Simple Things #4

I have to give credit where credit is due for the idea of posting about “simple” things.  Amelia from YouCanAlwaysStartNow and I collaborate regularly on ideas for posts like travel, life, monthly challenges, as well as many other things.

I love to bake, it’s one of the things that relaxes me so today’s “simple things” are all about baking.

1. Easier Cookie Cutting

Once you’ve made your cookie dough and have it rolled and ready to go, dip your cookie cutter in flour before cutting out your cookie shapes. The flour helps the cutter cut through the dough so you can cut your cookies out faster and with less frustration!

2. Ripen Bananas Quickly

Here’s a great tip if you want to make a recipe like banana bread and your bananas are not ripe.  To quickly ripen underripe bananas, put them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 300°F for about 40 minutes. You’ll end up with perfectly ripe bananas for your cakes and breads!

3. Warm Up Eggs Quickly

Starting a recipe that calls for room temperature eggs, but you just barely took your eggs out of the fridge? You can quickly bring those eggs to room temperature by placing them in a glass or bowl of warm water. Let them sit in the warm water for a few minutes, and they’ll be ready to use!

4. Grate Your Butter

One of the keys to making perfectly flaky biscuits and pie crusts is having small pieces of butter evenly distributed throughout your dough. The easiest way to achieve this is to use grated butter! Grate your butter on a cheese grater then stir the butter pieces into the other ingredients.

5. Instant Powdered Sugar

If you’ve made a batch of cookies or cake that requires frosting and you check the cupboards and you could have sworn you had icing sugar, fear not!  You can actually make powdered sugar if you have white sugar and cornstarch on hand. Just add 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a blender or food processor. Just pulse the sugar mixture a few times until it gets to the right powdery consistency.

6. Mixer Splash Guard

I’ve been baking a long time and only figured this out recently.  I use a KitchenAid stand mixer and every time I mix dry ingredients in it, even on the slowest speed, it still sputters out over the side. I now put a dish towel over the top of the mixer which drapes down over the sides and no more sputters. For eight more brilliant KitchenAid Hacks (and where I found this picture) visit the crazy coupon lady .

6 Simple things to help when you feel like baking,  It’s A Wandaful Thing!

What is your favorite baking “simple thing”?

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Day 9 : Christmas Shortbread Bars

Christmas Shortbread Bars

Shortbread is a wonderful thing. It is so full of butter and simply melts in your mouth. It is my all time favorite cookie at Christmas and a ‘must bake’ every year.

shortbread-day-0

This recipe is so easy, no cooling in the fridge, no rolling, no cutting. You just need to combine all the ingredients and pat into an ungreased baking pan. The hardest part is waiting for them to come out of the oven.

The colored sugar gives these cookies the perfect festive look and they are immediately ready for the holidays. This shortbread is Barbara Bush’s recipe from the “White House Cookbook” and can be found online here at Bake Space along with some other delicious recipes.

day-9-shortbread-bars

This recipe makes lots, it filled this vintage cookie tin, this tin wasn’t this pretty blue to begin with,  a can of spray paint can work wonders. 😉

Here is what you need to make these melt in your mouth shortbread bars: Continue reading Day 9 : Christmas Shortbread Bars

Caramel Cones – Easy Microwave Recipe

 

Caramel cones

Two years ago my sister sent me an email with a picture that read “Remember these?”

Boy did I…but when we were kids they were always store bought.

I was beyond delighted when I continued to read and there was a recipe. It was easy, simple and made in the microwave (which meant easy clean up – YAY).  Continue reading Caramel Cones – Easy Microwave Recipe