Baking Hints by Mandy

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So I have baking and cooking hints spread throughout my recipes, but I thought I could try and put them into one post. I know I’m missing some, so I’ll update this post as I think of them. For now, though – here are the ones I can think of! πŸ™‚

  • When baking cookies, my mom taught me a little trick to making even-baked cookies. Most ovens have 2 oven racks – place them in the middle rungs of the oven. Put your cookies on the bottom rack for the first 1/2 of the baking time and then rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees and place the baking sheet on the top rack for the remaining 1/2 of the baking time, placing the next baking sheet on the bottom rack. This ensures even cooking and allows you to bake two at the same time. You just continue to rotate the baking sheets from the bottom rack to the top rack and then out of the oven! πŸ™‚
  • Mom taught me to always use Crisco (shortening) when making pie crust, not butter.
  • Always use real butter when making cookies and desserts. Unless you’re attempting to make it low-fat, then make it as gross tasting as you want and substitute something for the butter. πŸ˜‰
  • I like to always chill my cookie dough before baking. Sometimes I only chill for an hour or so, but if possible, chill overnight. I am positive there’s a scientific reason to why this makes the dough perfect to bake with, but I don’t know it off-hand. I could Google the answer, but I’ll just continue to do it because that’s what I do, regardless of the science behind it. I do it, because it works and I like how the cookies turn out! πŸ™‚
  • When mixing cake, you can never mix it too much (not in my experience!) – the more you mix, the lighter and “fluffier”Β the cake will be. Being that I have a stand mixer, I just mix all the ingredients at a low-speed, then turn it up to medium and let it go for a while! πŸ™‚
  • TASTE!!! Taste everything Β – you have to. I mean, what if it doesn’t taste yummy? Right? Yeah, so you have to taste everything. It only makes sense. How many calories could a taste POSSIBLY be? Please, for the sake of anyone eating what you make, TASTE.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY – whenever you can (and if applicable), bring the children in the kitchen with you. Make those memories. Speaking from experience – they will love it and so will you. Will it be exasperating and possibly frustrating at times? Um, YES. Will their sweet little fingers want to touch everything and taste it all? Yes. But will they enjoy that time with you? More than likely, YES. And you’re teaching them valuable lessons. Mainly – you’re spending time together. I allow my son to be in the kitchen with me, up at the counter, whenever he wants. I know the day may come when he doesn’t want to be there with me anymore. OR maybe he will always enjoy baking/cooking with me. Either way, I treasure these times with him. Just like I treasure the memories of being in the kitchen with my mom (and still enjoy those times as an adult!!).

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