Tag Archives: what-is

What is a galette?

Easy Peach Galette

Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat, round cakes, usually made with a flaky pastry dough of some kind. The term is very broad and can actually encompass a wide variety of different desserts, including a type of buckwheat crepes popular in parts of France and even types of cookies in French Canada. More often than not, despite the fact ... Read More »

What is vanilla extract?

Vanilla is one of the most ubiquitous flavors in baking. Not only are there a wide variety of vanilla baked goods, but vanilla is in the vast majority of baking recipes regardless of the primary flavor in the cake/cookie/pastry in question. Vanilla beans are always an option when baking and cooking, but the beans can be quite expensive. Vanilla extract is the most common and ... Read More »

What is a banana split?

Banana Split

A banana split is the quintessential soda fountain sundae and probably the best thing that you can do with ice cream. They were first introduced in the early 1900s, when bananas were still a relatively new and exotic fruit for Americans. The original recipe calls for a split banana (hence the name) to be topped with three scoops of ice cream, topped with chocolate syrup, ... Read More »

What is baking powder?

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent that causes baked goods to rise by releasing bubbles of carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough. It is double acting, meaning that it acts once when moisture is added and again when heat is applied. This allows baking powder to give an extra lift to baked goods that contain it. Baking powder is actually made with ... Read More »

What is a slice and bake cookie?

Slice and Bake Cookie Dough

Slice and bake cookies are a type of cookie that is formed into a log that you can cut into individual rounds and place on the baking sheet, as opposed to “drop cookies” that are hand shaped and dropped into small mounds on the baking sheet before baking. The term “slice and bake” is often applied to the ready made logs of dough that you ... Read More »

What is cornstarch?

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch that is made out of corn. The cornstarch is actually made from the endosperm of the corn, which makes up most of the kernels that we eat when enjoying popcorn or corn on the cob. Cornstarch, also sometimes called cornflour, is produced by grinding, washing and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches that fine, powdery state. ... Read More »

What is tunneling?

Tunneling in a muffin

In baking, the term “tunneling” refers to tunnels and very large air pockets that form inside of muffins and quick breads as a result of overmixing a batter. The muffin pictured above gives you an idea of what tunneling looks like. Generally, you want muffins, cakes and cupcakes to be fairly uniform in texture. This muffin features large tunnels in the bottom left and top ... Read More »

What is a whoopie pie?

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies are a dessert that consists of two cake-like cookies sandwiching a creamy, frosting-like filling. It is easy to think of them as a more portable version of a cupcake, where the frosting is inside of the cake and there is no wrapper to contend with. They’re generally thought to have originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country as an Amish dessert, but the exact origin ... Read More »

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