6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks

Blossom Lady
Mar 03, 2022 07:04 AM
6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks

After cooking for many years, I sure wish I had known a little bit more about these simple but amazing shortcuts and cooking tips. These quick and clever kitchen hacks will change how you cook for the better. Cooking does not have to be an all day affair or a laborious task, and if you use some of these tips, it can even be a lot of fun!

1. Brown-bag flour power

6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks
Many bakers weigh out their flour in a bowl or on a piece of parchment paper, but you may find it easier to use a brown paper lunch bag to hold the flour, particularly if the quantity is large. The bag stands open on the scale, is deep enough to hold a lot with no overflow, and pours neatly.

2. Muffin-tin mise en place

6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks
Preparing and measuring the ingredients for a dish before you begin to cook, called mise en place, makes a recipe go smoothly and quickly. But this can mean keeping track of many small, full bowls. Rather than chasing down individual dishes, try using the cups of a muffin tin, each fitted with a liner, to hold various ingredients. Adding the ingredients to your dish is easy and cleanup is a cinch.

3. Sweet preparations

6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks
During the holidays, many bakers make multiple batches of treats. To save time and eliminate mess, measure out and label the recipes ahead of time, storing the dry ingredients in zipper-lock bags and wet ingredients in plastic containers in the refrigerator.

4. Protecting our vital cookie resources

6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks
A. If you have trouble eating all your cookies before they go stale, here’s a new technique for keeping them moist and fresh: layer parchment paper, a tortilla, parchment, and then a layer of cooled cookies in your cookie tin. Repeat until the tin is full, ending with a layer of cookies. The tortillas fit tidily into the tin, where their moisture keeps cookies soft for days.
B. Decorative cookie jars may be convenient and attractive, but they are not airtight. However, there is a way to store cookies in an attractive jar and preserve their freshness at the same time. Simply line the inside of the jar with a large zipper-lock bag, place the cookies in the bag, and seal tightly.
C. Putting a small piece of bread in the cookie jar with cookies that have gone stale is a classic trick. Take this one step further by adding a small piece of bread to zipper-lock bags of cookies that have been packaged ahead of time for a potluck or bake sale to make sure that the cookies will be soft and fresh when you dig into them.
D. Because sugar absorbs moisture from the air, storing crispy cookies with a few cubes of sugar keeps them from getting soft and chewy. In tests, cookies stored this way retained a just-baked crispness for two days.

5. Saving cake

6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks
A. To keep leftover cake moist as long as possible, store the remaining portion under a cake dome along with a whole peeled apple. The moisture from the apple helps to keep the air under the dome humid and thus discourages the cake and frosting from drying out.
B. Use this method to prevent leftover layer cake from staling: arrange a folded piece of parchment paper to fit over the exposed edges. Pressing the parchment onto the cake lessens air exposure and keeps the next slices as good as the first.
C. The best way to keep a pound cake moist is to cut slices from the middle of the cake, not the end. The cake can then be sandwiched back together and wrapped in plastic wrap. With the cut sides insulated this way, the cake stays moist longer. This tip will also work for other items baked in a loaf pan, including quick breads.

6. Keeping leftover pie intact

6 Kitchen Hacks & Tricks
Storing uneaten pie can be tricky. Toppings such as fresh fruit, meringue, and whipped cream can get crushed against a container. However, when turned upside down, the lid of a large round storage container acts as the perfect plate for the leftover pie, while the container’s bowl acts as a dome that preserves the topping’s integrity.
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