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    21 Quick Fixes For Baking Mistakes You're Probably Making

    For a tender and flaky pie crust, use a lard recipe.

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    1. Scooping batter without spraying your scooper first.

    Whether you're scooping muffin or cupcake batter, a single mist of nonstick spray will make sure your scooper stays batter-free until you're done. More here.

    2. Softening butter in a microwave.

    Microwaves are good for melting butter, but trying to just soften butter in the microwave always ends badly — the outsides melt while the insides stay cold. A quick, neat alternative is to soften it by placing a warm glass over the butter. This'll get it just soft enough to work into your cake mix. More here.

    3. Filling a piping bag without the aid of a cup.

    Instead of filling a piping bag by folding a flimsy bag over your hand, fold it over a level pint glass. You'll be able to fill more of the bag and prevent any spills.

    4. Using vegetable oil in your cake mix.

    Steffany / Via

    Unless you're going for a soft and airy cake, use butter to make your cake richer and denser. Just melt the butter prior to mixing it in to avoid clumping.

    5. Baking extra cookie dough.

    Next time you prepare a little too much cookie dough, freeze it instead of baking it. While baked cookies will harden in no time, frozen dough (which you can pop into the oven any time and bake in minutes) will keep for up to three months.

    6. Baking cakes that are too rounded to frost and layer.

    If you want flat, perfectly frostable — instead of domed — cake layers, tie wet fabric strips around your pans. This extra fabricy layer will absorb some of the heat surrounding the outside layer, making sure the center doesn't rise faster, and that the whole cake is cooked at the same temperature.

    7. Limiting yourself to butter and vegetable oil.

    Equally as creamy, but with a lower calorie count, avocado is a healthful substitution that won't compromise flavor for healthy fats. Try it out with the above recipe here.

    8. Storing cookies in an empty container.

    Alan Levine / Via Flickr: cogdog

    Don't let your hard work turn into stale, inedible rocks — store your cookies with an apple wedge or half a slice of bread. This will keep the air humid, and make sure they stay chewy.

    9. Chipping away at hardened brown sugar.

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    Don't waste your time trying to chisel off chunks of brown sugar. Place it on a dish, cover it with a wet paper towel, and microwave it for 20 seconds to get soft, workable texture. (And don't worry, it won't melt into a sugary pool.)

    10. Throwing away burnt muffins.

    Mark Botham / Via

    Instead of tossing out pastries you've left in the oven too long or slicing off large chunks, shave off charred edges with a box grater.

    11. Limiting yourself to traditional icing.

    A gooey, sticky alternative for when you're out of the traditional stuff is marshmallows. Place one on every cookie and just bake for 5 extra minutes.

    12. Buying an expensive rolling pin.

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    Instead of investing in a fancy French rolling pin, stick an empty wine bottle in the fridge and use it next time you're baking. The shape is perfect for rolling, and the coolness will keep the butter in the pastry solid (for a flakier crust!).

    13. Making whipped cream in a bowl.

    No matter how careful you try to be, whisking cream will inevitably end up in a mess. Instead, shake your ingredients vigorously in a mason jar for the same splatter-free result. Full instructions here.

    14. Waiting for your cookies to settle.

    It might be loud, but an easy way to quicken the whole cookie cooling process is to simply bang your cookie pan on your kitchen counter as soon as it's out of the oven. This will make the dough flatten out and give your cookies a crispy, uniform shape.

    15. Relying on muffin liners.

    If you're out of muffin liners, or just want to mix things up, use parchment paper instead. Just cut squares and shape them into their bowl shape using a tall drinking glass.

    16. Using frosting to write numbers or words.

    Frosting a cake is one thing. Decorating a frosted cake with even more frosting or icing is another. Next time you're on the job, lose the frosting and use sprinkles instead— you can make pretty, immaculate shapes by sifting them through a cookie cutter.

    17. Baking cookies without chilling them first.

    This is also somewhat a matter of preference, but if you want to bake chewier, plumper cookies, chill the dough for just 30 minutes prior to baking. This'll solidify the butter in the mixture, making sure the cookies spread less in the oven. More here.

    18. Wasting money on cake release.

    It's surprisingly easy to make your own cake release: just mix together equal parts flour, vegetable or olive oil, and shortening. More here.

    19. Making your pie crusts with butter.

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    Use a crust recipe that calls for mostly lard (instead of shortening or butter) and your crust will come out tender and perfectly flaky. That's because it doesn't break down as quickly as butter does in the oven. Don't believe us? Just look at the ingredients list in your Pillsbury unroll-and-fill pie crust, and you'll see the secret ingredient is really just lard.

    20. Squeezing citrus fruits fresh out of the fridge.

    timlewisnm / Via

    Warm limes and lemons release more juice than cold ones. Next time you need citrus juice, warm up your fruits in the microwave for 10 seconds prior to squeezing.

    21. Not sifting your flour.

    David DeHoey / Via

    Or measuring your ingredients, using clean kitchen tools, or waiting until your oven is completely heated up to slide your pan in. Baking is more a science than cooking, so all the little details matter!