More time at home means a lot of us have turned to our own kitchens as a form of therapy.
Whether you need to cut costs on an expensive baking ingredient, or if you've run out of a staple item and don't have time to run to the store, we have advice from a local baker on simple and cost-effective holiday baking hacks.
Allan Hursig started his career in oil and gas. Now, he's known as The Bearded Baker, and he recently held his grand opening for his first brick and mortar store in The Heights.
His skill: turning ordinary cookies into works of art.
He says even experienced bakers need to use baking hacks.
"I had to run to the restaurant next door and get just a couple tablespoons of vinegar. We put just a tablespoon of vinegar into our cup of milk that we needed to make buttermilk," Hursig said.
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Below is a list of handy tips you may need to save in case things in the kitchen go haywire.
1 C. Buttermilk = 1 C. Milk + 1 Tbs Lemon juice or white vinegar
1 C. Corn syrup = 1 1/4C light brown sugar + 1/2C water
1C. Heavy Cream = 1/4C whole milk + 3Tbs Melted butter
1C. Cake Flour = 1C. All Purpose flour + 2Tbs Cornstarch
Hursig says another money saving tip is to stay away from decorating tool kits. You don't need expensive, fancy tools to decorate. Use what you already have at home.
"Honestly, if you're decorating cookies or cakes, a Ziplock bag with just the end cut, the tip cut off works almost the exact same," Hursig said.
He says be careful about how many substitutions you make in one recipe. Too many substitutions can ruin a recipe's texture or taste.