Get the Answers from the Experts

From information on how to best work with our products to tips on how to store candy or travel with cookies, we've got the answers to your frequently asked questions.

  • Bars

    My bars crumble when I cut them. How can I prevent crumbling?

    Cool bars in the pan prior to cutting. You will find that they are less crumbly and easier to cut when cooled.

    Why are my bars soft and doughy in the center?

    Under-baking causes doughy bars. If the pan is smaller than recommended, dough will be thick and will not bake completely in the time indicated in the recipe.

    Is there a guide for cutting brownies and bars?

    Here are some guidelines for cutting brownies and bars. The size of the bar or square is approximate and will vary with your pans.

    8-INCH SQUARE BAKING PAN
     

    Number of Rows

    Length x Width
    Size of Bar Yield
    4 x 4 2" x 2" 16
    4 x 5 2" x 1-1/2" 20
    4 x 8 2" x 1" 32
    5 x 5 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" 25

    Note: a 9-inch square baking pan will yield the same number of bars as above but each bar will be a little larger.

    11"x17" BAKING PAN
     
    Number of Rows

    Length x Width
    Size of Bar Yield
    5 x 4 2-1/4" x 1-3/4" 20
    5 x 5 2-1/4" x 1-3/8" 25
    8 x 4 1-1/2" x 1-3/4" 32
    8 x 5 1-1/2" x 1-3/8" 40
    11 x 4 1" x 1-3/4" 44

    13" x 9" BAKING PAN
     
    Number of Rows

    Length x Width
    Size of Bar Yield
    6 x 6 2-1/8" x 1-1/2" 36
    8 x 5 1-5/8" x 1-3/4" 40
    8 x 6 1-5/8" x 1-1/2" 48
    6 x 9 2" x 1" 54

    15" x10" JELLY-ROLL PAN
     
    Number of Rows

    Length x Width
    Size of Bar Yield
    10 x 4 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" 40
    12 x 4 1 1/4" x 2 1/2" 48
    8 x 6 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" 48
    10 x 5 1-1/2" x 2" 50
    9 x 6 1-5/8" x 1-5/8" 54
    10 x 6 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" 60
     

  • Cakes

    What are some of the common causes for cake failure?

    Below is a list of the most common causes of cake failure. Measuring carefully, using the pan specified in the recipe and making sure your oven is correctly calibrated can prevent many of the issues.

    Coarse Texture Too much leavening

    Too much shortening

    Shortening too soft

    Not enough liquid

    Insufficient creaming of fat and sugar

    Oven not hot enough

    Sponge and angel food cakes-cream of tartar omitted
    Heavy, Compact Texture Too much shortening

    Too much liquid

    Too many eggs

    Too much sugar

    Not enough leavening

    Too much flour

    Substituting honey for sugar

    Oven was not hot enough

    Extreme over beating

    Sponge or angel food cake-under beaten yolks or over beaten egg whites
    Tough Too much flour

    Too many eggs

    Not enough sugar

    Not enough shortening

    Batter over mixed

    Sponge or angel food-too much sugar or

    over beaten egg whites
    A Dry Cake Too much flour

    Not enough shortening or sugar

    Too much leavening

    Over beaten egg whites

    Over baked

    Too little fat
    Thick, Heavy Crust Too much flour

    Over baked

    Too hot an oven

    Not enough sugar or shortening
    Crusty, Sugary Crust Too much sugar

    Under creaming of butter and sugar

    Over baked
    Hump or Cracked Top Too much flour

    Too little liquid

    Too hot an oven

    Over beaten

    Batter not spread evenly

    Not enough fat

    Warped pans

    Pan too near top of oven

    Overfilled pans

    Sponge cakes-too much sugar in the batter
    A Soggy Layer or Streak on Bottom Under mixing of ingredients

    Too much liquid

    Eggs too big (most recipes are developed for large eggs)

    Butter too soft

    Too much sugar

    Too much leavening

    Not baked long enough

    Sponge cakes-too many eggs or under beaten yolks
    Moist, Sticky Crust Too much sugar

    Too much liquid

    Didn't bake long enough

    Oven wasn't hot enough

    Weather is humid
    Cake Falls Too much leavening

    Too much sugar

    Too much liquid

    Too much shortening

    Not enough flour

    Oven not hot enough

    Insufficient baking

    Pan too small - makes cake so thick that the center couldn't bake through

    Sponge or angel food cakes-over beaten egg whites
    Undersized Cake Too large a pan

    Too hot an oven

    Not enough leavening

    Moving cake during baking
    Tunnels Too many eggs

    Batter under mixed

    Air pockets in batter
    Batter Running Over Pan Too small a pan (Fill pans only1/2 full)

    Too slow an oven

    Too much sugar or shortening

    Too much leavening
    Breaks, Crumbles Batter under mixed

    Too much sugar

    Not enough eggs

    Eggs too small - use large eggs
    Lopsided Batter not spread evenly

    Uneven pan

    Uneven oven heat

    Under mixed

    Pan placed too near one oven wall

    Oven racks not level

    Opened oven door during baking

  • Candy

    Can I double my candy recipes?

    No, we do not recommend doubling candy recipes. The extra ingredients may prevent the mixture from cooking properly.

    Why is my fudge so soft and sticky?

    Fudge must be cooked to a full boil until the mixture reaches 242° F. Therefore, it is helpful to have a candy thermometer. Soft, sticky fudge is often the result of the mixture not being cooked long enough and to the correct temperature.

    Are there any specific candy-making tips I should know when making toffee?

    • Do not make toffee on a humid day; choose a cool dry day for candy making.
    • Always use a heavy pan that is large and deep enough to prevent candy mixture from boiling over during cooking.
    • Be sure to use an accurate candy thermometer.
    • Use the freshest ingredients possible.
    • Be patient; candy takes a long time to cook. Do not rush it by turning up the heat.
    • Stir toffee mixture carefully and occasionally with a wooden spoon until the final temperature is reached.
    • Do not handle the toffee any more than is necessary when spreading it out onto the pan to cool.

    How do I cover truffles, nuts or dried fresh fruits with melted chocolate?

    Insert a toothpick into one end of the item you are covering. Dip it into chocolate, and then insert the toothpick into a piece of styrofoam until the chocolate firms up.

    How do I package candy to send?

    • Do not package candies that absorb moisture (caramels, mints, hard candies, toffee) in the same container as those that lose moisture (fudge, fondant, meringues). 
    • Wrap different candy varieties in plastic food wrap, and divide layers with waxed paper. Use crumpled or shredded paper towels or plastic bubble wrap inside the container for padding. Seal the container with tape. 
    • Put the container (tin, coffee can, etc.) into a sturdy cardboard box. Use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect the container. 
    • Print the mailing address and return address on the package in waterproof ink; mark the package "PERISHABLE FOOD" to encourage quick and careful handling. Overnight shipping may be your best choice.

    How do I package candy to send?

    • Do not package candies that absorb moisture (caramels, mints, hard candies, toffee) in the same container as those that lose moisture (fudge, fondant, meringues). 
    • Wrap different candy varieties in plastic food wrap, and divide layers with waxed paper. Use crumpled or shredded paper towels or plastic bubble wrap inside the container for padding. Seal the container with tape. 
    • Put the container (tin, coffee can, etc.) into a sturdy cardboard box. Use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect the container. 
    • Print the mailing address and return address on the package in waterproof ink; mark the package "PERISHABLE FOOD" to encourage quick and careful handling. Overnight shipping may be your best choice.

    How do I store candy long-term (up to 12 months)?

    Most candies freeze well for long-term storage. Wrap tightly in plastic food wrap or aluminum foil. Be sure to label with contents and date. To serve, thaw wrapped candy at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

    How do I store candy short-term (two months or less)?

