Be Creative! (part deux)

Last time I talked about being creative while using ingredients and tools and materials you have on hand. This time I want to mention how to “spice up” a recipe that you’ve made a bunch of times and now want something slightly different.

For example, I might sub in butterscotch chips for chocolate chips or just add them to the recipe or add nuts or something simple like that.

However, there are other things you can alter in a recipe to make something good, better. Or at least different. Here are some more examples:

  • Brown butter. Melt butter in a pot and let it brown and get a rich nutty aroma. Freeze or refrigerate until solid again. Be sure to scrape all the brown milk solids on the bottom of the pot-this is where the flavor is. This can be used in cakes or cookies or any other quick bread or even streaming through ice cream. Use it like you would butter, except you might need slightly more than what the original recipe calls for.
  • Brown sugar. Adds more flavor to cookies and cake but you have to be careful when substituting this because white sugar and brown sugar is measured differently, try to go by weight and not volume.
  • Using different sweeteners (especially in place of corn syrup). You can easily use honey, agave, molasses, or any combination to sweeten a product to help add a different flavor, but again, I would measure using weight instead of volume to be sure you add the right amount.
  • Using different liquids. Just because a recipe on the back of the cake mix box calls for water doesn’t mean you can’t use orange juice instead to make that “yellow” cake into a citrus-y cake. :)

That should help you get started on being more creative with the cakes and other desserts you’ve gotten bored with over the years. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to alter a recipe just the slightest bit. Remember, it is about the ratio of the ingredients, not everything has to be exactly the same as the original recipe!

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