Resist the Twist! 

When making biscuits, DO NOT twist the cutter into the dough.  Make quick cuts, down and straight back up with your biscuit cutter.  This will insure a tall, layered, flaky rise.  Also, try not to over work the dough.  Biscuit dough is somewhat like pie dough.  You never want to knead it.  Try keeping those lovely layers intact.  Check back soon for my Southern Biscuits video. 

Soften butter in a hurry with one of these two tricks:

Heat a bowl under hot running water and throughly dry the bowl.   Grate the desired amount of butter into the warm bowl and wait a couple of minutes for the butter to soften.  

Heat a tall glass under hot running water.  Dry the glass and turn upside down, covering the stick of butter.  Wait a few minutes and the butter will soften.

Butter and flour your cake pans to prevent sticking instead of using aerosol spray.  

Use softened butter to grease cake pans and dust with flour instead of using nonstick spray.  It may take an extra 30 seconds, but it’s worth it.  Not only is it better for the planet, but it tastes better, too.  If you’re baking a chocolate cake, especially if it’s a naked chocolate cake, try using cocoa for dusting to keep a dark, chocolatey color on the crust.  If you’re still concerned about cake layers sticking, cut parchment paper rounds to fit the pans.  Add the parchment after greasing and flouring the pans.

Quick chilling dough:

On a large piece of plastic wrap, flatten dough into a disc about 1 inch thick and quick chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  This works well for rolled cookie dough, and can prevent some cookie doughs from spreading too much during baking.  


Use full fat buttermilk when you can.  I love baking with thick Bulgarian style buttermilk, especially for cakes and biscuits.  If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, try this: add a generous Tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of whole milk, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.  This works well in place of buttermilk for cakes, biscuits, or muffins,…but if you’re making a buttermilk pie, you really need the real thing!  Check back soon for my Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie recipe and video.  Nanny made the best!

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