How to Choose the Right Springform Pan

Choosing the right springform pan is all about what you bake and how you plan to bake it. In this article, we’ll outline out the advantages and disadvantages of different types and explain how what you bake affects the right choice for you. About the Springform Pan The advantage of springform pans is the removable ring. Instead of digging a slice of dessert from a pan, marring the pan, and crumbling the cake; you simply pop the ring off. You can then cut and serve your dessert right from the base. This is especially significant with cheesecakes and other fragile desserts …

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How to Make Chocolate Banana Pops

chocolate banana pops hanging from clothes line to show chocolate setting.

Blog Home Prepared Pantry Store Shopping Cart How to Make Chocolate Banana Pops Make chocolate banana pops the kids will love! We made some of these with our five-year old granddaughter, Anna. She was so excited. They’re easy, fun, and really good. They’re frozen bananas on a stick, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in sprinkles. So fun to make! Turn these chocolate banana pops into a project for the kids. They’re so fun and easy to make. The whole family is sure to love them. Great taste! Who doesn’t like chocolate and bananas? It’s a classic combination, and the crunch …

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Lemonade Pies: A Luscious Summertime Treat

Celebrate summer with these luscious lemonade pies. This is a type of pie, not just a recipe. It started out as a pink lemonade pie, made with pink lemonade fruit juice concentrate from your grocer’s shelf. But it soon evolved into pies made with any fruit juice concentrate. Since there is an amazing array of fruit drink concentrates, you can make an amazing array of desserts. Lemonade Pies: The Best Dessert of the Summer They’re luscious. We serve these in the store often. They’re always a hit. The contrast of sweet and tart from the concentrate is delightful. They’re cool …

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Easy Crostatas

How to Make Easy Crostatas Even if you’ve never made pie before, you can make crostatas. Get the premade pie fillings now to make it even easier! Get the Premade Pie Fillings Now Crostatas: Easier than Pie Crostatas are easier than pie. And we actually mean it. Making a typical pie means going through the hassle of rolling out the pie dough, fitting it into the pie pan, crimping the edges to make it look pretty, and hoping the sides of the pie crust don’t collapse while baking. You don’t have to worry about that with crostatas. Crostatas are little …

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How to Make Your Own Homemade Playdough

“This is the best!!! My lil girl loves it and plays with it every day. We use cookie cutters and my stamping up stamps to add to the fun.”—Peggy F Playdough is every child’s best friend growing up as they experience the joys of creativity, bright colors, and developing fine motor skills. That’s why we love homemade playdough.  This article will give you two recipes for homemade playdough—cooked and uncooked. Safe for curious mouths! Whether it’s cooked or uncooked, homemade playdough is non-toxic and perfectly edible. No more panicking when your little one stuffs a handful into their curious, little …

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How to Turn Your Whipped Cream into Frosting

Make the Best Cakes with Whipped Cream Frosting! It’s better than buttercream frosting! Make whipped cream frosting now with a free stabilizer! Add it to cart and use the code “ZPOW at checkout, Whipped cream is so good you could eat it out of the tub or can, but what if I told you that you could make your own whipped cream and never have to run into an empty can or tub and out to the store again. Better yet, you can make that luxurious whipped cream into frosting. Whipped cream frosting is absolutely scrumptious —better than butter or …

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Thirteen Ways to Make Your Sugar Cookies Anything but Ordinary

(Updated From May 13, 2014) Get a FREE Snickerdoodle Mix! Add it to cart and use code “Z145” at checkout. Or Try our Sugarsnap Cookie mix for FREE instead! Add it to cart and use code “ZSNAPS” at checkout. *Only one coupon allowed per order. The sugar cookie is a classic and such a crowd-pleaser. They’re a go-to in my house when we need a sweet treat to share, but when you’ve made hundreds of sugar cookies, there needs to be some sort of variation to keep it interesting. Sugar cookies can be a work of art. I’m not an …

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Four Keys to the Perfect Cheesecake

(Updated From August 13, 2016) Get a FREE Snickerdoodle Mix! Add it to cart and use code “Z145” at checkout. Cheesecake is my ideal treat in the summertime, but cheesecakes can be finicky creations, and it can be hard to create the perfect cheesecake. That’s why I’m going to help you make the perfect cheesecake this summer. Here are four keys to never forget to make the perfect cheesecake. Key #1: Bake Your Cheesecake Precisely. Baking is a game of precision. This couldn’t be more significant than with baking cheesecakes and custards (a pumpkin pie is a custard). If it …

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Brownie Sundaes in Ice Cream Cones

An example of brownies baked in ice cream cones and then topped with ice cream. These have added chocolate fudge sauce.

Want More Fun? Get a free ooey, gooey caramel popcorn kit. Plus get free recipes for pigs in a blanket, homemade playdough, painted cookies, corn dogs, and peanut butter brownies in an ice cream cone. Tell us where to send it! Brownies and Ice Cream — The Perfect Marriage You can buy ice cream with brownie chunks. Or you can pile ice cream on top of a brownie–a brownie sundae. But you probably haven’t thought of baking the brownies inside ice cream cones. One of our readers wrote and asked if the peanut butter brownie cupcake recipe could be baked …

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What’s the Big Deal with Cocoa Butter?

