If your like me, there will be a lot of baking going on within the next few weeks. I love baking Christmas cookies, pies and cakes. Here are some great tips I have learned and used. I hope they help you like they help me.
*With cookie dough that must be rolled, it is much easier to handle after it has been in the refrigerator for about 10-30 minutes. This keeps the dough from sticking, even though it may be soft. If not done, the soft dough may require more flour and too much flour makes cookies hard and brittle.
*Place on a floured board only as much dough as can be easily managed. *Flour the rolling pin slightly and roll lightly to desired thickness.
*Cut shapes close together, and add trimmings to dough that needs to be rolled.
*Place pans of sheets in upper third of oven.
*Watch cookies carefully while baking in order to avoid burned edges.
*When sprinkling sugar on cookies, try putting it in salt shaker to save time.
*To prevent cream pie from becoming soggy, sprinkle crust with powdered sugar.
*To prevent soggy crust for custard pie, bake at a high temperature for about 10 minutes, and then finish baking at a low temp.
*For keeping juices in the pie, fold the top crust over the lower crust before crimping.
*For proper crust placement in your pan, the lower crust should go in the pan so that it covers the surface smoothly. Air pockets beneath the surface will push the crust out of shape while baking.
*Keep pie crust ingredients cool. It will be better and easier to make.
*Let cakes be thoroughly cool before frosting them.
*If you sprinkle cake with powdered sugar first, the icing will remain where you put it.
*For cooling, remove a cake from the oven and place it on a rack for about 5 minutes. After, the sides should be loosened and the cake turned out on a rack to finish the cooling process.
*To fill cake pans properly, fill 2/3rds, and spread the batter into the corners and sides. Leave a hollow in the center.