How to make your own colored sugars

red sugar

While I enjoy icing cookies by hand, drawing little designs and other decorations (especially for gingerbread cookies), I always use a fair amount of colored sanding sugar around the holidays. Colored sugars are perfect for finishing off sugar cookies and butter cookies, giving them a fun and festive look for the holidays. In fact, it has always been a bit of a tradition for my ... Read More »

How to use pie weights

blind baked crust

Pie weights are used to weight down pie or tart pastry when you are baking. They’re typically used when a crust has to be partially baked – blind baked – before filling to ensure that the crust keeps its shape. If they’re not used, the pastry will often pull away from the sides of your pie plate and shrink or distort its shape. To use ... Read More »

How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The first time that I had toasted pumpkin seeds was in elementary school. I specifically remember my 1st grade teacher having us bring in seeds and toasting them – by which I mean watching her toast them – in the school’s kitchen. I don’t remember how they turned out, but it sure was fun. These days, I’m not even sure if you’re allowed to celebrated Halloween ... Read More »

How to make filled cupcakes, step-by-step

cupcake, filled

“Filling in the cupcake” should be an expression in the same vein as “icing on the cake.” Both are added bonuses that you don’t need, but can take a treat to the next level. Icing is a bit more common than filling and since it may not be something you do every time you bake, I put together this photo tutorial to give you an ... Read More »

What is overmixing?

cookies, baked

When you’re reading through recipe instructions, particularly for baked goods, you probably come across the phrase “do not overmix” fairly often. The notion of “overmixing” can be confusing if you’re just getting into baking – after all, cookie dough is either mixed, or it isn’t, right? The final stage of making a cookie dough or cake batter often involves stirring flour, or a flour mixture, ... Read More »

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