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Ask the Test Kitchen

Shortening or Oil?

The Peter Peter Pumpkin Bars in the Oct/Nov 2004 issue of Taste of Home call for 1/2 cup of shortening in the cake and 3…

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Shortening Substitute

Can I substitute butter for shortening in a cookie recipe? If so, do I use the same amount? Thanks for your help! —J.G., Quanah, Texas

Butter can be substituted for shortening in equal…

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Shortening Substitution

Many of my older recipes for cakes and cookies call for shortening. It seems that today's recipes use mostly butter or margarine. Can these be substituted for shortening? What changes will I…

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Simple Sifting

I have a recipe for angel food cake that is out of this world. However, it calls for sifting the cake flour and sugar 8 to 10 times—a time-consuming and messy process. Is it possible to do…

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Sinking Sheet Cake

What causes a sheet cake to sink in the center after it has baked and starts cooling? How can I prevent this from happening? —J.B., Lombard, Illinois

A sheet cake may rise and then…

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Slow Cook, Save Energy

Do meals made in slow cookers use a lot of electricity when they cook for 8-10 hours? —M.K., West Allis, Wisconsin

One of the advantages of using a slow cooker is that it uses very…

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Softened Ice Cream

Could you please tell me how to soften ice cream? —L.G., Wiscasset, Maine

Ice cream is often softened before being used in recipes or when it is too hard to scoop for eating. To…

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Spaetzle

I have a recipe that calls for spaetzle. I've never heard of it, and none of the stores in my area carry it. Where can I find it? —M.D., Phoenix, Arizona

Spaetzle is a German noodle or…

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Spice Beef

I am planning to make spice beef, but I'm having trouble finding a retailer who sells crocks. If I can't get a crock, can I use a large plastic bucket instead? —J.S., Surrey, British…

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Springform Pan Crust

Each time I make a dessert with a graham cracker crust using a springform pan, the butter leaks out into the oven. What might I be doing wrong? Should I line the pan with parchment paper?…

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