How much cocoa butter should my cocoa have? The cocoa bean consists partly of fat and partly of nonfat solids. In processing the two are separated. The cocoa butter, the fatty part, is about the color of butter. The solids create the brown color. It’s the cocoa butter that gives chocolate its rich, smooth taste. Chocolate melts in your mouth because the melting point is just below body temperature. Cocoa butter is expensive; ground cocoa nonfat solids are cheap. It’s cocoa butter that makes great chocolate and great cocoa. Cocoa can be segmented into three classes depending on the amount …

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Birds Nest Easter Egg Cupcakes

By Casey Archibald and Dennis Weaver These are adorable cupcakes but the spun sugar nests are tricky.  The rest of the cupcakes are straightforward.  Be sure and look at the kitchen tips after the recipe.  For the Cupcakes For the cupcakes we used one package of our Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes. Make the cupcakes as directed on the package and let cool.  For the Filling and Caramel Frosting Bavarian Cream Pastry Filling  Caramel Frosting  1 c. caramel ice cream topping, softened 1/2 c. butter 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar 1/2 tsp. caramel flavor 2-4 tbs. milk or cream Directions Fill …

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A Newbie’s Guide to Chinese Cooking

Chinese cooking is not that much different than American cooking.  The recipes are different and there are a few different techniques.  You have to be able to stir fry for many recipes and you need to be able to cook rice for nearly all Chinese cooking.  Here’s how to do it. How to Make Stir Fry You can get by with a good frying pan.  If you’re serious, get a wok. You can buy a wok here.  Use the right size of wok.The size of wok you use depends on how much you’re cooking. Just make sure you consider the …

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How to Make Orange Chicken

This is the orange chicken that you are familiar with in most Chinese restaurants.  It’s crispy and coated with a sweet orange sauce. This is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in the US.  Though there are variations, we’ll make it just like it is served in popular restaurants.  Chicken breasts are cubed, battered, and deep fried.  They are then tossed in an orange sauce to make the chicken moist and orange flavored. What you’ll need You’ll have most items, tools and ingredients, in your kitchen or find them readily in your grocery store.  There are a few unusual …

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Beyond the Bone Store

Quiet Country Drives The Bone Store sits in Bone, Idaho, 17 miles down the Bone Road.  (Yes, there was a Mr. Bone, Mr. Orion Bone the town founder in the early 1900’s.) Bone is in the boonies. It was the last town in Idaho to receive telephone service.  In 2006, it had a year around population of 2.  It has probably doubled in population since then. I hear the Bone Store serves dinner weekend evenings. We had never been to Gray’s Lake.  There is a national wildlife refuge there and it’s not too far from where we live so we …

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How to Make Potato Chips

…Better Than A Bag When I was still in school, I worked in a potato chip factory. I quickly learned that chips off the line were much better than those from a bag.  Those fresh chips completely spoiled me:  Bagged chips tasted stale. So, here are three secrets to make your own chips, much better than from a bag: Secret #1: Serve them fresh.  Cool them completely before storing them in a bag and eat them within five days.  While they’re still warm; that’s better. Secret #2: Cut them thin.  Use a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, use a potato peeler. …

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Six Decadent Brownies You Can Make with a Mix

We’ve made dozens of brownie variations from a mix.  I started digging through our old recipes to find my favorites.  Here are my top six. The cheesecake brownies above.  Make a simple cream cheese filling and swirl it through the mix. Nutella brownies.  These are incredible.  Add Nutella to the brownies to make them smooth and rich, unlike any other brownies.  Then the coarsely chopped snacking nuts area a killer. Brownie pizza. There’s two ways to go here: bake a pizza in a pizza pan then top it with sweets like candy, nuts and caramel topping or go with fruit …

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Four Unforgettable Things You Can Make with Cocoa

With good cocoa, that is.  There’s a lot of difference in cocoas.  Really good cocoa makes everything better. Look for cocoa that is at least 14% to 16% cocoa butter.  Most grocery store cocoa is 8% to 10%.  The cocoa below is 22% to 24%! If your cocoa has enough cocoa butter in it, you can treat it like fine chocolate.  It will be amazing. Hot Chocolate This is an easy foolproof recipe.  All you do is mix good quality cocoa and sugar and add milk.  You can add a little vanilla if you like. Because there is so much …

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Look What You Can Make With a Brownie Mix!

Christmas day was a blizzard.  When I ventured to look out, the drifts were two feet deep in my driveway.  The county posted that they were only going to dispatch snowplows for emergencies.  The roads were closed.  It was Sunday, Christmas Sunday, but the churches cancelled service. The next day, Monday, we had a partial staff.  Our test kitchen was open.  So, we looked for a fun project.  Everyone likes brownies.  We decided to create new brownies by adding goodies to existing brownie mixes. That’s not a new idea.  On our shelves, we already have raspberry brownies, peanut butter brownies, …

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Donut Sweet Roll Cupcakes and Sweet Cinnamon Roll Recipes

By Dennis Weaver This is a morph of our previous post, How to Make Frosted Donut Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes.  The method is exactly the same only we are replacing the cinnamon and sugar filling with premade pastry fillings.  Here you’ll find images for three that we made for this post:  Raspberry, Apple Walnut with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Pineapple with Cream Cheese Frosting. Premade pastry fillings are amazing and you have a lot to work with: Bavarian Cream Chocolate Bavarian Cream Cream Cheese Raspberry Cherry Apple Blueberry Strawberry Lemon Pineapple You can also mix fillings to make swirled filling, Raspberry Cream …

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Lemon Cream Cake with Lemon Filling

This is a delightful cake, one of the favorites in the store. We topped this cake in several ways.  What you see on this is a light coating of lemon designer dessert sauce sprinkled with lemon bark.  The sauce holds the bark in place. The bark is crushed candy pieces, lemon and white chocolate. Both the sauce and the bark contribute an intense lemon flavor. The filling is lemon pastry filling, very much like lemon curd.  No wonder our customers loved this cake. 1 Vanilla Bean Cake Mix 3 large eggs 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon lemon flavor 1/2 cup lemon …

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