Throughout the year I have been asked numerous questions about baking and if I had any helpful tips. Therefore, I have decided to share some of my most used tips/tricks/items I love with you.
Please note that this email contains some affiliate links. These links will be marked with an *.
1. How to correctly measure flour: This is huge. Have you ever made cookies and they turned out really dry? I have, many times. The problem could be how you're measuring the flour.
2. Use a scale to measure out your ingredients. Have you ever seen ingredients listed in g, mL, oz before? This is because it is more accuracte to measure out ingredients instead of using measuring cups/spoons. Next time you bake, try measuring out the ingredients. I bet your bake will taste and look MUCH better.
3. Yes the quality and type of your baking pans matter. There is so much to go into on this so I figured it's best to reference this article from All Recipes. See Below. My FAVORITE pans to use is the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baking Half Sheet Pan*. Yes this is one of my secrects to getting the perfect macaron and sugar cookies for my cookie cakes. It bakes everything evenly and is sturdy enough that it doesn't warp in the oven
The 10 Best Baking Pans of 2021 | Allrecipes
4. Get to know your oven. It took me about a year and a half to perfect my macarons and learning my oven played a major part in this. Learn where your hot spots are and if you should use convection vs. regular baking setting on the oven. For me, I use convection when baking any cakes or sugar cookies, however, when baking macarons I use the regular bake setting.
Things I rececommend for all bakers
Using the right utensils and baking supplies while baking makes a difference as well in how your bakes turn out. Here are some items I rececommend and love to use myself:
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Kitchen Scale*: Nicewell Food Scale, 22lb Digital Kitchen Scale Weight Grams and oz for Cooking Baking, 1g/0.1oz Precise Graduation, Stainless Steel and Tempered Glass
Baking Pans For Cookies*: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
Mixing Bowls*: Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece Set, Nesting, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe)
Kitchen Aide Mixer*: I would be lost without this! KitchenAid KSM3316XCU Artisan Mini Stand Mixers, 3.5 quart, Contour Silver
Measuring Cups/Spoon: Hearth & Hand Measuring Spoons from Target, Pampered Chef Measuring Cups
I hope you and your family have a wonderful time baking together this holiday season. Remember, never underestimate the joy of sweets!
PS. If you don't feel like baking, but still want to decorate cookies, check out my Holiday Sale where you can find Decorate Your On Cookie Kit, Hot Chocolate Bombs, and Macarons of the Month Subscription.
Happy New Year and Valentine’s Day! 2020 was a little intense for everyone and I am looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. This year I have some big plans for Sweets By Christa and my goal is to stay on top of all the cake/cupcake/treat trends, so I can offer only the best to my community.
*Make sure to read all the way to the end for a fun, special Valentine’s Day activity to do with your children.
I want to introduce you all to a cutie that I have perfected at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. The cakesicle! What is a cakesicle? It is a cake pop in the shape of a popsicle. Yes, that’s right, it’s a super duper extra large cake pop. I have begun seeing them pop up on Pinterest and Instagram and I knew I had to check them out. Cakesicles are amazing because they make a nice treat to share with your friends COVID friendly style. Each cakesicle is made from a cake flavor of your choice and mixed with my own chocolate or vanilla buttercream. The cake is surrounded by either white or milk chocolate and then a stick is placed into it. Cakesicles can be decorated and personalized to your needs. The finished cakesicle is individually wrapped for ease of handing out to people.
How to store cakesicles:
Honestly though, eating the cakesicle within the first week is my family’s preference.
Another major treat I am working on to bring you all this year is macarons. Ok, I know I have made macarons last year, but this year I want to offer more flavors more often. I am also going to be offering special order macarons for any occasion. This means that you don’t have to wait for one of my sales to order them. If you have a special occasion coming up and want to order some, please let me know! I am still throwing around the idea of a Macaron of The Season Club. This means that you would be guaranteed a half dozen or dozen mix of my seasonal macarons. They would be available Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter Holidays (December). If you are interested in this please let me know.
Valentine’s Day is going to be here in a few weeks and I’m wondering where has January is gone? Now is the time to order some sweet treats for your special someone. I am offering several treat boxes this year that include cakesicles, hot cocoa bombs and per request of my husband, chocolate covered Oreos. I am also going to be offering hot cocoa bombs in 3 flavors: Classic, Pink Cookies and Cream, and Strawberry. Please note that for these cocoa bombs, I have created my own cocoa mix that is free of preservatives and I promise you can pronounce every ingredient listed. My boys have been drinking this cocoa mix for several weeks and think it’s better than the store bought kind!
I also am going to have Valentine’s Macarons for sale as well. These will be a variety pack and you can order either a dozen or half dozen at a time. Flavors include: cookies and cream, chocolate strawberry, vanilla, and raspberry white chocolate. I am also working on making Big Mac Hearts. These will be supersized vanilla macarons, like the size of 2-3 macarons put together, in the shape of a heart. Great for sharing or just eating on your own. I will be having a limited amount of all of these available for purchase. Macaron orders will open up this week.
*Please note that all Valentine’s Day Pre-Sales will close on February 6th to allow me time to bake all these treats.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a special Valentine’s Day activity to do with your children. I did this several years ago with my boys and each year they ask for me to do it again. I make, or you can buy, 28 paper hearts that are about 6 inches wide. I do 28 because I have 2 children. You will need 14 hearts per child. Starting February 1st, each night after they fall asleep, I write a saying on the heart. The saying can be as simple as “You are amazing” or more complex like “I love you to the stars and beyond”. Be creative and make them personal. Once I have the saying on the heart I will tape the heart to my child’s door. This way when they wake up in the morning they get to see what new heart is on their door.
Christa is a mother of two rambunctious boys who loves sweets! She has been baking and decorating cakes for over 12 years. When she is not baking or decorating she is enjoying time with her family.