    • Most candy will stay fresh longer when wrapped. Individually wrap candies in waxed paper or plastic food wrap.
    • Store individually wrapped candies in boxes, tins or cartons with tight-fitting lids. However, if you make small hard candies, sprinkle them with finely ground sugar (not powdered), and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
    • Do not mix candies that absorb moisture (caramels, mints, hard candies, toffee) in the same container as candies that lose moisture (fudge, fondant, meringues). If these types of candies are mixed, the hard candies become sticky.
    • Use waxed paper to individually wrap or separate layers of fudge in a storage container.

    I made toffee on a very rainy day and it didn't turn out. Does weather affect the toffee-making process?

    Weather can be a factor, and special precautions are necessary to get the best quality candy. A cool, dry day is best for making candy. On a rainy day, you may need to cook candy to a temperature a degree or two higher than stated in recipe.

    Is pan size important when making candy?

    Yes, pan size is very important. Always use the recommended size of cooking pan to prevent candy from boiling over. Using a heavy pan will help to prevent scorching or burning.

    What are some general candy making tips?

    • Start with using the freshest ingredients and making sure your candy thermometer is accurate. 
    • To test the accuracy, place bulb of candy thermometer in a pan of rapidly boiling water. Be careful not to let the bulb touch the bottom of the pan. Read the temperature at eye level while the thermometer is in the water. It should read 212° F or 100° C while water is boiling. 
    • If the thermometer does not measure the temperature correctly, remember to adjust the candy temperature during cooking to reflect the difference. 
    • Choose a dry day (not humid) for making candy. 
    • Use a heavy pan and make certain it's the correct size. 
    • Be patient. Candy may take a long time to cook. Don't rush it by turning up the heat. 
    • To keep your homemade candy fresh, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

    What do I do if my toffee mixture separates during cooking?

    Toffee sometimes separates during cooking, leaving a buttery looking layer on the surface and a thicker mixture underneath since the emulsion of the water and fat has broken. This is hard to predict. Here are some guidelines to follow if toffee separates:
    Allow it to continue cooking. The candy may re-mix on its own. Otherwise, we have found gradually and very carefully stir in about ¼ to ½ cup hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, while cooking, stirring well, until the mixture goes back together. Add only enough water to bring the toffee mixture back together; too much water will make the candy sticky. Continue cooking candy until the proper temperature is reached.

    What fat should I use when making my candy?

    We recommend either salted or unsalted butter be used when making candy, especially candy made from a boiled sugar syrup. Margarine and low-fat spreads do not create the correct texture in the final candy because of the emulsifiers and other ingredients added to their formulas. Butter also gives the best flavor to candy.

    Where do I hold the thermometer in the candy mixture to get an accurate reading?

    Stand the thermometer upright in the candy mixture, making sure the bulb is completely covered with liquid while not resting on the bottom of the pan. Try to keep the thermometer ½-inch off the bottom of the pan, if possible.

    Why do caramels have to be cooked so long?

    Caramels should be cooked slowly to allow the sugars and milk solids to caramelize. The longer and slower they are cooked the darker the color and the stronger the flavor. The faster they are cooked, the lighter the color and flavor. It is also important to not cook caramels too fast so they scorch and have a burnt flavor.

    Why is my fudge grainy?

    If fudge is stirred while the batch is still warm, a slight grain will result. This is traditional. To make fudge that is less grainy, use a recipe that has marshmallow creme as an ingredient.

    Why is the texture of caramels sometimes so tough?

    The proportion of corn syrup to sugar determines the texture of the finished caramel. The more corn syrup in the recipe the tougher the caramel will be.

  • Cheesecake

    Can I freeze my cheesecake?

    Yes, the richer the cheesecake, the better it freezes. After baking, cool the cheesecake completely in the pan. Do not add the topping until serving time. Place the cheesecake on a tray, plate or baking sheet and freeze uncovered for 6 hours. Remove from the freezer and wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or place in a large resealable plastic freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight.

    My cheesecake cracked. Can I still serve it?

    Yes, the cheesecake can be served, it only affects the presentation. Unsightly cracks can be hidden with interesting toppings, such as sour cream, fruit, sauces, etc.

    Do I need to grease a springform pan?

    Generally, you do not grease the sides of the springform pan. The delicate batter rises higher if it can cling to ungreased sides of the pan. However, some recipes direct that you need to lightly grease the side of the springform pan. Be sure to follow those specific directions.

    Do I need to soften the cream cheese for cheesecakes?

    Yes, the cream cheese and other ingredients should be at room temperature. It will be much easier to combine the ingredients and achieve a smooth mixture.

    How can I make cheesecake easier to serve at a party?

    Be sure to refrigerate the cheesecake at least 8 hours, or even better, 24 hours before serving. The cheesecake should be completely cooled. It will get firm as it cools. Add the topping just before serving. 

    To eliminate the possibility of losing the bottom of the pan when taking it to a party, cover the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil and secure the pan bottom in place, foil-side up, with the clamp on the side of the pan. Prepare the cheesecake. Transport the cheesecake to the party in the pan. Remove the bottom of the pan at serving time and pack it away to take home. Cut excess foil around base of cheesecake for presentation.

    How do I know when my cheesecake is done?

    The best test of when a cheesecake is done is its appearance. The sides should be raised and just beginning to brown. The center may still be a little soft at this point, but it will firm up as the cake cools.

    How do I prevent the cheesecake from cracking on top?

    There are several reasons why a cheesecake cracks on top: 

    • The eggs may not have been beaten in properly. Use an electric mixer. Beat at low or medium speed. At higher speeds, too much air may be beaten into the cheesecake which may cause the cake to puff, then fall and crack. 
    • There may not have been enough moisture in the oven while baking. To add moisture to your oven, place the cheesecake in a water bath. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan which has been filled with an inch or so of water or place a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Since your springform pan may not be water-tight, cover the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil before placing the pan in the water bath. 
    • Baking at a temperature that’s too high or over-baking can cause the top to crack. Check the baking time at the minimum time in the recipe. The cheesecake is done when the center appears nearly set. Do not do a knife or toothpick test in the cheesecake’s center – doing so may make it crack.
    • Resist the temptation to peek into the oven while the cheesecake is baking. It is important that the cheesecake be baked with even heat. Drafts can cause a cheesecake to fall or crack. 
    • Cool the cheesecake correctly. Set a timer for the exact cooling time suggested in the recipe. We suggest placing the cheesecake on a wire cooling rack to cool.

    What is a springform pan and why do I need it for cheesecake?

    This round baking pan has high, straight sides that expand by means of a spring or clamp. The bottom of the pan can be removed from the sides when the clamp is released. Springform pans range in size from 6 inches to 12 inches in diameter. 

    Traditionally cheesecakes are baked in a springform pan. One main reason is that because the texture is more custard than cake. The cheesecake will be easier to remove from the pan before cutting it when baked in a springform pan. The sides of the pan are higher than a regular cake pan which allows for the cheesecake to be higher.

    What's the easiest way to cut a cheesecake?

    Use a wet sharp thin bladed knife or a piece of dental floss. Do not use a serrated knife because clumps can form around the ridged edges. Dip the knife in hot water and wipe it dry before each cut. Another way to cut is to use a piece of dental floss. Stretch a piece of dental floss between your hands and press down firmly through the cheesecake.

  • Cookies

    Can I double my cookie recipe?

    We recommend following the recipe. Many cookie recipes indicate that they can be doubled without making any changes. However, if the recipe doesn’t specify that it may be doubled, we suggest making two separate batches.

    Can I freeze my cookies?

    Both frosted and unfrosted cookies may be frozen for up to 2 months. Sometimes frozen frosted cookies become moist under the frosting. We recommend that you freeze cookies unfrosted. Allow time to thaw and frost before serving. 

    • Arrange cookies in a container lined with plastic food wrap or aluminum foil. For best results, wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap. Separate with layers of aluminum foil or plastic food wrap. 
    • Store in an airtight container. Label and date the container. 
    • Thaw cookies by allowing them to stand loosely covered on a serving plate for about 20 minutes.

    How can I make soft chewy cookies?

    There are several things you can do to make your cookies softer. 

