Normally we have the dairy products we need for cooking or baking but every once in a while we discover we’ve run out of some critical ingredient. In an earlier post I explained how you can make some dairy products. This post gives instructions on how to make even more dairy ingredients.
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I admit I actually like the taste of many convenience foods and there are days it’s just so much easier to grab a box than make something from scratch. But I still prefer homemade to store bought so I thought it would be great to have the best of both worlds. Why not give it a whirl and make your own convenience foods?
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My husband has been known to drive 17 miles to the village (one way) to get something I want. But even though he’ll make the trip to town whenever I ask it’s great for me to know I can make my own ingredients if need be. Here are some recipes so you can make your own dairy ingredients.
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Sometimes we run out of the ingredients needed to make that perfect cookie or frosting. It can be frustrating to have to run to the store to pick up ingredients. Here are a few ways to make your own for baking.
Make your own powdered sugar –I can be an impulse baker and although I usually have lots of powdered sugar in the house sometimes I mess up. If you find yourself without enough powdered sugar just toss some regular granulated sugar in a blender and turn it on high until it becomes powder. Don’t put too much granulated sugar in at once as some may not get really pulverized, which is what you want.
Make your own brown sugar – Brown sugar isn’t made from some kind of special sugar cane. Just like chocolate milk isn’t made from brown cows (remember that from childhood?) brown sugar is just white sugar with a little something added. For light brown sugar use 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of unsulfured molasses. This is where it gets complicated. Pour the sugar into a bowl. Add the molasses. Use a fork to mix the two together. At one point in this process you’re going to believe you’re doing it wrong. The mixture will be kind of gloopy and it will clump together. You’re fine. Just keep mixing and it will soon start to look like real brown sugar. You can use a mixer but you’re still going to need the fork to kind of mash any lumps. If you need dark brown sugar just add an additional tablespoon of molasses.
Light brown sugar: 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses.
Dark brown sugar: 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses.
Make your own chocolate chips – You can make your own chocolate chips (and white chocolate chips) and they’ll even look like chocolate chips! Follow this recipe:
- 6 tablespoons 100% unsweetened baking chocolate
- 3 tablespoons coco butter (food grade only)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup
White Chocolate Chips
- 2 tablespoons cacao butter or coconut butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon raw cashew or macadamia nut butter (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon milk powder (optional)
For regular chocolate chips:
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Fill small saucepan with about 2 inches of water and place it on the stove.
- Place a heat-safe, glass bowl on top of the pot. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. You can melt the baker’s chocolate in the microwave but using the stove gives you more control so you don’t scorch the chocolate.
- Cut the baker’s chocolate into small pieces.
- Pour all the ingredients into the glass bowl. Omit the butter if you’re making dark chocolate chips.*
- Melt the mixture over a low to low-medium heat, stirring constantly. Using a silicone spoon or spatula will prevent the mixture from sticking.
- Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip or a zipper bag then cut a tiny bit of a corner from the bag. You don’t want the hole to be large since you want small chocolate chips.
- Carefully pipe the chocolate on to the parchment or wax paper. To get the little tips like store-bought chips stop squeezing the bag and lift it up allowing a bit of chocolate to pull up and then away from the bag. Alternately, you can use a toothpick to lift a tiny bit of chocolate up from the chip and then move the toothpick away.
- Place the baking sheets in the freezer for about an hour to harden the chips.
- Store finished chips in a zipper bag in the freezer
For white chocolate chips:
- Prepare baking sheets as for regular chocolate chips
- Set up double boiler.
- Cut a 2 inch piece of cacao butter and melt it in the glass bowl, stirring frequently.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (the nut butter and milk powder are optional but give the chips a creamier texture).
- Pipe the melted chocolate on the prepared paper.
- Place the baking sheets in the freezer for about an hour to harden.
- Transfer chips to a zipper bag and store in the freezer.
*The butter will give you richer, creamier chocolate, but they will also make the chips softer. Chocolate chips made without butter will be bitterer, but less likely to melt.