Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dessert Preparation Hints

Egg whites need to be at room temperature for greater volume when whipped. Remember this when making meringue.

When preparing several batches of pie dough, roll dough out between sheets of plastic wrap. Stack the discs in a pizza box, and keep the box in the freezer. Pull out the required crusts as needed.

Place your pie plate on a cake stand when placing the pie dough in it and fluting the edges. The cake stand will make it easier to turn the pie plate, and you won’t have to stoop over.

Many kitchen utensils can be used to make decorative pie edges. For a scalloped edge, use a spoon. Crosshatched and herringbone patterns are achieved with a fork. For sharply pointed effect, use a can opener to cut out points around the rim.

Keep strawberries fresh for up to ten days by refrigerating them (unwashed) in an airtight container between layers of paper towels.

Dipping strawberries in chocolate? Stick toothpicks into the stem end of the berry. Coat the berries with chocolate, shaking off any excess. Turn the berries upside down and stick the toothpick into a block of styrofoam until the chocolate is set. The finished berries will have chocolate with no flat spots. Another esy solution is to place dipped berried dipped-side up in the holes of an egg carton.

Cut-up dried fruit sometimes sticks to the blade of your knife. To prevent this problem, coat the blade of your knife with a thin film of vegetable spray before cutting.

Cutting dessert bars is easier if you score the bars as soon as the pan comes out of the overn. When the bars cook, cut along the scored lines.

When grating citrus peel, bits of peel are often stuck in the holes of the grater. Rather than waste the peel, you can easily brush it off by using a new, clean toothbrush.

To core a pear, slice the pear in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to cut out the central core, using a circular motion. Draw the melon baller to the top of the pear, removing the interior stem as you go.

When cutting butter into flour for pastry dough, the process is easier if you cut the butter into small pieces before adding it to the flour.

To keep the cake plate clean while frosting, slide 6-inch strips of waxed paper under each side of the cake. Once the cake is frosted and the frosting is set, pull the strips away leaving a clean plate.

Professionally decorated cakes have a silky, molten look. To get that appearance, frost your cake as usual, then use a hair dryer to blow-dry the surface until the frosting slightly melts.

To ensure that you have equal amounts of batter in each pane when making a layered cake, use a kitchen scale to measure the weight.

When a recipe calls for packed brown sugar, fill the correct size measuring cup with the sugar. Then use the next smaller size cup to pack the brown sugar into its cup.

Push animal shaped cookie cutters lightly into icing on cakes or cupcakes. Fill depressed outlines with chocolate icing or decorating confections.

Fill flat bottomed ice cream cones half full with cake batter and bake. Top with icing and decorating confections.

To make cookie crumbs for your recipes, put cookies into a plastic bag and run a rolling pin back and forth over the bag, until they are the right size.

To decorate cookies with chocolate, place cookies on a rack over waxed paper. Drip the tines of a fork with chocolate, and wave the fork gently back and forth making wavy lines.

A gadget that works well for decorating sugar cookies is an empty plastic thread spool. Simply press the spool into the dough, imprinting a pretty flower design.

Some holiday cookies require an indent on top to fill with jam or chocolate. Use the rounded end of a honey dipper to make the indent.

Tin coffee cans make excellent freezer containers for cookies.

If you only have one cookie sheet on hand, line it with parchment paper. While one batch is baking, load a second sheet of parchment paper to have another batch ready to bake. Cleaning is also easier!

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