    • Mix the dough just long enough to combine the dry ingredients because over-mixing will toughen the dough. 
    • Make sure not to over-bake the cookies because they will continue to set as they cool. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 
    • Another hint is to chill the cookie dough so when the cookies are placed on the cookie sheet they are cold. The cookies will not flatten out as quickly as they bake and therefore will be softer. 
    • Remember that cookie recipes with too much sugar will make a crisp cookie and will not be soft.

    What's the best way to store cookies for just a few days?

    • After baking, let cookies cool completely. Do not mix soft and crisp cookies together in the same container. The crisp cookies will absorb moisture from soft cookies and become soft as well.
    • Store soft cookies in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
    • Store crisp cookies in a container with a loose-fitting lid.
    • Store bar cookies in the pan in which they were baked; cover pan tightly with aluminum foil or plastic food wrap.

    Can I refrigerate or freeze cookie dough?

    • Most cookie dough can be refrigerated or frozen. Place dough in airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator until it's just soft enough to use. 
    • To have future batches of cookies ready in minutes, drop dough on cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Remove dough from cookie sheets and place in resealable, plastic freezer bags. To bake, place frozen mounds of cookie dough on cookie sheet and follow recipe directions. Baking time may need to be increased.

    Do I need to grease the cookie sheets when I bake Spritz cookies?

    Prepare cookie sheets as specified in the recipe you are using. Spritz cookie dough has a high butter content and generally does not require that you grease the cookie sheets. Cookie sheets that are greased may prevent the shaped cookie dough from adhering to the cookie sheet.

    Do you have any timesaving baking tips?

    Yes, here are a few timesaving ideas to get you out of the kitchen quickly. 

    Jumpstart Your Dough!

    • Make cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months.
    • When freezing, cover dough tightly and package in airtight containers or resealable plastic freezer bags. Label and date. Thaw cookie dough in the refrigerator.
    • Freeze slice and bake cookie dough in rolls.
    • Scoop or spoon dough onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Freeze until solid (up to 1 hour), and then place individual dough balls into resealable plastic freezer bags. For fresh baked cookies, bake the frozen slices or balls as indicated in the recipe, adding a few minutes to the baking time.
    Easy Cleanup
    • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy cookie release and quick cleanup.
    • Line pans used for baking bars with aluminum foil. Lift out when completely cool, peel off foil and cut as directed.
    • Where should I place cookie sheets in the oven during baking?
    • For best results, place one cookie sheet in the oven at a time in the middle of the center rack of the oven. If cookies are baked on the bottom rack of the oven they may burn or not bake evenly. 
    Make sure there is about 2 inches of space around the cookie sheet to allow for good air circulation.
     

    How can I keep cookie dough from sticking to the rolling pin?

    • Traditionally bakers have lightly dusted the surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking. You may need to repeat dusting with flour occasionally. Or, use a pastry cloth and stockinet-covered rolling pin to make rolling the dough easier, and to help prevent dough from sticking. Rub flour evenly onto rolling pin stockinet-cover and pastry cloth for easy handling. If dough is too soft, refrigerate for about one hour. 
    • Pastry cloths and stockinet-covered rolling pin covers are sold in the kitchen utensil area of supermarkets, department stores and discount stores.
    • What type of cookie sheet should I use?
    • A shiny, aluminum cookie sheet at least two inches narrower and shorter than the oven is best for evenly browned cookies. The sheet may be open on one, two or three sides. 
    • Do not grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe states to do so. If a dark-colored cookie sheet is used, watch carefully for browning. 
    • Always place cookie dough on cool cookie sheets.

    How can I make crisp cookies? Mine are always too soft.


    There are several things you can do to ensure that your cookies turn out crispy. 

    • Make sure the dough is at room temperature rather than chilled. The dough will spread more as it bakes producing a cookie that is crisper. 
    • Press the dough down on a greased cookie sheet rather than leaving the drop cookie in a ball on the sheet. 
    • Bake the cookies 1 to 2 minutes longer than what the recipe states. The cookies may brown quickly so watch carefully

    How should I pack cookies for mailing?

    • Do not mail cookies that require refrigeration such as cheesecake bars or delicate cake-like textured cookies. 
    • Bar, drop or dried fruit cookies are best for mailing. Cookies with hard crunchy textures, like biscotti and shortbreads, ship well as do chocolate chip, ginger snaps and oatmeal cookies. Tender, fragile cookies are apt to crumble when mailed. 
    • Use a durable, rigid box or empty tin as a mailing container*. Place a piece of bubble wrap on bottom of container. Then line the container with aluminum foil or plastic food wrap that is large enough to wrap over the cookies when the container is full. 
    • Wrap four to six cookies of the same size together in aluminum foil, plastic food wrap or resealable plastic food bag then seal securely. Continue packing cookies until the container is full. Double-wrap cookies if shipping more than one kind or flavor so that flavors do not blend. 
    • Place the heaviest cookies at the bottom of the container and layer the wrapped cookies with bubble wrap or crumpled paper towels. 
    • Put the container or tin into a sturdy cardboard box 2 inches larger than the tin. 
    • Print the mailing address and return address on the package in waterproof ink; mark the package "PERISHABLE FOOD" to encourage quick and careful handling. Overnight shipping may be your best choice. 

    I don’t have a Spritz cookie press. Is there any way that I can still make the cookies?

    It is possible to make Spritz cookies without a cookie press. You will need a pastry bag and a number 6 (1/2-inch in diameter) large star pastry tube tip. Place the dough into the pastry bag and hold it so the top is straight up from the cookie sheet and barely touching it. Squeeze the bag firmly without moving it until the shape is as wide as you desire. Stop squeezing and lift the tube straight up and away.

    Is there a good way to slice refrigerated cookie dough?

    To slice refrigerated dough, use a thin, sharp knife. With a sawing motion, cut dough about 1/4" thick for soft cookies or 1/8" thick for crisp cookies. 

    To keep cookies round while cutting the dough, frequently rotate the roll while slicing.

    My cookie dough seems too dry and crumbly. What should I do?

    If your cookie dough is dry and crumbly, try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or cream. You may need to knead this liquid into the dough rather than beating it in with a mixer.

    The butter I was softening for cookie dough melted. What should I do?

    If butter is accidentally melted while softening it for baking, use it for another purpose, such as sautéing, or use it with vegetables or pasta. The physical properties of butter are changed when melted and prevent butter from being mixed properly with the flour in the cookie dough. Butter that has been melted coats the flour in the dough differently than softened butter. Therefore, soften a new stick of butter to use for cookie dough.

    The gingerbread people went into the oven intact. After baking, why were they dry and cracked?

    Dough that is too dry will cause cookies to crack when baked. Too much flour and re-rolling results in tough, dry cookies. 

    Using a dark colored cookie sheet may result in over-baked cookies. We recommend using a shiny aluminum cookie sheet. 

    Oven temperatures that are set too high may also result in over-baked cookies. If using a dark-colored cookie sheet, bake the cookies the minimum time listed in the recipe. Use an oven thermometer to verify that the oven temperature registers correctly.

    What changes do I need to make when baking cookies in a convection oven?

    The temperature in your recipe should be reduced 25° F. Even when the temperature is lowered by 25° F. you can expect the food to be done 25% faster than the recipe suggests.

    What's the best frosting for cut-out cookies?

    If you want an almost translucent glaze that firms up well and gives cut-out cookies a smooth surface, try Powdered Sugar Glaze. However, if you prefer a creamy and satiny white butter frosting, you will enjoy Best Buttercream Frosting, a versatile recipe that can be easily adapted to other flavorings.

    What's the best frosting for cut-out cookies?

    If you want an almost translucent glaze that firms up well and gives cut-out cookies a smooth surface, try Powdered Sugar Glaze. However, if you prefer a creamy and satiny white butter frosting, you will enjoy Best Buttercream Frosting, a versatile recipe that can be easily adapted to other flavorings.

    Why do my cookies spread and become flat after they've been baked?

