Read these 19 Pastry, Crepes, Breads Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dessert tips and hundreds of other topics.
This wonderful coffee cake has the most beautiful, melting texture. It's really even better if made a day ahead.
3 cups flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and beat well on medium speed until smooth.
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
In ungreased 10" tube pan, spread 1/3 of the cake batter. Top with half of the filling. Spread 1/3 of the batter over the filling (it probably won't cover the filling completely, so don't worry), then top with rest of filling. Cover with cake batter, as best you can. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack. Store tightly covered.
If your muffins are coming out flat on top, raise the temperature of your oven for the first five minutes of baking. Start at 425 degrees for five minutes and then finish baking at the temperature called for in the recipe. Check for doneness a little sooner than usual just to be safe.
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp. salt
3 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1/4 cup amaretto
3/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. shortening
Grease cookie sheets and preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a heavy saucepan, combine water, butter and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a ball and cleans sides of pan. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Drop a scant tablespoon of dough onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 425 degrees for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown. Prick puffs with sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Remove from cookie sheets and cool.
In large bowl, combine pudding mix, milk and amaretto and beat at low speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Then fold in whipped cream.
For glaze, melt chocolates with shortening in small saucepan, stirring until smooth.
To assemble, cut off top of each puff and remove any filaments of soft dough. Fill with pudding mixture and replace tops. Then drizzle with chocolate glaze.
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half crosswise
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans
sweetened whipped cream
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each pastry sheet in half. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips onto the center of each sheet. Place a banana half at the end of each sheet and roll up. Pinch ends to seal. Place seam side down on ungreased cookie sheet and bake about 15 minutes until pastry is golden brown and puffed.
Place each pastry on a serving plate and cut in half diagonally. Top with caramel topping, whipped cream, and pecans.
Use cream puff pastry to make eclairs too! Just pipe or spoon the choux dough into 4 to 6" long fingers onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Poke a hole in one end of each eclair and pipe in the filling, or cut a slit along the top and spoon in the filling. Top with melted chocolate.
If your recipe directions call for glazing puff pastry with an egg wash to give it gloss and a rich color, be careful the wash doesn't drip down the sides of the pastry. If it does, the egg will cook and harden before the pastry puffs and you'll be left with flat or uneven pastry.
Most of your quick bread recipes (those without yeast) can be turned into muffins. Just pour them into baking tins and bake about 10 degrees above what the bread recipe calls for, for about half the time.
Watch closely so they don't overbake. They will be done when the top is firm and springs back from a slight push.
This spectacular dessert is made totally ahead. All you have to do before serving is assemble. You can warm the caramel sauce in the microwave before serving if you like, but it's not necessary. You can also fill these crepes with softened ice cream instead of the white chocolate mousse. But try the mousse at least once!
1 cup pancake mix
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/4 cups milk
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and beat well until batter is smooth. Heat an 8" skillet, or crepe skillet over medium high heat. Dip a paper towel in peanut or safflower oil and lightly coat the hot skillet. Using a small ladle, pour about 2 Tbsp. of the batter into the hot skillet. Tilt and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. Don't worry if there are some small holes. Cook until the edges look dry. Carefully turn with a fork (that's easier than it sounds!) and cook a few seconds on the other side. Cool completely on a kitchen towel.
White Chocolate Mousse
2 cups whipping cream
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
In heavy saucepan, combine whipping cream and chips over very low heat, stirring constantly until chips and melted and mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a large bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight until the mixture is VERY cold, stirring every now and then. Then, beat the mixture at high speed until light and fluffy. Don't overbeat or it will start to break down. Store in refrigerator.
This sauce is a great one to keep on hand in the refrigerator. Try it over ice cream, or brownies, or over angel food cake.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook gently 8-10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, add vanilla, stir well, and cool. To warm, heat gently over low heat, or warm in the microwave.
To assemble, place one crepe on a serving plate. Fill with about 1/4 cup mousse, and roll up. Drizzle with the warmed caramel sauce. Eat, moaning and groaning with delight.
1 21-oz. can raspberry pie filling
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. grated orange peel
2 cups blueberries
16 phyllo (filo) sheets, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pie filling, cornstarch and orange peel in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Gently stir in blueberries and set aside.
Cover phyllo sheets with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. Fold each sheet lengthwise in half. Then layer in a sunburst pattern in a 12" pizza pan, brushing each strip with melted butter as you add it. The ends should overlap in the center of the pan.
Spoon fruit mixture into the center of the pan, forming a 9" circle. Fold each sheet of phyllo up and over the filling, twisting and folding as necessary to make decorative bundles of pastry, leaving a 4" opening in the center. Brush with remaining butter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Serve warm.
Zebra Brownie Doughnuts
1 15-oz. pkg. Pillsbury® Thick 'n Fudgy Double Chocolate Deluxe Brownie Mix
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup light or extra-light olive oil
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 to 4 Tbsp. milk
Spray 12 miniature nonstick Bundt cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Reserve chocolate syrup packet from brownie mix. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In large bowl, combine brownie mix, buttermilk, oil and egg and beat at medium speed for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes until smooth. Spoon 2 level measuring tablespoons of batter into each sprayed cup.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, then knife around edges to loosen doughnuts and invert onto wire rack.
In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Spread over cooled doughnuts. Then drizzle doughnuts with reserved chocolate syrup from packet.