Its De-licious-cember 23rd and we’re down to the wire. I’m sure you are a seasoned baker, but just in case you forget a few things at the market or have no desire to venture out into the cold, I’ve rounded up a few of the best and easiest fixes for holiday baking.
Out of colored sugar for decorating sugar cookies or rimming holiday cocktails? Simply mix a cup of plain sugar (the coarser the better) and a few drops of food coloring in a zip-top bag. Shake and knead the two together until the dye is thoroughly incorporated. Ta da!
So this isn’t a fix to make buttermilk exactly, but if a baking or cooking recipe calls for buttermilk you can always use sour milk in a pinch. Simply mix a cup of milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes, stir to combine and voila, pseudo-buttermilk!
What is brown sugar but white sugar with the molasses removed. Granted when you mix the two together after the original separation the result smells strongly of smokey molasses, but it works perfectly for baking. Simply mix and knead a cup of white sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of molasses (depending upon how dark you need it) in a zip top bag till thoroughly combined.
Have you ever over whipped your whipping cream? Did you know that if you do this on purpose, and leave out the sugar, you can create some mighty fine whipped and spreadable butter? Well now you do. Simply pour some whipping cream into your food processor (add a dash of salt if desired) and spin until the milk fats solidify and separate from the liquids. The butter will cling to the edges of the bowl and the liquid should pool at the bottom. Place butter onto a piece of cheesecloth, gather the cloth, and squeeze out excess liquid. Unfold cheesecloth and marvel at your little bundle of homemade butter. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
How many times do you go to make a recipe and realise you’re out of this stuff. Or, if you are trying to rid your diet of corn syrup products, you are looking for a similar alternative when baking and cooking. Simply make a simple syrup! Take one part water and two parts sugar and place into a small sauce pan. Cook on med-high until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and store in airtight container or mason jar.
Or…you can use honey!
Hopefully these few fixes will help you with your baking agenda this weekend and over the next few days. Remember that the holidays are more about friends and family rather than stuffing your face with sweets, but then again, baked goods never hurt a social situation. Happy De-licious-cember 23rd!