    • Cookies may spread for a variety of reasons. 
    • Make sure that the butter is not too soft before making the dough. Soften butter slightly for easier mixing by removing from refrigerator and letting stand 30 to 45 minutes at room temperature. To soften butter quickly, cut into chunks and allow to it soften at room temperature about 15 minutes. If time is limited, place a stick of cold butter between sheets of waxed paper and hit it with a rolling pin on each side to soften butter. 
    • Be sure to cool cookie sheets between batches. A hot cookie sheet can melt the butter before the cookie dough can set. 
    • There is no need to grease a cookie sheet unless the recipe indicates to do so. Greasing a cookie sheet when the recipe does not call for it can cause the cookies to spread too much and brown too quickly around the edges. 
    • Before baking an entire batch, bake a test cookie to give a good indication of dough condition. If it spreads too much, the dough may be too soft. 
    • Try refrigerating dough until well-chilled (1 to 2 hours). If the dough is still too soft, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour.

    Why do my Spritz cookies stick to the bottom of the cookie press?

    The dough may be too soft. Try adding a small amount of flour to the dough, 1 teaspoon at a time. Mix the flour in until the dough is firm but not too stiff. 

    Another reason the cookie dough may stick to the cookie press is that the dough is too warm. You may want to put the dough in the refrigerator for 10 - 15 minutes or less until the dough reaches room temperature (approximately 70° F) and is the proper consistency.

    Why does my Spritz cookie dough not adhere to the cookie sheet after passing through the cookie press?

    If the Spritz cookie dough does not adhere to the cookie sheet and release cleanly from the press the cookie sheet may be too warm or there may be excess grease from the last batch of cookies. Cool each cookie sheet to room temperature after baking each sheet of cookies. Wipe excess grease from cooled cookie sheet.

    Why is it so hard to get my Spritz cookie dough to pass through the cookie press?

    It is very important that the cookie dough is at room temperature (69 – 70 degrees). Do not chill the cookie dough. Chilling causes the dough to be too firm to pass through the press. If dough is not chilled and still too stiff, you might have too much flour in the dough. Try working in a small amount of softened butter or a small amount of beaten egg to soften the dough so that it will go through the cookie press.

  • Freezing Guidelines

    Bread Dough

    Do not freeze dough before baking; it is better to bake the bread and then freeze it. Home freezers are not designed for the quick freezing required for unbaked dough to ensure satisfactory rising and baking.

    Muffins and Quick Breads

    Cool muffins or quick breads completely before freezing. If the bread needs to be frosted, wait and frost it after thawing for best results. Place coffee cakes on aluminum foil-wrapped cardboard before wrapping for stability. Double wrap all breads with plastic food wrap and aluminum foil or in airtight, resealable plastic freezer bags to prevent the quick bread from drying out in the freezer. 

    Storage Time: Up to 2 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Unwrap slightly and thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Serve at room temperature or reheat, wrapped in aluminum foil, at 350° F. for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Cakes (Frosted and Unfrosted)

    Cool an unfrosted cake completely. It is best to freeze a cake unfrosted and frost it after it is thawed completely. Place the layer cake in a plastic cake container or bakery box to prevent crushing. 

    Cakes may also be frosted and then frozen. Place frosted cakes in the freezer to harden the frosting before wrapping. Remove the cake from the freezer. Place the frosted cake in a plastic cake container or bakery box. Label contents and date.

    Cakes may be filled or frosted with whipped cream or whipped topping before freezing. Frost cake with a buttercream frosting rather than a fluffy frosting. Egg-white frostings and custard fillings do not freeze well.
    Angel and chiffon cakes are best left in the pan or placed in rigid containers to prevent crushing.

    Storage Time: 
    Up to 3 months, if unfrosted
    Up to 2 months, if frosted

    Thawing Directions: Thaw unfrosted frozen cake at room temperature, covered, for 2 to 3 hours. If frozen cake is frosted, thaw cake loosely covered overnight in the refrigerator.

    Candy

    Most candies, such as caramels and fudge, freeze very well. Wrap tightly in plastic food wrap, aluminum foil or place in a tightly covered plastic food container. Label contents and date. 

    Storage Time: Up to 6 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Thaw the wrapped candy at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

    Cheesecakes


    Freeze a cheesecake after baking. The richer the cheesecake, the better it freezes. Cool the cheesecake completely in the pan. Do not add any topping until serving time. Place the cheesecake on a tray, plate or baking sheet and freeze uncovered for 6 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer; wrap in plastic food wrap and then in aluminum foil or place in a large resealable plastic freezer bag. 

    Storage Time: Up to 3 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Thaw, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

    Cookie Dough

    To have future batches of cookies ready in minutes, drop dough onto cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Remove dough from cookie sheets and double wrap in resealable, plastic freezer bags. 

    Storage Time: Up to 3 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Thaw the dough in the refrigerator until it's just soft enough to use. Place frozen mounds of cookie dough on cookie sheet and follow recipe directions. Baking time may need to be increased.

    Cookies

    Most baked cookies freeze very well. Arrange cookies in layers in an airtight plastic container lined with plastic food wrap or aluminum foil. 

    We recommend freezing cookies unfrosted to prevent moisture from collecting between the cookie and the frosting layers, which could create a soggy top surface. Frost and decorate cookies after thawing If you choose to frost cookies before freezing, freeze the cookies on a cookie sheet. Then package the frozen cookies between layers of waxed paper in an airtight plastic food container for longer term storage. Label and date the container.

    Storage Time: Up to 2 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Thaw cookies in a plastic food container at room temperature. Remove from the container any cookies that should be crisp when thawed.
    Candy

    Pre-Baked Pies

    Freeze a baked pie before wrapping to protect the crust from breaking and to make wrapping easier. Cover the pie with an inverted paper or foil plate as protection for the top of the pie. Place frozen baked pie into a resealable plastic freezer bag. Label contents and date. 

    Storage Time: Up to 4 months, except for baked apple pie. Baked apple pie may become spongy when thawed, if frozen more than 2 weeks. 

    Thawing Directions: Unwrap and thaw at room temperature for 1 hour or bake at 325° F. for 35 to 45 minutes or until warm.

    Unbaked Pies


    If your recipe calls for making slits in the top pastry of a double crust pie, wait until the actual baking time to do so. Cover pie with an inverted paper or foil plate to serve as protection for the top of the pie. Place pie into a resealable plastic freezer bag. Label contents and date. 

    Storage Time: Up to 3 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Unwrap, cut slits in the top pastry while still frozen or cold and bake at 425° F. for 15 minutes; then bake at 375°F. for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is bubbly.

    Yeast Bread

    Cool the bread completely. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic food wrap or aluminum foil and then place in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Label the contents and date. 

    Storage Time: Up to 2 months. 

    Thawing Directions: Do not remove ice crystals on bread before thawing. Unwrap the bread slightly; thaw the bread for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. Or, reheat the bread wrapped in aluminum foil at 350° F. for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Gluten-Free

    What is gluten?

    Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains such as barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale. In baked goods, gluten plays an important role, providing texture and structure.

    I have to follow a gluten-free diet. Do you have information and recipes to help me with baking gluten-free?

    Land O’Lakes offers an extensive selection of baking recipes from cookies to cakes and breads that are all gluten-free. In addition you will find many tips we share that should make your baking experience using gluten-free recipes successful.

    Do Land O Lakes® products contain gluten?

    Land O'Lakes, Inc. strives to provide complete and accurate ingredient information on its labels. For any specific product, we feel the best source of this information is the product ingredient listing on the package. The ingredients in our regular butter (does not include light), natural and process cheese, margarine and Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread products are gluten-free, as defined by the FDA.

    What is Celiac disease?

    This disease is a genetically transmitted condition in which gluten damages the small intestine’s ability to digest food nutrients. Celiac disease is different from allergies and intolerances – it is an auto-immune reaction to the digestion of gluten.

    What is the treatment for Celiac disease?

    The only treatment is a gluten-free diet – a diet which does not include gluten of any kind, gluten found in wheat and related grains like barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale.

    Where can I get more information about gluten and other food intolerance?

    There are several organizations that can provide additional information. This information does not imply any endorsements or affiliation with Land O'Lakes, Inc. 

