Did you know that you can make your own confectioners’ sugar? Or that you can “temper” eggs to make cookie dough safe to eat? These seven simple baking hacks will not only save you time and add a professional touch to your baking, but will make you feel like Mr. Wizard in the kitchen.
1. Make Your Own Confectioners’ Sugar In Minutes
Out of confectioners’ sugar? No need to rush to the store. Simply put granulated sugar in a strong blender, and blend until it’s reached a powdery consistency. Voila, you’ve just made your own confectioners’ sugar.
2. Fortify Your Whipped Cream With Marshmallow Fluff
Nothing’s sadder than wilty whipped cream. Avoid dessert deflate-gate by stirring in a few tablespoons of marshmallow fluff into your next batch of whipped cream. It will give the whipped cream a little added enforcement so that it can maintain its shape and stay stable.
3. Store Cakes In Your Oven Or Microwave
Looking for a safe spot to stow your finished cake? Look no further than the (turned-off, please) oven or microwave. Think about it: both of these spots provide an airtight, dust-free area where no bugs can get in. Just remember that the cake is in there before you start preheating the oven, or things can get messy.
4. A Slice Of White Bread Can Save Your Brown Sugar
Has your brown sugar turned hard as a rock? Bring it back to life by placing a slice of white bread in an airtight container with the sugar for a few hours. The sugar will draw the moisture out of the bread, and will soften so that it’s usable once again. This can also be done with a slice of apple.
5. Use Dental Floss For Perfect Cake Slices
For lovely, clean slices of cheesecake or flourless chocolate cake, just reach for the dental floss. What? Yes, you read that right. Unflavored (unless your cake is mint flavored, of course) dental floss can be held tightly and drawn back and forth in a sawing motion to yield perfectly clean and lovely slices.
6. Temper Your Eggs To Make Cookie Dough Safe To Eat
Many people deny themselves the sweet joy that is cookie dough because of the possibility of foodborne illness due to raw eggs in the batter. Next time, temper your eggs first by submerging them in cold water in a saucepan (with an instant read thermometer handy); heat on medium, until the temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Let the water hold that temperature for 2-3 minutes, and then remove from heat and let the eggs come back to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. This process heats the eggs enough to kill harmful bacteria, but not so much to cook them. Tempering eggs is also handy for recipes containing raw egg, like eggnog or French silk pie.
7. Smack Your Butter To Soften It Faster
Who has time to wait for butter to soften when you want cookies (or cake, or frosting) right now? To hasten the softening process, try this easy trick: put the butter in a freezer bag and whack it a few times with a rolling pin. The flatter, thinner surface area of the butter will soften in less than half the time of butter left in stick form. Technically, you could also cut the butter into small pieces, but where’s the fun in that?