Baking is fun, and eating your creations is even better, but that doesn't mean it's not time-consuming and messy! With these hacks from Self, you can make baking easier and more enjoyable!
1. Soften brown sugar. Haven't used your brown sugar in a while and pull it out of the pantry to find it hard as a rock? Microwave it with a wet paper towel for 20-30 seconds and it'll loosen right up.
2. Salvage your hockey pucks. Burned the bottom of your cookies or cupcakes? Don't toss them! Simply use a microplane zester to shave off just the burnt part.
3. From stiff to spreadable: Don't have time to wait for that butter or cream cheese to soften? Turn on a heating pad, place a thin dish towel over it and then place your butter or cheese on the covered pad. It will soften in minutes.
4. Get artsy: Want to decorate a cake quickly? Press a textured paper towel all over an iced cake for a cool design that takes just seconds. Or sprinkle an un-iced cake with a powdered sugar design by sprinkling it onto the cake through lace.
>> Read more: The 22 Dessert Gadgets Your Kitchen Needs
5. Slice like a pro. For perfect cake slices — use a warm knife — either one straight out of the dishwashing cycle or one that has been soaked in warm water. The cake won't clump up on a warm knife.
6. Avoid batter splatter. Poke the ends of your mixer's beaters through the middle of a paper plate before attaching them to the mixer to act as a shield.
7. No more sticky fingers! To make measuring sticky ingredients like honey and syrup easier, spray the measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray first, and the sticky stuff will drizzle right off.
8. The trick to a perfect cookie: Love crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside cookies? Well, chill the dough before baking—at least an hour or up to overnight. Then when the cookies come out of the oven, drop the pan down on the counter to help them fully set. Yes, literally! Hold the cookie sheet about a foot above the counter and drop it down onto the counter. (This helps the cookies flatten to the perfect thickness and settle faster).
>> Read more: 10 Baking Tips for the Inexperienced Chef
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