    Celiac Sprue Association: Visit www.csaceliacs.org or call toll free 1-877-272-4272 

    The Gluten Intolerance Group: Visit www.gluten.net or call 1-206-246-6652 

    International Food Information Council Foundation: Visit www.ific.org.

    Why do some people avoid it?

    For people who suffer from gluten intolerance, or Celiac disease, eating foods that contain gluten can prevent the body from absorbing minerals, fats, and vitamins. Gluten intolerance can cause a wide range of reactions from digestive pain and bloating, to more serious health conditions.

  • Muffins & Quick Breads

    How can I prevent the nuts and other “goodies” from sinking into the quick bread batter?

    Dust the nuts or other recipe additions, such as raisins, with a tablespoon of the flour called for in the recipe before adding to the batter. This helps to keep these ingredients from sinking to the bottom of the bread.

    What makes a quick bread "quick?"

    Quick breads get their speedy name and preparation time from using fast-acting leavening agents like baking powder, baking soda or steam rather than slow-acting yeast. Types of quick breads include muffins, nut bread loaves, biscuits, popovers and cake doughnuts.

    Why is it important to accurately measure the baking powder or baking soda when baking quick breads?

    Too much baking powder or baking soda can make a quick bread dry and crumbly. But, also the bread can have a bitter aftertaste. If too much leavening is added the batter can over rise and then the bread will “fall.” Too little leavening produces bread with a heavy, gummy texture.

    Can I freeze muffins and quick breads?

    Quick breads freeze beautifully so bake and freeze for later enjoyment! Here are some special tips for freezing: Cool your baked goods completely. If the bread should be frosted, wait and frost it just before serving. Place coffee cakes on aluminum foil-wrapped cardboard before wrapping. Double wrap all breads with plastic food wrap and aluminum foil or in airtight, resealable plastic freezer bags. Muffins and quick breads can stay fresh in the freezer for up to two months.

    Do I have to change a recipe if I use mini loaf or mini muffin pans?

    The recipe itself will not change but you will need to fill mini loaf pans 1/2 full and mini muffin pans 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Decrease the bake time by 1/2 initially. Check the bread at that point for doneness. Continue baking, if necessary, checking every 5 minutes.

    Do I have to throw away the oil I used to fry the doughnuts?

    No, you can strain it after it cools just enough so you can haldle it safely and use it for frying doughnuts again. Pour it through a funnel lined with a paper coffee filter or double layer of cheesecloth into a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Store refrigerated no longer than 6 months.

    How can I tell when my quick bread is fully baked?

    The length of time quick breads bake varies from muffins to breads to coffee cakes to popovers. Follow the doneness test given with the recipe, usually a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    The doughnuts I made tasted greasy. Why did this happen?

    Oil that is not hot enough soaks into doughnuts before a crust forms. Watch the temperature of the oil closely, adjusting the heat to maintain a temperature of 375° F. Drain the cooked doughnuts on paper towels.

    What are scones?

    Scones originated from Scotland and were triangular in shape and often made with oats and baked on a griddle on top of the stove. Today scones, both sweet and savory, are flour-based and baked in the oven. The shape can be triangular but can also be cut in rounds or squares.

    What can I do to make my biscuits have a crisp crust?

    Before baking, brush the biscuits with water, and make sure they are at least 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.

    What changes do I need to make when baking muffins and quick breads in a convection oven?

    The temperature in your recipe should be reduced 25° F. Even when the temperature is lowered by 25° F. you can expect the food to be done 25% faster than the recipe suggests.

    What is cornbread?

    Cornbread is an American quick bread in which all or a portion of the flour is replaced by cornmeal. Cornbread can be thin and crisp or thick and light and can be baked in a skillet, which is Southern style, or even baked in a muffin pan.

    What is your suggested method for defrosting frozen quick bread or muffins?

    We recommend that you unwrap slightly and thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.

    What kind of pan should I use for frying doughnuts?

    A deep, heavy pan or deep-fat fryer is best. A deep pan provides a high side against which to rest the thermometer and prevents spattering.

    What makes a biscuit flaky?

    A flaky biscuit is one that flakes or separates into thin layers. Fat or butter creates flakiness by being a spacer between the layers of dough. Pieces of cold, hard fat keep layers of the dough apart in the oven just long enough for the dough to begin to set. The fat melts, and then steam from the dough forms and pushes the layers apart.

    The butter should be cold when used in biscuits, and must be in large enough pieces so it will not melt easily. If the butter is very cold and firm when the dough goes into a hot oven, the layers of dough will be spaced apart as they begin to bake and set, resulting in flaky biscuits.

    Why are my muffins uneven in shape?

    Muffins often lose their shape when the muffin cup is filled too full. Fill muffin cups to 1/2 to 2/3 full. Muffins can also lose their shape if the temperature is too high. Make sure you use an oven thermometer to confirm your oven is set to the correct temperature.

    Why did my popovers collapse after they were baked?

    There are several reasons why popovers collapse after baking. Not enough eggs were used or the eggs that were used were too small. In addition, the proportion of liquid to the flour may be too high in the recipe which weakens the popovers and causes them to collapse. Too low an oven temperature can cause under-baking which may be another reason why the popovers collapse.

    Why did my quick bread become dry and crumbly?

    You may have added too much flour or not mixed in the flour well enough. It is also possible that you over-baked it. The bread is done as soon as the top center is not sticky or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Why do my muffins have tunnels?

    Measure the ingredients carefully. Too much flour or too little liquid can cause tunnels. But, even more important, be careful to not over-mix muffin batter. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Tunnels may also occur if the oven temperature is set too high. Make sure you use an oven thermometer to confirm your oven is set to the correct temperature.

    Why does my nut bread crumble when I slice it?

    Be sure bread has cooled completely before slicing. Store nut bread in the refrigerator for 24 hours before slicing. Cut with a sharp, thin-blade knife, and use a sawing motion. Do not press down.

    Why does my quick bread have a crack on top?

    Cracks on top of a quick bread loaf are characteristic and do not hurt the bread in any way. Quick leavening action in the oven causes the harmless cracks.

  • Pies

    How can I prevent the meringue from sliding off the pie?

    Spread a thin layer of meringue over the pie’s hot filling, and then add additional meringue. The thin layer will provide a base on the cream filling for the remaining meringue to adhere to.

    How do I heat a frozen baked pie?

    Unwrap a frozen 2-crust pie and thaw at room temperature for 1 hour. Reheat in 325° F. oven on lowest rack for 35 to 40 minutes until warm.

    How do I make a flaky pastry?

    A flaky pastry is one that flakes or separates into thin layers as in pie crust, puff pastry, Danish pastry and croissants. Fat or butter creates flakiness by being a spacer between the layers of dough. Pieces of cold, hard fat keep layers of the dough apart in the oven just long enough for the dough to begin to set. The fat melts, and then steam from the dough forms and pushes the layers apart. 

    The butter should be cold when used in pastry, and must be in large enough pieces so it will not melt easily. If the butter is very cold and firm when the dough goes into a hot oven, the layers of dough will be spaced apart as they begin to bake and set, resulting in a flaky pastry or pie crust.

    How do I prevent my pie crust from getting soggy?

    The secret of a well-baked tender bottom crust is in choosing the right pie plate or pan, and baking long enough at a high temperature, usually 425° F. In addition, the following methods may help to prevent a soggy crust:

    • Coat the top surface of the lower crust with melted butter.
    • Bake in a hot oven (425° F) for the first 15 minutes of baking (or 450° F for first 10 minutes).
    • Thicken the filling before placing in the pastry-lined pan.
    • Use a somewhat drier pastry (slightly reduce the water).
    • Chill pastry for 1 hour before adding the filling.
    • Repair cracks or holes in the pastry to prevent filling from seeping into or under crust.
    • Bake pie on the oven shelf nearest the bottom of the oven.

    Is it possible to beat the egg whites too long?

    Yes, the egg whites will become dry and collapse. To revive them, beat 1 additional egg white until frothy. Then, very gently stir into the over-beaten egg whites until they are shiny and moist again.

