Friday, May 16, 2014

Baking with Chocolate and Cocoa

Baking with Chocolate and Cocoa
You’d need more than one hand to count all the ways to use chocolate in baking and other sweet treats. But, so many chocolate choices on the grocer’s shelves can leave you feeling confused. Here are tips to make sense of the mystery.

Chocolate and Cocoa Basics

  • Chocolate and cocoa are made from ground, liquefied roasted shelled cocoa beans—also called cacao—that are processed in different ways.
  • Check Chocolate entries in the Glossary to learn about chocolate and cocoa in all its shapes and forms.
  • Semi-sweet, dark and bittersweet chocolate are interchangeable in recipes.
  • Dutch processed and unsweetened baking cocoa are interchangeable in recipes unless baking powder or baking soda are used. If they are, use as directed.
“Know How” with the New Baking Chocolate
  • The taste for darker, richer chocolate is a growing trend and chocolate makers want to satisfy these tastes.
  • The new baking chocolate and chocolate chips you’re seeing may be labeled with “premium” or give a percent cacao they contain; most are also called dark or bittersweet.
  • With a higher percent cacao, there’s more chocolate intensity but less sweetness.
Making Chocolate Choices Easier
  • Try using higher percent cacao chocolate chips when you bake chocolate chip cookies to see how your family likes the new taste.
  • Stir these darker, richer chips into Betty Crocker® brownie or peanut butter cookie mix and see if you like the chocolate flavor boost.
  • Like coffee with chocolate? Give bittersweet or a higher percent cacao brand a try in those recipes, as the flavors are perfect together.
  • Need chocolate to melt for dipping or drizzling Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies or Marvelous Chocolate Truffles? Melt some of several kinds, use them and take a taste test.
  • Save these darker, richer chocolates to substitute in recipes with big chocolate impact, like Chocolate Truffle Torte or Midnight Molten Brownie Cupcakes.
  • Saurce  : bettycrocker

Baking Basics for Brownies and Bars

Brownie Basics
Plan ahead - bake a batch of brownies. Then freeze for up to two months. You'll be ready for any party!

Mix and bake easy brownies and bars while making dinner for warm-from-the-oven weeknight treats. Dress them up for favorite pack-and-go potluck treats or sweets to share. Whatever you choose, discover these tips and techniques for brownies baked just right.

Pan Prep Pointers
  • Use the pan size and baking time called for in the bar or brownie recipe for best results.
  • Corner brownie fans and chewy edge lovers rejoice! Now there are pans just for you. The Betty Crocker® Store is where to go. Search ‘brownies’, narrow your search to ‘bakeware’ to find these newer highly rated specialty pans.
  • Check brownie mix box for times and temperature using smaller pan sizes. If the pan is smaller, baking time is longer and sometimes temperature is reduced to 325°F so that the center bakes and edges don’t get hard.
  • Use shortening or cooking spray to grease baking pans, but only when the recipe says it’s needed. Butter, margarine, and vegetable oil aren’t recommended—they can burn and stick to metal surfaces, making clean-up difficult.
  • Line your pan with heavy-duty foil when making several batches of bars or brownies. Grease only bottom of the foil. Brownies are easy to lift from the pan and cut on the foil when cool. And, your pan is ready to line and bake the next batch!

Baked Just Right
  • Follow your bar or brownie recipe’s doneness test. When making brownies, check with toothpick inserted two inches from the side of the pan. When it comes out clean or almost clean, brownies are ready.
  • For easier cutting, cool brownies and bars completely and use a plastic knife. Or, look for nonstick knives that make cutting a cinch.
  • Lemon bars can be made a day ahead and refrigerated before cutting (moistening the knife keeps bars from tearing during cutting).

So Many Flavors
  • For time-saving, delicious results, try any of the ten Betty Crocker® Supreme Brownie mixes or the Betty Crocker Sunkist® Lemon Bar mix.
  • Discover our tried-and-true scratch recipe: The Ultimate Brownie or search for their equally appealing cousins called blondies.
  • Think of favorite flavors or use up on-hand items you have; then ‘search’ those words. We’ve enough recipes for you to try from now until next year! Enjoy. 
  • Saurce


Biscotti (pronounced bee-SKAWT-tee) are popular Italian cookies that have been baked twice—first as a “log” and then a second time sliced—until they are nice and crunchy. Create these coffee shop mainstays as a treat any time or as a welcome made-by-you food gift.

Take your choice of flavors, make from Betty Crocker® cookie mix or from Gold Medal® flour, embellish

with chocolate or not—just try a recipe or two with our helpful tips that will make your baking a success!
How to Bake Better Biscotti
  • Mix dough by hand. It’ll be a little firmer than biscuit dough. And just like biscuit dough, it can be kneaded lightly to mix thoroughly.
  • Use a long metal spatula to shape the dough for baking biscotti—straight sides with a smooth flat top give even baking results.
  • Use your longest serrated knife when slicing the baked “log.”
  • If recipe contains dried fruit, wipe the knife with damp paper towel every third or fourth slice to prevent the knife from sticking and the slices from crumbling.
  • Give slices elbow room for the “twice-baked” step so they crisp evenly. Turn the slices halfway through this second bake to enhance crispness.
  • Biscotti cookies are lightly browned and dry to the touch when done. They’ll crisp more while cooling.
How to Store Biscotti
  • Unless directed in recipe, store biscotti in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag.
  • If spread or drizzled with chocolate, store biscotti layered between sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
  • If making ahead to freeze, wait to glaze or drizzle; otherwise, the chocolate may dull.
Ways To Enjoy Biscotti
  • Keep plenty on hand. Biscotti keep well and make tasty treats.
  • Package some up with a mug or latte cup, coffee beans or cocoa mix to give away.
  • Deliver some when you stop by to visit a neighbor.
  • Sip a late harvest wine or cup of rich dark coffee while sitting in your most comfy chair. Oh yes, dunk in a few of your very own biscotti!
  • Saurce: bettycrocker