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Holiday Baking Tips

Justin Fox Burks

'Tis the season for holiday baking!

I asked Stephanie Upshaw, the owner of Bluff City Toffee, to share some of her tried-and-true tips for baking holiday treats. Stephanie makes a Southern spin on English toffee that I absolutely love, and now she also offers Toffee Butter Cookies as part of her list of delectable treats. She’s an expert on all things sweet.

Tip 1: If you burn the top of a cake, use a zester to gently remove the burnt layer, ice it and top with something delicious like toffee crumbles. If it's beyond repair... cake pops are delicious!

Tip 2: Chocolate can be very finicky. To avoid burning chocolate when making her toffee or another holiday treat, Stephanie simply removes it from the heat just before it reaches the desired consistency and continues to stir until it is the correct consistency. If the chocolate has been overheated, you can remedy it by adding a little vegetable oil.

Tip 3: Homemade caramel is delicious but can be a challenge to make. The trick is to continue stirring at low to medium heat until your kitchen thermometer reads 250 degrees.

Tip 4: If your cake is stuck to its pan, Stephanie likes to use the tapping method. Let the cake cool completely, and place a plate or cold towel over the top of the cake, flip it over and gently tap on the bottom of the pan until the cake releases.

Tip 5: If your holiday cookies are a bit burnt, never fear. You can create delicious ice cream cookie sandwiches by placing ice cream between two cookies and rolling the edges in a candy like Stephanie’s toffee crumbles.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Baking!

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.