    What changes do I need to make when baking pies in a convection oven?

    The temperature in your recipe should be reduced 25° F. Even when the temperature is lowered by 25° F. you can expect the food to be done 25% faster than the recipe suggests. 

    What will prevent my baked pie shell from puffing up as it bakes?

    One method is to prick pastry thoroughly with a fork to prevent puffing during baking. Bake pie shell as directed in recipe. 

    A second method is to use dried beans or pie weights. Gently press lightweight aluminum foil into the pastry-lined plate. Fill with dried beans (about 4 cups for a 9-inch pie plate); bake as directed in recipe, but remove liner and beans a few minutes before the end of the baking period.

    At what point do I add sugar to beaten egg whites to make meringue?

    Make sure the egg whites are at soft-peak stage and stabilized with cream of tartar before gradually adding sugar. Measure the sugar carefully to avoid adding too much.

    Can I freeze 2-crust pies?

    Yes, freeze baked pies first to make wrapping easier, wrap with freezer wrap or place in resealable plastic freezer bags, and then seal and label. Pies are baked before freezing to prevent soggy crusts. Baked frozen pies will keep up to 4 months.

    Can meringue powder be substituted for the egg whites when making meringue for a pie?

    Three egg whites equal approximately 3 tablespoons meringue powder + 6 tablespoons water. Look for exact directions on the container of meringue powder. You can find meringue powder in most cake-decorating specialty stores or cake-decorating departments of craft stores.

    How can I keep pie dough from sticking to the rolling pin?

    Traditionally bakers have lightly dusted the surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking. You may need to repeat dusting with flour occasionally. Or, use a pastry cloth and stockinet-covered rolling pin to make rolling the dough easier, and to help prevent dough from sticking. Rub flour evenly onto rolling pin stockinet-cover and pastry cloth for easy handling. If dough is too soft, refrigerate for about one hour.

    How can I prevent meringue from weeping or forming little droplets on the surface?

    A meringue will leak or weep if the meringue is spread on the cream pie when the filling is not hot. Be prepared so the meringue is ready and the filling is hot at the same time. Place the filling into the baked pie crust and immediately top with the meringue. Also quick cooling of the pie causes beading on meringues. Cool very slowly in a turned-off oven. Keep the oven door ajar.

    How can I prevent the edge of my pie from browning too much during baking?

    Cover the edge of the pie with a 2 to 3-inch wide strip of aluminum foil, and mold lightly around edge of pie. Bake as directed. Remove aluminum foil 15 minutes before end of baking time to allow edge to brown.

    How do I create a special finish to my pie crust edges?

    It is amazing how your hands and simple tools can result in special finishing touches. Techniques include simply pinching the edge with fingers or using a fork, to braiding the dough or weaving a lattice top.

    How do I keep my baked pie crust from shrinking in the pie plate?


    To prevent pie crusts from shrinking, roll pastry two inches beyond the edge of the inverted pie plate. 

    Ease the pastry gently into the pie plate, pressing toward the center with fingertips, then toward the edge of the plate to remove any air bubbles. This keeps the pastry from stretching, which causes shrinkage during baking. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1-inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with the edge of the pie plate. 

    Flute as desired, then hook fluted edge over the edge of the pie plate to secure. Chill the dough in the pan for 15 minutes before filling and baking.

    How do I keep my pastry from being tough?

    Using too much flour and overworking the dough will contribute to tough (non-flaky) pastry or pie crust. Measure flour accurately and use only enough additional flour to keep the pastry from sticking to the pastry cloth.

    What causes meringue to shrink and leak?

    If the meringue is not sealed well around the pie it can shrink back away from the edge of the pie. To seal the meringue, spread it so it touches the edges of the pie crust all around the pie. Add 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar per egg white to the meringue mixture. This will help to keep the meringue from shrinking. Also an oven that’s too hot can cause meringues to shrink.

    What is the best pie plate to use?

    Heat-resistant glass pie plates give the flakiest results, but aluminum pans with a dull finish or darkened pie pans yield, tender, browned crusts as well. Shiny metal pans reflect the heat and may result in soggy, soaked bottom crusts. Use the pan size recommended in your recipes. 

    What’s the best way to beat egg whites?

    First, it is easier to separate egg whites from the egg yolk when the egg is cold. After separating, let the egg whites come to room temperature before beating which will result in a greater volume. 

    Beat egg whites in a clean, dry glass or metal bowl (never a wood or plastic bowl) with a clean beater. Even the smallest amount of fat from the egg yokes can slow down the foaming. A wood or plastic bowl can hold hidden traces of fat also. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form but not until the egg whites are dry. A beaten egg white should more than triple in volume.

    When making sweetened whipped cream as a pie topping, how do I know when the whipping cream is whipped just right?

    The whipped cream should be soft, smooth, light and fluffy in texture and should double in volume. Make sure cream, bowl and beaters are all chilled; that will shorten the length of time it takes to beat the cream. If the whipping cream is over beaten, dry and separated there is no way to return it to its creamy texture. The solution is to start over with more whipping cream. 

  • Shipping Homemade Treats

    How should I pack cookies for mailing?

    • Do not mail cookies that require refrigeration such as cheesecake bars or delicate cake-like textured cookies.
    • Bar, drop or dried fruit cookies are best for mailing. Cookies with hard crunchy textures, like biscotti and shortbreads, ship well as do chocolate chip, ginger snaps and oatmeal cookies. Tender, fragile cookies are apt to crumble when mailed.
    • Use a durable, rigid box or empty tin as a mailing container*. Place a piece of bubble wrap on bottom of container. Then line the container with aluminum foil or plastic food wrap that is large enough to wrap over the cookies when the container is full.
    • Wrap four to six cookies of the same size together in aluminum foil, plastic food wrap or resealable plastic food bag then seal securely. Continue packing cookies until the container is full. Double-wrap cookies if shipping more than one kind or flavor so that flavors do not blend.
    • Place the heaviest cookies at the bottom of the container and layer the wrapped cookies with bubble wrap or crumpled paper towels.
    • Put the container or tin into a sturdy cardboard box 2 inches larger than the tin.
    • Print the mailing address and return address on the package in waterproof ink; mark the package "PERISHABLE FOOD" to encourage quick and careful handling. Overnight shipping may be your best choice.

    How do I package candy to send?

    • Do not package candies that absorb moisture (caramels, mints, hard candies, toffee) in the same container as those that lose moisture (fudge, fondant, meringues).
    • Wrap different candy varieties in plastic food wrap, and divide layers with waxed paper. Use crumpled or shredded paper towels or plastic bubble wrap inside the container for padding. Seal the container with tape.
    • Put the container (tin, coffee can, etc.) into a sturdy cardboard box. Use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect the container.
    • Print the mailing address and return address on the package in waterproof ink; mark the package "PERISHABLE FOOD" to encourage quick and careful handling. Overnight shipping may be your best choice.

  • Summer Food Safety Tips

    How can I tell when grilled foods are cooked?

    You should always check to make sure grilled foods are done. They often appear fully cooked before they actually are. It is best to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, especially hamburgers.

    Can I use the same platter for my cooked meat as the one I used before grilling?

    Never put cooked meat, chicken or fish on the same platter that was used for raw food until the platter has been thoroughly washed with soap and very hot water. This will help prevent bacteria from contaminating the serving platter and recontaminating the cooked meat.

    Do you have a checklist of useful items for a picnic lunch?

    Here is a list of suggested items to pack: 

    • Picnic blanket
    • Tablecloth
    • Plates
    • Glasses
    • Eating and serving utensils
    • Napkins
    • Salt & pepper
    • Paring or other small knife
    • Instant read thermometer
    • Aluminum foil
    • Plastic wrap
    • Paper towel roll
    • Disposable moist towelettes
    • Damp kitchen towel packed in a resealable plastic bag
    • Bottle opener
    • Plastic trash bags for easy cleanup
    • Insect repellent
    • Sun screen

    How can I keep food safe on a very sunny day?

