Cake and Cookie Hints
Discover baking with mayonnaise. Try substituting may as a shortening or oil - it blends easily, adds moistness and contributes toward a tender texture.
Throw away Cake Plate - Save bottom cardboards from pizzas and cover with aluminum foil. Great if you are donating a cake or pie to a cake sale.
Dip spoon in hot water before measuring lard, butter, etc - it will slip off the spoon more easily.
Put flour in a large salt shaker and use for dusting cake pans, meat, etc. It is less messy and doesn't waste flour.
For recipes using beaten egg whites, the eggs should be separated when cold and the whites allowed to come to room temperature (egg whites reach their highest volume if beaten at room temperature.) Cream of tartar or sugar added to the egg whites will increase the stability of the foam. The sugar should be added a little at a time. Be careful not to overbeat egg whites or they will become stiff and dry, having lost their elasticity, and will almost certainly collapse as soon as heat is applies. Be sure beaters and bowl, etc, are completely free of oil - any trace of oil with prevent the egg whites from fluffing up.
Don't grease cookie sheets or cookies will tend to spread too much. When baking several batches in succession, let sheets cool before placing more dough on them, or the dough will soften and spread and finished cookies will be misshapen. If you don't have enough spare cookie sheets, use inverted baking pans.
Any recipe which says, 'and add one egg,' can be made better by separating the white and yolk. This white, when beaten separately, adds bubbles tenderness and makes the finished product lighter. This is true for nearly all boxed items.
Child's party: Push animal shaped cookie cutters lightly into icing. Fill depressed outline with chocolate icing. ALSO - fill ice cream cones (flat bottoms) with cake batter half full and bake. Decorate with icing topped with colored sugar.
If your layer cakes stick to the bottom of their pans, return them to a warm oven briefly. The layer will come out intact in just a short time.
For baking cakes, use shiny metal pans or pans with a non stick finish. Avoid dull, dark or enamel pans which can cause uneven and excessive browning. If using glass or porcelain coated aluminum pans, reduce the oven temp 25 degrees F. If baking more than 1 at a time, arrange the pans in the oven so that you get the best air flow stagger them from one shelf to another, not one directly on top of another. And do not have a pan touching the walls of the oven or touching another pan. Good air flow is very important to proper baking (This is true for trays of cookies, also.)
To improve an inexpensive cake mix, add one tbsp butter to the batter for a richer tasting cake.