You know, genetics are a funny thing. My mom and I look so much alike, it actually shocks people. I haven’t lived in my hometown since I was 18, but when I visit my parents, a rando stranger will walk up to me and ask “Are you Kim’s daughter?” I open my mouth and let out one of those powerful mom yells, and it’s not my own voice that comes out, it’s my mother’s! However, while I may be twinning with my sweet Mamma, where genetics failed me is that my mom is an amazing and creative bakers, I am talentless and hopeless baker. Sigh. But I so want to be a good baker and my kids love to bake, so I have some simply clever life hacks to me less disastrous when baking and make
Sometimes a recipe calls for soften butter and usually I forget to take that stick out of the fridge before I start baking, but don’t fret and try this hack. To soften butter and bring it to room temperature in just a few minutes start by placing the amount of butter you need for the recipe on a dish (if you cut it up first it will work faster). Fill a glass with super, hot water and let it sit for a minute or two. Dump the water out, quickly wipe out the remaining water and place the glass over the butter you have on the dish. In about two-three minutes, your butter is room temperature, soft and ready for baking. This method is better than sticking it in the microwave because it doesn’t melt your butter and you won’t end up with hot spots.
If you want to create intricate designs or five cookies or cupcakes faces, don’t try to use the icing in a tube. Use a plastic syringe (the kind you use to give kids medicine) filled with icing to decorate cookies and cupcakes with precision! This is perfect for drawing faces and adding details even if you don’t have a steady hand and I love doing with kids because they can decorate and not squeeze the entire tube off icing on a cookie.
Decorate your desserts like a professional by using cookie cutters or PlayDoh cutters as stencils for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Gently place the cookie cutter on the dessert and add sprinkles inside the cutters. This is great for numbers and shapes likes stars.
Feeling fancy? Give your cookies and cupcakes a sophisticated look by putting a piece of lace over the dessert and shaking powdered sugar on top. It leaves a beautiful design.
Slice a cake perfectly by running the knife under hot water for a few seconds, wipe the knife off, and watch and it slides right through the cake!
Save money by buying white icing and use Jell-O to color and flavor regular frosting. Yummy!
Need sprinkles? Make your own by adding a scoop of granulated sugar into a bowl and add a few drops of food coloring. Place on a baking sheet and bake for ten minutes in a 350* oven.
If your cake is crumbling while you are trying to ice it, place your cake in the freezer for twenty minutes to create a sturdy cake that won’t crumble under the pressure of adding icing.
Need Buttermilk for your recipe but don’t have any? Here’s an easy fix! Stir one cup milk with one tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar and let it get to room temperature (around ten minutes) and there you go!
I have bags of brown sugar in my pantry and fridge and they are hard as a brick, but not anymore!
Add a slice of apple into an airtight container and in a few hours, the brown sugar will soften. Putting a wet paper towel in a bowl with the sugar in the microwave for 20-30 seconds works too. You can also store the brown sugar with a slice of white bread and it will keep the sugar soft, won’t affect the taste, and they bread won’t get moldy.
Have a recipe that calls for confectioner’s sugar but don’t have any? Put granulated sugar in a blender under it has a powdery consistency and you are ready to go!
The only rule to using these hacks, is if you bake something yummy, you HAVE to share with me, OK?