    You should never allow food to sit in the sun. It is best left in the refrigerator or a cooler until grilling or serving time. Remove your food from an ice chest only when you need it. Never unpack your entire meal and leave it in the sun.

    How do I pack for an outdoor picnic or other eating occasion?

    When packing for outdoor dining, chill foods before packing on ice. Freeze fruit drinks or water in plastic containers. These containers will help keep the food cool while providing drinks for your outing.

    On our last picnic, the sandwiches and salad were soggy! How can I prevent this next time?

    For fresher tasting sandwiches, try packing sandwich ingredients in separate containers stored on ice until ready to serve. You can do the same for many salads. Store washed and dried salad greens and dressing in separate containers and combine just before serving.

    What's the best way to pack a cooler?

    If possible, pack the food you plan to eat first on top with other items below. This way, you can keep the cooler closed more often so foods stay at the right temperature for longer periods of time. Also, be careful not to crowd perishable goods. This allows for good air circulation. Use ice packs or solid blocks of ice to keep foods cold. They last longer than ice cubes. Finally, make sure your cooler has a tight-fitting lid.

    When I entertain on our deck, the food often looks unappealing after a few hours? How can I keep it fresh and appetizing?

    When entertaining outdoors, keep party food on ice or refresh it throughout the gathering from platters of food kept in the refrigerator. When entertaining on a boat or at a picnic, pack smaller servings of your various dishes. Refresh the serving table throughout the event as necessary.

  • Yeast Breads

    Can I knead my dough with an electric mixer or food processor?

    Yes, if your equipment has the correct attachments. Check the manufacturer's directions.

    Can I use cake or pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour when I make my breads?

    No! Cake and pastry flour are made of soft wheat and they are too delicate for bread making.

    How do I know my yeast is fresh? How do I test yeast?

    Testing yeast determines it freshness. To test yeast, dissolve a small amount of yeast in 105° to 115° F water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. If it bubbles, then the yeast is good.

    How do I refrigerate sweet roll dough?

    Mix the dough, grease the top well, cover with plastic food wrap, and a damp cloth; keep the cloth damp. Refrigerate up to 3 days if dough contains 1/4 cup sugar or more. When ready to bake, cut off as much dough as needed and shape into rolls; let rise in warm place until double in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched (1 1/2 to 2 hours). Bake as directed in recipe.

    At what temperature should my yeast be activated?

    Yeast is sensitive to the right temperature of 105° to 115° F. Too much heat will kill the yeast and too cold a temperature will retard its growth. Either way the bread won't rise.

    Can compressed and active dry yeast be used interchangeably in bread recipes?

    Yes, use 1 package or about 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast for one 0.6-ounce cake of compressed yeast. Compressed yeast can be softened in milk; but when using dry yeast, it needs to be softened in water.

    Can I freeze dough before I bake it?

    No, home freezers are not designed for the quick freezing required for unbaked dough to ensure satisfactory rising and baking. It is better to bake the bread and then freeze it.

    Can I freeze my loaf of yeast bread?

    Yes, yeast breads can be frozen up to 2 months. Be sure the bread is cool before wrapping it and placing in the freezer.

    How can I prevent my bread from browning too much on top before its done baking?

    Cover the browned top loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking until bread tests done.

    In what kind of pans should I bake my bread?

    Anodized aluminum, darkened metal, or glass pans are best for producing well-browned crusts. Bread baked in a shiny pan will tend to not brown during baking.

    What are some tips about how to achieve a special crust on my yeast bread?

    • Crisp Crust: Before baking, brush tops of loaves with water. Bake on heated baking tiles or a baking stone (available at kitchen supply stores).
    • Golden Crust: Before baking, brush tops of loaves with a mixture of 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk, beaten together.
    • Soft, Tender Crust: After baking, brush tops of loaves with softened or melted butter.
    • Glazed Crust: Before baking, brush tops of loaves with a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water, beaten together.
    • Hearth Crust: Before baking, sprinkle tops of loaves with grains or dust with flour.

    What if I don't knead the bread dough long enough?

    The bread will be coarse, heavy, crumbly, and dry.

    What is active dry yeast?

    This yeast is granular and, because it is dry, has good storage qualities. This yeast comes dated and, if kept in a cool place, will hold for 4 to 6 months. It is sold both in 1/4-ounce packages and 4-ounce jars. After a jar of yeast is opened, put cover on tightly and store it in the refrigerator.

    What is batter bread?

    Batter bread is a shortcut, no-knead yeast bread. Ingredients are simply mixed, then the batter is spread in a pan to rise and bake.

    What is compressed yeast?

    This form of yeast comes as a moist cake that weighs about 2/3 of an ounce. It is light grayish-tan in color and crumbles readily. Store the fresh yeast up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. In the freezer, it will keep about 2 months.

    What is quick rise yeast?

    The granules of this form of yeast are a more active strain of dry yeast. This yeast is sold in 1/4-ounce packages and 4-ounce jars.

    What is sourdough bread?

    Sourdough, named for its unique flavor, has a slightly sour flavor. The bread won fame in the gold rush days when each prospector carried his own pot of yeast starter (a mixture of yeast, water and flour) for making breads and griddle cakes.

    What should I do if my dough is too elastic to roll out?

    When dough springs back again and again as you roll it out, just cover it with a towel and allow it to rest 5 or 10 minutes. Dough will relax and roll out more easily.

    Why do recipes give a range for the amount of flour required?

    All-purpose flours differ in their ability to absorb liquid due to crop differences. They also differ in ability to absorb liquid depending on the daily weather conditions. For example, flour will absorb some of the moisture in the air on a humid day. Always use the lesser amount given in a recipe first and then add more as needed. Good dough is firm, elastic, and smooth. Too much flour will produce a stiff, lifeless dough.

    Why does bread fall in the oven?

    Bread falls in the oven for two main reasons:

    1. The dough was left to rise too long. It should only be allowed to double in size.
    2. The flour was low in gluten so the dough could not rise.

    Why does dough fail to rise?

    Dough can fail to rise for a variety of reasons. They include:

    • Active dry yeast was dissolved in milk. For best results, use 1/4 cup water to dissolve each packet of yeast.
    • The temperature of liquid ingredients was too warm or too cold. For best results, use a thermometer.
    • Inaccurate measurement of ingredients.
    • Poor dough structure (low gluten). Wheat flour (all-purpose or bread flour) contains the protein gluten which gives the bread structure. Large amounts of molasses, brown sugar, fruits and fruit juices contain acids which may inhibit gluten development. Inadequate kneading can also contribute to poor dough structure.
    • Baking ingredients were too cold. Flour and other ingredients should be brought to room temperature before use.
    • Bread was set to rise in an area that is too hot or cool. Yeast doughs generally rise best in a draft-free place at temperatures between 80° and 95° F.

    Why does my bread have a coarse texture?

    The dough or the shaped loaves may have risen too long or were not kneaded long enough.

    Why is there a big air pocket under the top crust of my loaf of bread?

    This usually happens when dough is allowed to rise too long.

  • Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread

    Are Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread tub containers recyclable?

    The tub and lid are both #5 recyclable. Municipal recycling programs vary, so be sure to check the recycling guidelines in your community.

    Can I bake with Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread?

    Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread tub products are best for spreading, topping and cooking. We recommend that you do not bake with Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread because it contains only 55% fat. For great, consistent baking results, we recommend that you use a stick product that contains 80% fat, such as Land O Lakes® Butter or Margarine.

    Can I cook with Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread?

    Yes! Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread is recommended for spreading, topping and cooking. The Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen has developed many great-tasting recipes. Check out this collection of recipes featuring our Fresh Butter Taste® Spread.

    Can I freeze Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread?

    We do not recommend that you freeze Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread, as it may affect the quality of the product. In addition, the tubs are not made for freezing and may crack when frozen.

    Can I use Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread in my recipes that call for butter?

    In most cooking recipes, a substitution may work. We don’t recommend using Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread for baking recipes, where the amount of fat is important to the success of the recipe. For great, consistent baking results, we recommend that you use a stick product that contains 80% fat, such as Land O Lakes® Butter or Margarine.

