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At-home baking is never as easy as it’s supposed to be. It’s often filled with spills, overcooking and all-round Pinterest fails. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on it completely. It is possible to make yummy treats from your very own kitchen.
If you’re hoping to whip up delicious treats for Halloween, fall bake sales or upcoming holiday parties, you’ll want to have these tips in your repertoire before you tie your apron strings.
1. Invest In A Quality Mixer
Investing in a quality mixer really is worth the extra dough (pun intended) if you’re planning on baking at home. You’ll save on mixers if you shop mini versions, or get this one that’s available for a limited time though Aldi. Read the reviews before you make a purchase, but you won’t regret spending the extra money if you’re looking to up your at-home pastry chef game.
2. Get Yourself A Handy Dandy Candy Thermometer
Owning a candy thermometer will allow you to make your own caramel from scratch, which can really make all the difference when you’re baking. The more items you can make by hand, the better.
3. Shop Organic, Quality Ingredients
If you don’t have time to make everything from scratch, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or gourmet quality. Shopping brands such as Foodstirs—which offers brownie mixes, cookie mixes and more, using all organic ingredients—means you will be able to quickly and easily bake up items that are ethically sourced and absolutely delicious. All in all, you’re sure to impress your friends with these treats, and they’ll never know you took a shortcut!
4. Follow The Recipe
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to really nailing baked goods, you’ve got to stick closely to the recipe. Don’t use too many substitutions or change the baking time/oven temperature. Sometimes, it’s hard to resist the urge to make subtle changes. But it you can resist, your goodies will turn out even better.
5. Make Finishing Touches A Cinch
OK. So let’s say you’ve worked hard to bake cupcakes from scratch and you really don’t want to ruin them when it comes time to frost—enter these bakery-quality pastry bags that make frosting a breeze. Because the bags are already filled with Pillsbury frostings in a variety of flavors (chocolate, cream cheese, etc.), they’re sure to taste amazing. And now that you don’t need a frosting knife to apply them (or your own personal collection of pastry bags and frosting tips), you’ll be able to easily make designs and have your cupcakes looking and tasting excellent.
6. Weigh The Ingredients
The best way to make sure you’re really getting the accurate measurements is to weigh everything—flour, sugar, you name it. You can find kitchen scales for less than $10 online, and you’ll find that it makes all the difference for your batter.
7. Focus On The Display
No one ever said nailing a cake mix recipe was a bad thing. So what if you’re not a professional baker? If you can make a moist cupcake, brownie, etc.—that’s all that matters. Then, once you’ve got that down, focus on the display. Wrap the treats up in cute to-go boxes. Frost using the bags mentioned earlier. A little bit of decoration will surely take your baked goods to the next level. Presentation is just as important as taste.
8. Try Copycat Recipes
Part of making something that tastes amazing is having a great recipe. If you’ve got a favorite dessert from a restaurant or, say, want your cinnamon rolls to taste just like Cinnabon’s, then find a copycat recipe to work from. Then you’ll be well on your way to better tasting treats.
9. Start With Something Simple
You don’t have to start with the most difficult recipe in the book. Start with something simple and work your way up. It’s never a bad thing to be known for making the best chocolate chip cookies around!
10. Consider Your Budget
Butter vs. margarine makes all the difference in taste and in price. If you’re feeding a crowd, consider your budget before deciding to double up on a recipe. Then, choose a dessert you can pull off without the added financial stress. Because what’s the point of baking if you can’t have some fun with it?
Now that you’ve got these tips, your desserts are sure to pass any taste test! Be sure to make extras, too, because your guests will be coming back for seconds.