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Biscotti: better once or twice baked?

Biscotti is a type of Italian cookie that, literally translated, means “twice baked.” The cookie dough is first shaped into a long, oval log and baked as a whole unit the first time. Then it is sliced into individual pieces which are laid out on cookie sheets and baked a second time to fully dry […]

Substitution for cream of tartar

Gary says: My wife would like to know what she can use to substitute for Cream of Tartar? She’s making Snickerdoodle cookies–mmmm my favorite!

Baking S.O.S. says: This is a good question! I myself did not know the answer off the top of my head, so I found the following helpful information at What’s Cooking […]

Are there natural alternatives to food colors and dye?

Nina asks: I love decorating cookies but I am concerned about the additives in food dye, especially for children. Have you had any experience or do you know of any “natural” food dyes?

Baking S.O.S. says: Good question, Nina. There is growing concern about the effects of artificial food dyes as we learn more about […]

Are baking powder and baking soda interchangeable?

Chef Asata asks: I don’t bake. What is the interchangeability of baking powder and baking soda? Can I substitute one for the other?

Baking S.O.S. says: It’s interesting you asked this question. My first class in Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales was Beginning Baking, and we had to write a research paper on something […]

Testing for doneness: Brownies


Originally uploaded by chefrb

Nina asks: For some reason, I can’t make good brownies. Even when I use the boxed mixes and follow the directions, the brownies are either underdone or overdone. What is the solution? Should I be making brownies from scratch?

Baking S.O.S. says: I have the same problem, too! […]

“Sweet Dreams” cookies

“Sweet Dreams”

Shortly after graduating from Johnson & Wales University, I moved to Washington, D.C. and began working as an assistant pastry chef at Firehook Bakery. I worked for a very talented Pastry Chef, Kate Jansen, who made all of the pastries from scratch and created many of her own recipes. Kate’s original recipes […]

Test for doneness: Coffeecake

Once again, I am learning from my own mistakes, chalking my baking failures up to “experience.”

I recently picked 15 pounds of organic blueberries, most of which I froze for use in the Winter when fresh produce is expensive and less-than-desirable quality.

But I had some sour cream in the frige that was about to […]

Sugar Cookie Help

Eileen asks: I want to decorate cut-out sugar cookies with crystal sugar sprinkles rather than icing. How do I get the sugar to stay on the cookies? Do I put the sugar on BEFORE or AFTER I bake the cookies?

Baking S.O.S. says: Apply the sugar BEFORE you bake the cookies. To get the sprinkles […]

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

This is one of my most-requested recipes. They are perfect for Fall, and they are absolutely addictive!


by Laura Robertson-Boyd

Yield: approx. 7 dozen small cookies

Ingredients for Cookies:

Shortening ¾ Cup

Granulated sugar 1 Cup

Brown sugar […]

Baking with a healthier fat substitute: Smart Balance 50/50 Blend

A while ago, I received a question about what kind of fat could be substituted for butter to make cookies healthier. At the time, I did a little bit of research and discovered that Smart Balance had recently unveiled a new product called 50/50 Butter Blend sticks which are formulated specifically for baking. [See this […]