Macarons Round 2

Macarons: Round Two

As I mentioned previously, I wasn’t about to let macarons get me down.  After the first failed attempt, I took to Google to learn what could be learned and tried again the next day armed with all the tips and tricks the internet had to provide.

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Pie Crust Tutorials

Turn Your Pies Into Works of Art with These Easy Floral Crust Tutorials

Happy Pi Day!  In honor of one of my favorite nerd holidays (and my two-year wedding anniversary), I’m wrangling together my three decorative pie crust tutorials in one post for easy access.

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How to Make a Pie Crust Poinsettia

How to Make a Poinsettia Pie Crust

We’re wrapping up the pie crust embellishment series today with an impressive-looking (but still super easy) poinsettia.  Admittedly, this is a bit of a seasonal decoration, but with a little finessing, you can change the shapes of the leaves and petals and call it a dahlia or a pile of leaves to make it more appropriate to your current season.  Whatever you call it, you’re bound to get murmurs of admiration when you bust this baby out.

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How to Make Pie Crust Roses

How to Make Pie Crust Roses

Today, I bring you part two in my pie crust embellishment series.  This one is probably my personal favorite: roses!  These look really impressive, but as was the case with leaf borders, they’re deceptively easy to make.

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How to Make a Pie Crust Leaf Border

How to Make a Pie Crust Leaf Border

Goodbye fork-pricked edges, hello leaf borders!  In today’s tutorial, I’m going to walk you through the super easy process of adding a leaf border to the top of your double-crust pies.  You can do this on top of a solid crust or on its own (I tend to do the latter).  Adding a leaf border is a great way to dress up your pie while also expending minimal effort.

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How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust

How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust

When I started planning this week’s bakeventure (check back on Friday to sate your curiosity on that matter), I was surprised to see that I hadn’t written a tutorial on graham cracker crusts yet.  Today, I intend to remedy that.

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How To Soften Frozen Butter

We’ve all been there.  It’s time to bake cookies, or frost a cake, or make a meticulously-crafted butter sculpture, but you forgot to take the butter out of the freezer hours beforehand.  Now you have all of your ingredients ready, and a pound of rock-hard butter.  What’s a baker to do?

Luckily for you, I find myself in this predicament more often than I would like to admit.  I stockpile butter in my freezer when it goes on sale (sort of like a dragon does with gold, but with butter), and I can never seem to make myself remember in the morning that I plan to bake cookies in the afternoon.  Through trial and error, I’ve come up with a couple ways to make this work out in my favor.  Here are my two preferred methods (aside from actually remembering to leave my butter out on the counter early enough for it to soften naturally).

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How To Soften Brown Sugar

If you store your brown sugar like I do (in a kitchen cabinet with a twist tie), there’s a good chance that it’s dried out on you at least once.

brown sugar brick

As you can see, my brown sugar has turned into an irregularly-shaped brick.

This happens because once you open a new bag, the moisture from the molasses in the sugar begins to evaporate.  You can slow the process by storing the open bag in a resealable plastic bag or in the fridge, but this doesn’t prevent hardening entirely, and it doesn’t help you once the brown sugar has already dried out.  Fortunately, softening brown sugar is not particularly hard.  Here is the method which has given me the most success.

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How To Separate Eggs

Occasionally, a recipe will call for only egg yolks (such as a custard) or only egg whites (such as meringue).  The process of separating eggs seems daunting at first, but it is actually pretty simple.  You can buy a special tool to do it, but it is easy enough to do with just two bowls and your own two hands.

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