Dessert Tips

When it comes to Dessert, we've been there, done that, now serving 556 tips in 21 categories ranging from Baking to Troubleshooting.

Please tell me how to eliminate the fallen center of my sour cream pound cake. I use two loaf pans, also I am at an altitude of 5,600 ft.

Baking at High Altitudes

When baking at high altitudes (greater than 3000 feet above sea level), you may want to decrease the amount of baking powder and sugar used, and increase the amount of liquid and egg used. Baked goods will often overinflate and collapse at high altitudes, unless the recipes are modified. There are several books available, which contain recipes appropriate for cooking and baking at high altitudes.

   
What is the substitution for almond extract?

Almond Extract Substitutions

Almond extract is one of the most potent extracts in the cooking world. This is why most recipes call for a very small amount. It has a great flavor and is wonderful in certain baked goods.

If a recipe calls for almond extract and the cook has none on hand, there are substitutions that can be made. Make sure to accurately follow the substitutions or the recipe may not taste as it should.

Vanilla extract can be used in place of almond extract. Try using a tad more vanilla extract than what you would have used for almond extract.

Bitter almond oil can also be used as a substitute for almond extract. Most conversion charts call for 1/8 of a teaspoon of the oil to one teaspoon of extract. More can always be added if the taste isn't quite strong enough. 1/8 of a teaspoon is a good starting point.

A person can also use an almond liqueur for an almond extract replacement. It is recommended to use four to eight times as much liqueur than extract.

Whatever a recipe may be, if it calls for almond extract and there is none available, there are plenty of choices for substitutions.

   
Do you have a recipe for oatmeal caramel bars?

Oatmeal Carmelitas

There are many versions of this spectacular layered bar floating around. This one is the best.

2 cups flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup melted butter
14 oz. pkg. light caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup light cream
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9-inch pan and set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, soda and salt and blend. Add melted butter and mix until crumbly. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan.

In a small bowl, combine caramels and cream. Heat in microwave oven for 4-6 minutes on 50% power, stirring twice during cooking, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over reserved crust. Drizzle evenly with melted caramel mixture and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Cut into bars.

   
Do you have a caramel apple bar recipe?

Caramel Apple Bars

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup solid shortening
1-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups chopped tart apples (3 medium apples)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 14-oz. package caramels, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, combine brown sugar with butter and shortening and cream together until well blended. Add 1-3/4 cups flour, quick cooking oats, salt and baking soda and mix well. Measure out 2 cups of this crumbly mixture and set aside. Pat remaining crumbly mixture into 13x9" pan.

In large bowl, combine apples and 3 Tbsp. flour and spread over crust.

In medium bowl, microwave unwrapped caramels until melted, about 4-5 minutes on MEDIUM powder, stirring every minute. Pour over apples and then sprinkle with reserved crumbly mixture. Pat lightly.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with fork. Cut into bars when cooled. Store in refrigerator. 36 bars

   

Caramel Apple Bars

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup solid shortening
1-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups chopped tart apples (3 medium apples)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 14-oz. package caramels, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, combine brown sugar with butter and shortening and cream together until well blended. Add 1-3/4 cups flour, quick cooking oats, salt and baking soda and mix well. Measure out 2 cups of this crumbly mixture and set aside. Pat remaining crumbly mixture into 13x9" pan.

In large bowl, combine apples and 3 Tbsp. flour and spread over crust.

In medium bowl, microwave unwrapped caramels until melted, about 4-5 minutes on MEDIUM powder, stirring every minute. Pour over apples and then sprinkle with reserved crumbly mixture. Pat lightly.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with fork. Cut into bars when cooled. Store in refrigerator. 36 bars

   
Do you have a caramel bar recipe that is chewy and crisp?

Crisp Chocolate Caramel Bars

1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, chilled
14-oz. pkg. caramels
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
4 Tbsp. butter
1-3/4 cups crisp rice cereal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and powdered sugar in large bowl and mix well. Cut in 1/2 cup chilled butter until particles are fine and butter is well distributed. Press into a 13x9" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown.

In heavy skillet, melt caramels, milk, and 1/4 cup butter over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Spread over baked crust.

In another saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter, stirring until smooth. Stir in cereal. Drop this mixture by spoonfuls over caramel and carefully spread to cover. Cool completely. 48 bars

   
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