Holiday Baking

Tips for Baking the Perfect Pie

  • Pre heat oven and read through the recipe before mixing ingredients.
  • Prevent the edges of your pie from becoming too brown by covering the edge with foil after the first 15 minutes of baking.
  • Prevent soggy crust on your pumpkin pie by breaking one egg, careful not to break the yolk, into the unbaked pastry shell. Swirl the egg around to cover the entire surface. When surface has been covered, use the egg in the filling mixture
  • Let children create fun shapes with left over pie dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake in oven until golden brown.
  • For golden brown, flaky pie crust, use a lightweight aluminum pie tin like the old fashioned type.
  • When baking, it is best to allow ingredients for the pie filling, such as eggs, butter, and milk, to become room temperature before mixing with other ingredients. Ingredients used to make the pie crust, such as butter and water, should be used while cold.
  • When making a two-crust pie, moisten the edge of the bottom crust with water before placing the second crust on top. The moistened edge will help create a good seal once the two crusts are crimped together.
  • A quick finish for a decorative pie crust is to use the prongs of a fork. Before filling pie crust, firmly press the prongs into the edge of the pie crust following evenly around the full edge.

Cookies and Bars

  • Pre heat oven and read through the recipe before mixing ingredients.
  • When baking bars, place them on the middle rack in the oven.
  • When baking cookies, place them on the top rack of the oven. If baking two sheets of cookies at one time, place them on different racks at different angles to allow proper air circulation. Switch racks about half way through the cooking time.
  • Cookies will burn less easily if they are baked on a light silver cookie sheet rather than a dark colored sheet.
  • If the outer edges of the cookies are getting browned and the center is not completely cooked, reduce the temperature 15 to 25 degrees. Your cooking time will increase slightly. Increasing the baking temperature would only brown the outer edges faster and the center of the cookie would still be under baked.
  • Allow cookie sheets to cool in between batches to kept cookie dough from melting and becoming too thin at the edges.
  • Test doneness of bars by inserting a tooth pick in the center of each. If they are done, the toothpick should come out clean or only have a couple of crumbs on it.
  • To eliminate messy hands when greasing a baking pan, use a small plastic bag to cover your hand. Place your hand in the bag and scoop out a portion of the shortening with the covered hand and spread the grease on the pan. When finished remove the bag and throw it away. Your hands should be free of any shortening.
  • When baking, it is best to allow ingredients, such as eggs, butter, and milk, to become room temperature before mixing with other ingredients.
  • Use powdered sugar instead of flour when rolling out sugar cookies. The powdered sugar will add sweetness to the cookies and you won't have to worry about adding too much flour.
  • For soft cookies that have started to dry out, re-soften by adding a piece of bread or a slice of apple to the container they are stored in.
  • For crispy cookies that have started to get soggy, make them crispy again by placing them on a cookie sheet and heating in the oven at 300° for 3 or 4 minutes.

A Traditional Holiday Treat: Cranberries

  • To microwave cranberries, cook 2 cups of cranberries to 1 cup of water on high until boiling. Continue to cook in 5 minutes intervals until cranberries begin to burst. Sweeten with sugar.

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