Nate asks… Hi Jenny! Firstly, thanks for your swift response to my question about creating a clean cooking space; I really appreciate it. I tried out your blueberry pancake recipe this morning, and although I was following along with your YouTube instructional and used the exact measurements you prescribed, my mixture was much more liquid than thick with flour, and even though I subsequently tried adding about 25% more flour, the flour dissolved pretty quickly and the mixture only made about 4 pancakes. Any hints other than more flour to get them as lumpy as you did?
I’ve been making this exact recipe for years with the same result every time… a thick lumpy batter and great pancakes. At first I thought maybe the egg you are using is too large but even if you used an extra large egg, it should not make such a dramatic difference as you are experiencing. One thing that might be causing a thin batter would be your choice of buttermilk. You must use store-bought buttermilk, and be sure to shake the container well before pouring. I know a lot of recipes will tell you if you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and let it stand five minutes. Hogwash! That does not make buttermilk, or anything close to buttermilk. I’ve tried it several times and all I got was lemon-flavored milk. If that’s what you’re using, then it’s the reason for the thin batter. Another possibility is your baking powder and/or baking soda are expired. The reaction of those powders with the liquids is what creates the fluffiness in the batter.
You can test your baking powder this way: Drop a teaspoon of the baking powder into a cup of very hot water. If it bubbles heavily, the baking powder is still good. If it doesn’t, it’s time for a new one. To test your baking soda, place a teaspoon of baking soda into a bowl and add 3-4 tablespoons of white vinegar. If the mixture fizzes heavily, the baking soda is still good. If it doesn’t, you need a new box. I hope this helps because these are really great pancakes, with or without blueberries.
If you like trying new recipes like I do, check out my Pinterest page. I’ve been searching for healthy recipes there for some time and so far I have collected over 2,000 recipes that I want to try. It’s crazy! When will I find the time? If you’re not a user I can tell you that a lot of people say it’s addicting. I always thought it was just a collection of favorite photos but it turns out there are thousands of recipes there but you do have to search for the healthy ones. That’s what I’ve been doing so even though I want everyone to try my own healthy recipes, I’m also happy to give other food bloggers the credit for their own healthy foods and meals. But it has to be healthy. If anything starts off with a stick of butter, I pass. Wait ’til you see how many good ones I’ve found! I have 45 different boards with over 2,000 recipes. Some of my favorite boards are: My Own Healthy Recipes (of course!), Baking Without Butter, Pizza, Spicy Hot Stuff, Polish Food, Great Salads, Healthier Mac & Cheese, Healthy Wraps & Tacos, and there’s even one called “Ten Foot Pole” and you know what that means – stay away! So except for that board, everything else is definitely worth a try. If you find a recipe you like and try it, let me know – my bucket list is too looooong!! – Jenny Jones
Patrizia asks… Made your meringues, them came out fantastic. I make abatch every Saturday. I have one question. My meringues once they are out of the container for about 5 minutes they get sticky on the top, bad for my grandson he gets all his hands sticky. I live in the northern part of Italy and the weather has been super humid, can that make them sticky?
Patrizia, your humidity is definitely the problem. It can be a challenge to make meringues in humid weather. In fact, when it’s raining here, I just avoid making them altogether. But there are a couple of things you could try. One is to increase the cream of tartar to 1/2 teaspoon. Another is to beat them even longer for extremely stiff peaks and make sure you’re not beating them next to a pot of boiling water or moisture from a dishwasher as they will absorb moisture from the air. And finally, you could try leaving them in the closed oven after it’s turned off for a longer time. My recipe says one hour but you could try leaving them in there overnight. Also, when serving, you could dry them out in a 200 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes. I hope that helps.
If you’ve ever baked bread or anything with yeast you know that it helps to have a warm spot to help the dough rise. Some things that work are a warming drawer, placing the dough under a lamp, or heating the oven for a minute and then turning it off (but then you need to preheat the oven). But here’s a way I never thought of… a heating pad. Whaddya think? Good idea? Or do you have something better?
If you make homemade granola just once, you will never buy it in the store again. My easy healthy granola uses only six ingredients and you can put it together in five minutes. It’s one of my top three most watched youtube videos. And the taste… is downright addictive! This healthy granola is crunchy with lots of nuts and made with coconut and real maple syrup. Have it as your morning cereal or as a crunchy topping on yogurt. There’s lots of protein and fiber and all those oats are good for lowering cholesterol. It’s such a simple recipe, I hope you’ll try it. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Parvin asks… Hello Jenny, how can i bake soft cookies? Thank you
My Response… There are a few things than help to make soft cookies: 1. Bake them for the least amount of time, even if they seem soft in the middle. 2. Don’t use dark baking pans, only shiny metal ones. 3. Try reducing the flour just a little. 4. Try adding an extra egg yolk. 5. Use more brown sugar and less white sugar. 6. Use butter and not oil. 7. Replace part of the butter with shortening. 8. Remove cookies immediately from pan when done. 9. Cool the cookies on a flat surface and not a wire rack. 10. Store them in an air-tight container. If needed, put in a piece of white bread.
If you know me, you know I am always trying to eliminate butter and it’s not always easy with baking. But my Streusel Coffee Cake just got a Jenny Jones Makeover! For starters, the chocolate chips used to be optional but now I’m calling it a Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake because that one tablespoon of mini chocolate chips needs to be there.
Now here’s the best part: no more butter. Well, there was only a tablespoon of butter in the old recipe so it wasn’t a lot but I always thought you needed butter to make a good streusel topping but not so, my health-seeking friends. I’ve discovered that my transfat-free spread (Canola Harvest) works beautifully in place of the butter so now there is no butter in this delicious healthy coffee cake with a crispy, nutty, chocolatey topping. But you can always stay with the butter if you like. Either way, it’s the best coffee cake I’ve ever had. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones