Stocking Your Pantry and Baking Tips

Quality ingredients are essential to good baking.

Don’t expect to take the chocolate bar your child received last Halloween, chop it up and turn out delicious chocolate chip cookies. Fresh ingredients help ensure that your final product will be a success.

Key baking ingredients that you should have in your pantry include:

Flour provides the structure for most baked goods. It is a finely ground meal produced by grinding edible grains.
Sugars and sweeteners flavourize and tenderize baked goods and give them a golden brown crust.
Fats tenderize, provide flavour, help bind ingredients together and help in the “browning” process.
Leavening agents include yeast, eggs, baking powder and baking soda, and help a baked good to rise. DO NOT substitute baking powder for baking soda — they are not the same thing!
Milk or milk products are commonly used in baking to moisten ingredients and to modify consistency.
Eggs provide structure and volume in a recipe and help bind ingredients together.
Flavourings and extracts should be added to a recipe at room temperature or once the ingredients have been removed from heat to provide the best results.

Other Handy Baking Tips

  • Don’t crowd the oven. Pans should never touch one another or the sides of the oven.
  • Always stir flour to “loosen” before measuring.
  • Use measuring spoons, not utensils to measure small amounts.
  • Especially for baking, always PREHEAT oven to desired temperature before placing items into oven.
  • Make sure cake is cool before icing cake — otherwise frosting will slide off a warm cake.

Did You Know?

The word ‘cookie’ is said to derive from the Dutch word ‘koekje’ or ‘koekie’ in reference to a small cake.

John Mariani, in “The Dictionary of American Food and Drink” states that the first recipe for brownies appeared in the 1897 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog.

The largest birthday cake ever created weighed 128,238 pounds and had 16,209 pounds of frosting. It was created for the 100th birthday celebration of Fort Payne, Alabama.

The original chocolate chip cookie, the Toll House Cookie, was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts in 1930.

Jell-o dessert is eaten regularly in about 2/3 of North American homes; nine boxes of Jell-o are sold every second in the United States.

Rice Krispie treats were invented in the 1930s by Mildred Day (who worked for the Kellogg’s Company) as a way to raise funds for a Camp Fire Girls group.

Rumour has it that a man named Dave died from a Rice Krispie treat overdose in 1998.