Ask the Test Kitchen

Black Walnuts

I have seen several recipes calling for black walnuts. What is the difference between them and the walnuts that are usually found in grocery stores? —J.W., Niles, Michigan

The walnuts…

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Blackstrap Molasses

My daughter bought me a jar of blackstrap molasses. Can I substitute it for regular molasses? Is blackstrap molasses stronger? Thanks for your help. —D.F. Solvay, New York

Molasses is…

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Blanched Beans

I enjoy buying baskets of fresh green and yellow beans in summer. I blanch and freeze the beans according to my cookbook instructions and they seem wonderful. But once they're cooked, they get a…

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Blueberry Muffins

Whenever I try to make blueberry muffins, the blueberries settle at the bottom of the muffin. What am I doing wrong? —D.H., Akron, Ohio

Lightly coating your blueberries (or any other…

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Boiled Pretzels

In a recipe for soft pretzels, the directions say to boil the pretzels briefly in a mixture of water and baking soda. What is the purpose of doing this? —S.S., Loveland,…

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Boiling Corn on the Cob

For years I've been boiling fresh corn on the cob, but I'm never sure how long to cook it. How long do you suggest? —M.B. Apollo Beach, Florida

To boil fresh corn on the cob, first…

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Bone-In Chicken Breasts

I noticed a recipe that calls for bone-in chicken breast halves. We buy boneless chicken breasts in large quantities and are wondering why the bone-in variety is necessary. Thanks! —R.F.,…

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Bread Machine Features

Why do so many bread machine recipes say not to use a bread machine with a time-delay feature? —L.K., Romulus, Michigan

In Taste of Home, we say this in recipes that contain…

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Bread Machine Oil

I'm wondering what kind of oil or shortening to use in my bread machine. I currently use canola oil. Also, should canola oil be kept in the refrigerator? What is its shelf life? —E.B.,…

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Bread-and-Butter Pickles

Is it okay to replace white vinegar with cider vinegar when making bread-and-butter pickles? Thanks for your help. —K.F., Lisle, Illinois

Vinegar provides the tart puckery flavor in…

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