Baking Tips 101

Baking requires a ton of patience and a lot of knowledge to make quality desserts that every one will enjoy and eat before you even get a chance to taste it.

Before anyone gets started with their baking, they should be aware of the initial steps needed to be taken before starting. Here are some cooking tips for the beginning baker:

Tip #1 – When you start out, you should read the recipe entirely before beginning to mix the ingredients. This is the most important tip because many times ingredients are divided and you need to know this ahead of time. Then, pre-heat the oven to the required temperature before placing any ingredients in it.

Tip #2 – With baking, it is very important to follow the instructions carefully. Ensure that you have adjusted the baking racks in the oven according to the instructions, set the proper temperature, using the proper baking sheets and baking containers. Then you must measure the ingredients properly according to the recipe. Dry ingredients must be leveled off in the measuring cup. The last step is to place the ingredients in the oven.

Tip #3 – It is important to understand that there are many different kinds of flour that are used in baking. Yeast bread is made from wheat flour. This is commonly known as brown bread. Then there is bread flour which is used in yeast loaves. If this is put in yeast bread it will come out as a very heavy cake. Flour used to make cake is very fine and all-purpose flour is used for almost any kind of baking. Then there are bleached and unbleached flours that can be used interchangeably. Baking flour should be stored in airtight containers in a place that is cool and dry, but never ore than 6 months.

Tip #4 – Apart from flour you will have to get used to using baking powder. Baking powder will help your cakes and other desserts rise.

Good luck baking! With each dessert you bake, you will improve your baking skills.

Try this delicious and easy pumpkin pie recipe.

Pillsbury To The Rescue

candy_bar_pieAs many of you know already, I am doing Christmas Eve dinner at my house.  Now, last time I did this, I catered it.  This year we are making dinner.  I have never ever ever made a turkey in my life.  I have never made real mashed potatoes either (I am great at instant though!  LOL).  Needless to say, I am a tad worried about Christmas Eve dinner especially now that my husband has informed me that he didn’t take off (if looks could kill . . .).  However, in this insanity I call my life, there is one thing I can count on.  Dessert.

I have to thank Pillsbury for making dessert so much easier for me.  I’m all about easy cooking, and once again, they have come through for me.  Did you know that Pillsbury has pie crusts?  All you need to do is roll them out in your pie pans!  How much easier does it get than that?  Now, they also save you when you are looking for an easy pie to make for dessert too.  By checking out Pillsbury‘s website, you can find a ton more pie recipes.  How does this one sound?

Candy Bar Pie

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Start to Finish: 3 Hours 40 Minutes

Crust
1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box

Filling
5 bars (2.07 oz each) chocolate-covered peanut, caramel and nougat candy
4 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Topping
3 tablespoons whipping cream
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 450°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until very light golden brown. Cool while preparing filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Cut candy bars in half lengthwise; cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Place candy bar pieces over bottom of partially baked crust. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 egg at a time until well blended. Add sour cream and peanut butter, beating until mixture is smooth. Pour over candy bar pieces. Bake at 325°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream until very warm. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Spread over top of pie. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

Do you have any tricks that you use for your pies?  Any time saving tips like using Pillsbury Pie Crusts?

Ravioli Bake

This is an easy to make recipe.  However, it does need a couple of tweaks.  This was the first time for us to make this recipe, and I would definitely not add as much beef broth.  It was super good, but very soupy.  Besides that, this is an excellent recipe that I got from the Kraft Foods website.

 

 

Ravioli Bake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (10 oz) beef broth
  • ¼ cup Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 24 oz of frozen ravioli (you can use fresh also)
  • 1 cup Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Combine spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, broth, and dressing in a 13x9 backing dish. Add ravioli and toss to coat. Cover with foil.
  2. Bake 50 minutes or until ravioli is tender.
  3. Remove foil and stir. Sprinkle with cheese and let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.