Baking 101 Archives - Hoosier Homemade

Baking 101: Questions and Answers

By | Baking, Baking 101 | 112 Comments

Welcome to Baking 101 series! This series is a little behind and I apologize. There has been so much happening around here, GREAT things, that I have gotten behind.

So, today I wanted to address some of the questions that readers had for me about baking. Again, I am NOT a professional, I have never had any schooling or classes. I am just a Mom and wife that loves to bake and share my tips and tricks for making it easier for you.

I will continue the series soon, with some more videos {I owe you a pie crust video}, but it will be a couple weeks while I get caught up. {I hope}

The following questions were from readers, if you have a baking question, please leave it in the comments and I will answer it, to the best of my knowledge.

Gigi asks…when a recipe calls for softened butter, do you melt the butter completely?

If I can remember to set the butter out to soften I do, it is better that way, but if you don’t remember, you can soften it in the microwave for about 20 seconds {depending on your microwave}, you can lay it on the warm stove or in the sun by a window. If the recipe calls for softened, you just want it SOFT not MELTED.

I am making a soup that calls for heavy cream…is that the same as heavy WHIPPING cream?

Here is what I found on Difference Between.net “Heavy Cream is a special dairy product that is made out of the top most layer of milk which is rich in cutter fat. On the other hand, the very term “whipped cream” or “whipping cream” refers to such cream that is subjected to a process of continuous beating till it gets fluffy and light.”

Now, with that being said, I personally use heavy whipping cream for both. I have never found JUST heavy cream.

Issy asks…

Should eggs really be at room temperature before using?

I very rarely use eggs at room temperature. I have never really noticed a difference.

If a recipe isn’t specific about butter, should salted or unsalted be used?

I always use unsalted butter. Most recipes call for salt, and if you use salted butter you are doubling up the salt. In my opinion, you really don’t need it.

Why does the idea of using a simple candy therometer scare the daylights out of me? What is a good one to buy?

Honestly…I don’t use one. I’m not a big candy maker, but I do know it is important to use one on certain candies. Here is a good one I found from Wilton.

What is the best way to get recipes from friends that were handed down in their family? Or is this something that shouldn’t be asked?

I would absolutely ASK! I feel like if recipes are not handed down, the history of the family does not continue. I would compliment them on the recipe and tell them that you would be honored to give it a try.

Measuring: should dry items be measured in the pre-measured cups or can everything be measured in a measuring cup? You know, like i do.

Dry ingredients should be measured in a dry ingredient measuring cup and liquid should be measured in a liquid. I have a video on How to measure.

How do you know if a cookie or cookie batter should be frozen before it’s baked or after it’s baked?

I actually rarely freeze cookies, but that is just preference of taste. I have frozen cookie dough a few times with great results. Just scoop and place on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze {place in freezer for a few hours} and then place them in a resealable bag. Baking 911 has a great article on cookies.

If you have baking questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will answer them soon!

I’m linking to…Works For Me Wednesday

Baking 101: How to make Meringue

By | Baking, Baking 101, How to Videos, Pies/Tarts | 4 Comments

Welcome to another edition of Baking 101 series. We have covered some tools, chocolate and also how to measure.

Since I have been sharing some yummy Pie inspired Cupcakes, I thought it would be good to show you How to make Meringue.

Cream pies topped with Meringue are my absolute favorite…especially chocolate. I usually just use a box of pudding, but I have found that the cooked pudding is better than instant for a pie.

Meringue is really pretty easy to make, but it does take some planning ahead and a little patience.

I made a video for you, showing you how to seperate eggs,how to make meringue and add it to a pie.

Easy enough huh? After you top your pie with the Meringue, put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. You will need to watch it closely because it can get too brown really fast.

Cupcake Chronicles Newsletter this week will feature Lemon Meringue Cupcakes…a perfect Spring time dessert. I will share the recipe in the newsletter. And because I love to tempt you all…here is a sneak peek at the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


How to make Meringue

Meringue is a delicious topping for pies, cakes, cupcakes or even cookies. Recipe and how to video from HoosierHomemade.com

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 4 egg whites, room temperature {important}
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Add egg whites to large bowl
  2. Add vanilla and cream of tartar
  3. Beat at medium speed until frothy and bubbly
  4. Gradually add sugar and beat on high speed until very stiff peaks form
  5. Add to a pie, cake, cupcakes or even cookies

Linking to…Ingredient Spotlight

Baking 101: Cookie Dough Truffles for Valentine’s Day

By | Baking, Baking 101, Candy, Holidays, How to Videos, Kid Friendly/Special Events, No Bake, Sweet Treats, Tasty Holiday Gifts, Valentine's Day | 21 Comments

I have been so busy lately, I haven’t had a chance to add to my Baking 101 series, I apologize. I decided that since it was Chocolate Week here, it would be fun to share a short video with you about what else…CHOCOLATE!

And of course, Cookie Dough Truffles too! I first made these little gems at Christmas time this year, and again to take to the New Years Eve Party we attended. Each time I make them, they are gobbled up quickly!


Cookie Dough Truffles

Homemade Cookie Dough Truffles are a fun gift to make and give… recipe at HoosierHomemade.com.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, all purpose
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (note below)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • Chocolate Almond Bark or melting chocolate
  • Pink and Red Wilton Candy Melts (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy, beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add the flour, alternating with the milk.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  4. Using a cookie dough scoop, drop dough onto waxed paper and place in fridge for about 1 hour.
  5. Remove from fridge and roll into balls.
  6. Place back into fridge for about 1 hour.
  7. Melt Chocolate, dip balls, coating evenly.
  8. Drizzle with melted Pink or Red Chocolate and add sprinkles if desired.


Are you baking for Valentine’s Day? Share with us what you are planning!

I’m linking to…Sweet Tooth Friday, Ingredient Spotlight

Baking 101: Measuring

By | Baking, Baking 101, How to Videos | 10 Comments

Welcome to the second week of the Baking 101 series. I plan to share with you the tools, tips and tricks that I use, along with recipes, measuring, ingredients and all of the other great things about baking.

Just like last week, I need to tell you…I’m NOT a professional…I have never been to school, nor even taken any classes on baking. I’m just a Mom and Wife that loves to bake and share my ideas!

Last week we talked about what kind of tools you need to bake with. Thanks for all the great comments. Sounds like many of you have a KitchenAid stand mixer {I REALLY need to get one} and you also love the Pampered Chef products.

Today we are talking about Measuring…what to use and how to measure, including my handy Pampered Chef Measure All.

Barbara Bakes also has a great video on measuring flour from King Arthur Flour.

Do you have a favorite measuring cup?

Each week I will be sharing some of my favorites. These are just a couple of my favorite measuring cups. They are affiliate links. I would love for you to look at them, but most importantly, I just want to share with you my favorites.

Feel free to leave a comment with your baking questions. I have a long list of things to share with you, and will try to answer your questions.

I’m linking to…Works For Me Wednesday

Quick Recipes

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