Archive for the ‘Baking helps’ Category

A Must Have Product For Bakers

June 10, 2010

I have been using this product for a while now and I am telling you, it doesn’t matter how many times I use it I am amazed every time. I know that cooking sprays are nothing new, but this Crisco cooking spray has flour in it and that makes such a difference.  I used it today to make a chocolate bundt cake for a customer and the pan I use has a very intricate design on it.  I turned the pan over to take the cake out and I am not kidding…the cake came out perfectly with NO EFFORT at all, design completely in tact!  I use it for everything that requires a greased pan, including recipes that call for buttering and flouring the pan.

Unfortunately, I get absolutely nothing from Crisco for telling you about this, it’s just made my baking life so much easier and it will do the same for you! So go and try it. Oh and don’t try a generic brand.  I did once and ended up throwing it away because it was not the same!

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The Sugar Moon in Utah

May 5, 2010

Great News!  The Sugar Moon has expanded to Alpine, Utah.  Now if any of you in the Beehive state  are in need of a delicious baked good for a party, outing, special occasion or just to satisfy a sweet tooth, you can now place an order with The Sugar Moon and have it home-baked specifically to your taste!

Our Alpine, Utah location uses the same fresh, superior ingredients, the menu and pricing are the same and delivery is free within Alpine and Highland.

So please spread the word to friends and family who live in Utah.  They simply place an order through The Sugar Moon website or by calling 209-597-1344.  And of course all products have the same yumminess guarantee!

The World’s Best Banana Bread!

March 24, 2010

One of the things I pride myself on in my baking life is my ability to find the best recipes.  I feel like I have a good “pallet” and I guess that’s one of the reasons my baking works.  So do not doubt me when I say…I have found the world’s best banana bread recipe (at least the best of all the ones I’ve tried so far).  It has a crispy texture on the outside and a soft banana-y inside.

I haven’t been eating sweets this week because of a contest with some friends.  So as my replacement (I know that’s not the point, but I had to do something), I made some banana bread yumminess and  although I won’t share the actual bread with you because I can actually eat all three MINI loaves myself, I am going to share the recipe with you!

Oh and if by some small chance someone out there tries this bread and thinks he/she has a better recipe, please send it to me.  I’d love to try it!

Old-Fashion Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

2 large, brown bananas!

In a large bowl of the mixer beat together the egg, oil, sugar and banana.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until combined.  Pour into either one 9×13 greased loaf pan or 3 small loaf pans.  Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out  clean.  Take bread out of loaf pans onto a cooling rack.  Let it cool at least ten minutes an thenenjoy!

So easy!  And here’s a tip: If like me, you always end up with a few bananas well past the eating raw stage, take them out of the peel, cut them into large chunks and stick them in a freezer bag. Label how many bananas are in there and whenever you need bananas for any recipe you will have them ready to thaw and add.  When they defrost, you don’t even need to mash them.  They are soft enough to just throw them in the recipe!

Can you Guess What Flavor?

March 2, 2010
This was an order I did for The Sugar Moon.  I made the cake and iced it, but besides wanting to add some pretty decorations to the top of the cake,  I think it’s a good idea to add a little visual queue as to what flavor your creations are.  When your brain anticipates a specific taste, it makes it that much more satisfying when your mouth gets it!  It’s like when you take a drink of milk, thinking it’s water.  It’s not that there is anything wrong with the milk, it’s just that your brain was registering that you were about to drink water and if makes the milk taste terrible!  I think it’s the same concept with flavor queues.

So of course you can guess the flavor of this cake.  The sugared cranberries and orange peel give it away!  Next time you make something yummy and the flavor isn’t obvious, consider adding a little touch of the thing that creates the flavor to use as decoration.  It will not only make your creations beautiful, but it will please your guests so much more!

Have you seen this?

February 21, 2010

I came across this wonderful thing one night as I was strolling through Target (usually I’m rushing through Target, but this night my kids were home with the hubby, so I actually had time to check stuff out. I’m sure you know how that it).  I just had to try it out. I love it and thought I’d share it with you!

It’s called The Perfect Brownie Pan and it bakes your treats pre-cut!  Check this out ~ Here’s what you do.

Mix up your batter and pour it into the pan.

Make sure you spray it really well with cooking spray…the divider and the pan.

Then insert the divider and stick it in a preheated oven.

When it’s done baking, let it cool slightly on the cooling rack it comes with and then remove the divider.

If it’s well sprayed it comes out very easily.

Now here’s the coolest part.

After the brownies are completely cooled, turn the cooling rack over and the sides of the pan slide down.

Suddenly you have a tray of 18 perfectly cut brownies with no effort at all! Genius!

It works for other treats too.  But wow… talk about “cutting” out a step!  I’ve used it twice and it worked great both times.

Here are a few tips though.  The recipe you use should be for an 8×8 pan.  This pan is a rectangle but it can’t handle much more than that.  Also make sure the batter is evenly distributed before you put the divider in.  As you can see from my picture, once the divider is in, it doesn’t spread out at all so if you skip this step you will have tall brownies in some squares and short brownies in others.

Over all, I love this product.  I can’t wait to try it with my triple layer mint brownies.  It will be interesting to see how it works with frosting!

I’ll keep you posted!

5 Things Every Baker Needs

January 26, 2010

Just like everything else we do, the right tools can make all the difference in how the job turns out.  All you sewers, and woodworkers out there will understand this.  Using the right tool for the job is key.  Baking is the same.  Using the right tool can make your good treats excellent!

So do you want to make your sweet even more scrumptious?  Here is my list of the top five things every serious baker needs in order to make the most delectable delights!! (In no particular order).

This is my first item…a Kitchenaid Mixer.  Of course you can use any standing mixer out there, but I am partial to this one.  My mom had one that I used growing up and I’ve had my own (the same one) for 15 years and it’s still going strong, showing no signs of wearing out anytime soon.  But a standing mixer is a definite must in my book.  The consistancy you can get with an electric mixer is something that cannot be taken for granted in the world of baking.  It is versital and quick.  (Here’s a trick too… have two bowls and two paddles!  For baking mulitiple things at once, it makes life so easy!)

This little beauty is a new addition to my kitchen.  I’ve always used a cuisinart, but this is like no other cuisinart around. It is a Williams-Sonoma exclusive (my home-away-from-home). I got this from my husband for Christmas this past year.  It is amazing.  I’ve always made pie crusts and other doughs in my food processor, but this Cuisinart does so much more and it is even easier to use!  I just made a batch of delicious blueberry scones for a customer and mixed them perfectly in the 10-inch nesting bowl.  I’m telling you, if you are a fan of the food processor, you need one of these! Sometimes I just look at it on my counter and sigh with joy!

Does this surprise you?  A whisk…just an ordinary french whisk in my top five?  It is very ordinary, but in baking I’ve found there is no better tool for mixing dry ingredients.  I use my mini french whisk the most.  It is the perfect size to really blend evenly.


Does anyone else laugh when a recipe calls for a greased cookie sheet?  I do!  I haven’t had to spray a cookie sheet since the Silpat was invented.  Truly nothing sticks to it and cookies come out perfect every time.  They are easy to clean and I store them right on the cookie sheets.

And here is the final item on my list: a cookie scoop!  It makes your cookies or even truffles easy to get out of the bowl and a tray of evenly sized goodies always looks prettier.  You can get these in multiple sizes.  Scoop out your dough and then throw it in the dishwasher.  The days of two teaspoons is over!  Today is the day of the cookie scoop!

So what do you think?  What would be on your list?