For many of us the holidays are rich with food traditions. While you may not dare alter Grandma's sugar cookie recipe, other baked goods may be just as tasty with a slight makeover.
Follow these tips when venturing into the science of baking substitutions.
- The purpose of fat in baking is to give the foods a light texture. However, applesauce is a good substitute for some of the fat because the mild flavor and color will not interfere with the finished product. If your recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil - use 1/4 cup of oil and a 1/4 cup of applesauce instead.
- Sugar adds flavor and helps with the browning process of baked goods. Reducing the sugar by 25% is an easy way to lighten the recipe and will not make a big difference in the final product, except of course for those sugar cookies!
- Egg yolks are a emulsifier, which gives baked goods a creamy texture. If you want to reduce the number of yolks, consider using two egg whites in place of a whole egg in your recipe. Egg whites can be drying so try this trick in an already moist product.
- When altering a recipe be aware of cooking times. Try lowering the oven temperature by 25% and check it more often to see if your dessert is done.
When it comes to baking, substitutions can be hit or miss. You may be pleasantly surprised, or you could end up with a dense cake or gummy bread. Test out some recipes or stick to the tried and true. The holidays come around once a year, so enjoy and indulge in a few favorites, but do so in moderation.