Baking is one of my favorite hobbies and over the years, I’ve collected some pretty strange baking tips & tricks to make the process of baking a bit easier. Some of these off beat tips amp; tricks I’ve learned from friends, others I invented on my own. Piqued your curiosity? Here’s my list of ten off beat baking tips & tricks that Mom definitely didn’t teach me.
Baking Tip 1. Slice cinnamon buns and rolled cookies using dental floss. Ever try cutting a roll of chilled dough with a knife? No matter how chilled the dough or sharp the knife, the cookie shape always seem to flatten down on one side. Unflavored dental floss however makes a fabulous dough slicer. To use:
- a) Snap off about a foot of dental floss.
- b) Carefully slide the center of the floss beneath the rolled dough; two inches for cinnamon rolls, 1/4-1/2 inches for cookies.
- c) Lift both ends of the dental floss up and then cross the strands over the dough to slice cleanly.
- d) Repeat until all dough has been sliced.
Baking Tip 2. Use the ironing board to cool pipin’ hot cookie trays and pies out of the reach of dogs and small tots.
Baking Tip 3. No biscuit cutter? Use a glass instead. An inverted glass with the rim lightly dusted in flour makes a fantastic substitute for a biscuit cutter. Tall, old fashioneds and champagne flutes work the best.
Baking Tip 4. Use leftover margarine or butter wrappers to grease pans and trays.
Baking Tip 5. How to make drop cookies turn out perfectly round. If you’ve ever looked at a cookie display at the fair, you’ve probably noticed that the Prize Winning entries tend to be equally shaped and of equal size. In the old days, Moms achieved cookie perfection by using two teaspoons and eyeballing the amount for perfectly shaped cookies. An easier trick is to use a sherbet or sorbet scoop, the smaller version of an ice cream scoop. These are available at specialty kitchen shops and restaurant supply outlets.
Baking Tip 6. Cut bar cookies easily with a pizza cutter.
Baking Tip 7. Make molded cookies using the bottom of a glass. If you’ve got the money, cute little cookie molds are an easy way of stamping fun designs into the dough. Cheaper yet is using the bottoms of your fancy company stemware. Elegant stemware usually has star bursts or floral designs molded into the base which look quite stunning when used as a cookie mold.
Baking Tip 8. No rolling pin? Use an unopened 16 oz can of beer instead.
Baking Tip 9. Make a frosting “writing” tube from a ziploc. To write a greeting on a cakes or decorate cookies, fill a ziploc with homemade frosting or melted chocolate chips. Make a tiny cut in one corner of the bag, and squeeze gently to create a thin line of frosting suitable for writing or decorating.
Baking Tip 10. Quick and easy elegance with a comb. There’s a trick to decorating cakes so they look as nice as the store bought kind. Unfortunately, I don’t know those tricks. But one cool trick I did discover is that a wide tooth comb does a fabulous job of leveling the frosting on the sides of cake, leaving behind a decorative pattern as well.
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