Monday, December 9, 2013

Baking Ingredient Substitutions

This post came about because I ran into one of those situations where I started cookies but didn’t have enough of one important ingredient – molasses. And I really wanted those cookies! So I did what all cooks do and looked for a good substitution.

Here are the substitutions for molasses. For each cup of molasses, substitute one of the following:

1 cup maple syrup
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup hot water

Any one of these would work well. I had about 1/2 cup molasses so I combined maple syrup and light corn syrup for the remaining 1/4 cup needed for my recipe.

There are different kinds of molasses, including light, dark and blackstrap. Molasses are a byproduct of sugar production. Either light or dark work well in cooking; however, blackstrap molasses are too strong and bitter for cooking without being mixed with light molasses.

Here are a few more substitutions that may come in handy when doing your Christmas baking:

Allspice (1 teaspoon) = 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ginger + 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Baking Mix (1 cup) = 1 cup pancake mix

Baking Powder (1 teaspoon) = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar + 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Brown Sugar (1 packed cup) = 1 cup granulated sugar OR 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Buttermilk (1 cup) = 1 teaspoon white vinegar + 1 cup milk

Cake Flour (1 cup) = 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 teaspoons

Cardamom (1 teaspoon) = 1 teaspoon ground anise

Cornstarch (1 tablespoon) = 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour OR 4 teaspoons instant tapioca

Cocoa (1/4 cup) = 1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened baking chocolate

Corn Syrup (1 cup) = 1 1/4 cup sugar + 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup honey

Egg (1) = 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered eggs + 2 1/2 tablespoons water OR 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute OR 3 tablespoons mayonnaise OR 2 egg whites OR 2 egg yolks OR 1/2 banana, mashed

Granulated Sugar (1 cup) = 1 cup brown sugar OR 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar OR 3/4 cup honey OR 3/4 cup corn syrup

Marshmallows (1 cup miniature) = 10 large

Marshmallow Cream (1 jar) = melt 16 oz. marshmallows with 3 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup in a double boiler

Self-Rising Flour (1 cup) = 1 cup less 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

Shortening (1 cup) = 1 cup unsalted butter OR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt in recipe

Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 14 oz. can) = 3/4 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water + 1 1/8 cup nonfat dry milk – bring to boil and cook, stirring often, till thick OR 1 cup nonfat dry milk + 2/3 cup sugar + 1/2 cup boiling water + 3 tablespoons melted butter

Semi-Sweet Chocolate (1 oz.) = 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon shortening

Vanilla Bean (1/2 bean) = 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
If you have snow like we do here, the kids may like this fun project. Fill spray bottles with water then add food coloring. Use this “spray paint” to paint pictures in the snow!
And here is the recipe for those cookies!


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup molasses

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter, egg and molasses. Mix until completely blended. Dough will be very stiff (you may need to use your hands). Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press down lightly with a fork dipped in flour (knock off excess flour).

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, or until set and lightly browned on bottom. Remove to cooling racks to cool. Store tightly covered. Makes approximately 5 1/2 dozen.

These look a lot like ginger snaps, but are much softer. Yum! (Note added 12/10/13 - After a couple of days they will tend to get crisp - to keep the cookies soft, place a piece of bread in the container.)

The dry ingredients in this recipe could be layered in a wide-mouth quart jar for a great gift…be sure to remember to give the recipe! 

Happy Baking!
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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