    How long can Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread be left out of the refrigerator?

    This product is spreadable right from the refrigerator and should be stored in the refrigerator. It is best to refrigerate Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread after each use and not to leave it out on the counter longer than 30 minutes.

    How long will Fresh Buttery Taste Spread stay fresh in the refrigerator?

    For the best quality, we recommend that you use Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread by the date stamped on the package.

    Where can I find recipes using Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread?

    For great tasting recipes developed by our Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen, visit our collection of recipes or type “Fresh Buttery Taste” in the search bar above and click “Search”.

  • 4 Cheese Italian Blend

    What are the four cheeses in Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend?

    Made from three Italian cheeses, this blend contains Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses for authentic Italian flavors, and American cheese for a creamy texture.

  • Aerosol Whipping Cream

    How do you recommend that I store and use Land O Lakes® Aerosol Whipped Cream for best taste and texture?

    This product requires refrigeration. For best results we recommend using it by the date stamped on the canister.
     

    How long can I keep an open container of Land O Lakes® Aerosol Whipped Cream in my refrigerator?

    The product is best if used by the date stamped on the canister.

    I purchased Land O Lakes® Aerosol Whipped Cream for topping my pies. Can I cook or bake with it too?

    We recommend that you use aerosol whipped cream for topping pies, cakes, beverages or desserts. The product is not recommended for cooking or baking.

    What varieties of Land O Lakes® Aerosol Whipped Cream are sold?

     The following varieties of aerosol are available: Whipped Heavy Cream (36% butterfat by weight), Whipped Light Cream (20% butterfat by weight), and Sugar-free Whipped Heavy Cream (made with sucralose).

    Where can I find Land O Lakes® Aerosol Whipped Cream?

    Please call 1-800-854-3243 for help locating this product in your area or click on the Where to Buy tab above.

  • Butter

    Can I freeze butter?

    Freezing stick butter will not alter taste or texture. To maintain freshness, butter is best frozen in its original carton and in an airtight, resealable freezer food bag or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil. It can be frozen for four months from the time of purchase.  Once the butter has been thawed, it should be used within 30 days.

    How do I measure butter?

    2 cups = 4 full sticks = 1 pound

    1 cup = 2 full sticks = ½ pound

    ½ cup = 1 full stick = ¼ pound

    1/3 cup = 5 1/3 Tablespoons

    ¼ cup = ½ full stick = 4 Tablespoons

    The wrapping on Land O Lakes® Butter sticks is conveniently marked into tablespoons for easy measuring. 

    The butter I was softening for cookie dough melted. What should I do?

    If butter is accidentally melted while softening it for baking, we recommend using it for another purpose such as sautéing, or to toss with cooked vegetables or pasta. The physical properties of butter change when melted, which prevents butter from being mixed properly with the sugar and flour in the cookie dough.

    Can I substitute unsalted for salted butter in a recipe?

    Salted and unsalted butter can be used interchangeably. Unsalted butter has all the benefits of salted butter without the added salt, it gives the cook control of the overall salt addition in a recipe.

    Can stick margarine be substituted for butter?

    Stick margarine made with 80% vegetable oil, i.e. Land O Lakes® Margarine, can be substituted for butter in most baking applications, except pastry recipes and candy made from boiled syrup. Margarine will produce a softer dough than one made with butter, and it will not have the same flavor as recipe made with butter.

    Can stick margarine be substituted for butter?

    Is it safe to keep my butter on the kitchen counter so it is always soft?

    We recommend that you follow the “keep refrigerated” directions printed on the butter packaging. This follows USDA and FDA guidelines that state most dairy products should be stored in refrigerated conditions. We also recommend butter be used by the date stamped on the packaging.

    You may want to use Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil, it is spreadable right from the refrigerator. It is easy to spread—no need to soften!

    How do I soften butter for spreading?

    Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. If you choose to soften butter in the microwave use the defrost setting (30% power). Check sticks of butter every 5 seconds so that they do not over-soften or melt.

    How do I soften butter for baking?

    Properly softened butter is recommend when baking to deliver the best baking results. Here are three ways to soften butter.
    •    Let stand at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
    •    Cut the butter into small chunks and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Small chunks soften more quickly.
    •    Place butter stick in resealable plastic bag or between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper and use a rolling pin or meat pounder to flatten. As the butter is being flatten it will warm to room temperature.

    We do not recommend softening the butter in the microwave for use in baking. Microwaving the butter often leaves a cool exterior to the butter and a molten interior. Melted butter if used in baking will affect the texture of your finished baked good.

    My recipe calls for ½ cup butter. How much is that?

    ½ cup or 8 Tablespoons of butter is equal to 1 full stick.

    Once I open the butter package, how should I store the butter sticks?

    Once opened, refrigerate butter in its original package in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. To further protect stick butter, store in a resealable plastic food bag.

    The FlavorProtect® Wrapper, found on Land O Lakes® Butter sticks, is specially designed to keep the sweet cream taste you love in and other flavors out. For further protection, store butter away from foods with strong odors, such as onions, garlic, or fresh fruit.

    What does the date on the package mean?

    For best quality, we recommend using our products by the expiration date marked on the package.

    What is the best way to cook with butter?

    It’s best to cook over medium heat to allow butter to caramelize & perfectly brown to enhance natural flavors of the food you are cooking. High heat will burn the milk solids and produce a bitter flavor.

    Why should I use butter for cooking?

    The pure, sweet cream taste of butter complements and enhances the flavor in your favorite dishes. Butter provides a smooth and creamy texture that is especially important in sauces.

  • Butter with Canola Oil

    Can I bake with Butter with Canola Oil?

    Taste and performance are the similar to regular butter. When the Test Kitchen prepared fudge and frosting using the Butter with Canola Oil they saw improvement in taste and texture.  The Test Kitchen does not recommend making candy that’s mixture is heated to greater than 275°F.

    Can I freeze Butter with Canola Oil?

    We do not recommend freezing Butter with Canola Oil, as freezing may affect the product texture and quality. Also, the packaging is not freezer-grade and could break or crack if frozen. However, if you choose to freeze the product, remove the product from its original container, place into an airtight, freezer-grade container and freeze for up to four months.

    Can I recycle the Butter with Canola Oil package?

    The tub and lid are both #5 recyclable. Municipal recycling programs vary, so be sure to check the recycling guidelines in your community.

    Can I re-use the Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil package?

    The tub packaging is designed for refrigerator storage of our product only. This package is not designed for re-use, freezing or microwave heating.

    How do the fat and calories of Butter with Canola Oil compare with regular butter?

    Butter with Canola Oil contains the same amount of total fat and calories as regular butter, but has less saturated fat and 1/3 less cholesterol.

    How long can Butter with Canola Oil be left out of the refrigerator?

    This product is spreadable right from the refrigerator and should be stored in the refrigerator. It is best to refrigerate Butter with Canola Oil after each use and not leave it on the counter.

    Is Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil gluten free?

    The ingredients in this product are gluten free as defined by the FDA. The best source to confirm this information is the ingredient listing on the package.

    Is the oil in Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil hydrogenated?

    No, it is not hydrogenated and contains no trans fats. Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil is made from churned cream, liquid canola oil and salt making it spreadable right from the refrigerator.

    What can I use Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil for?

    Butter with Canola Oil adds delicious, creamy flavor to toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles and any of your other favorite foods. It is ideal for spreading and topping and can also be used for cooking and baking.

    What does the date on the package mean?

    To ensure the highest product quality, we recommend the product be used by the expiration date on the package.

    What makes this product spreadable?

    Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil contains just enough canola oil to make it ready for spreading right from the refrigerator.

    Why is canola oil used in Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil?

    Canola oil was selected because it has a very neutral flavor, allowing the great taste of real Land O’Lakes® Butter to dominate. Canola oil also contains low amounts of saturated fat, and is high in monounsaturated (good) fats.

  • Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt

    Can I bake with Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt is not recommended for baking. Recipes may not produce the same results as those made with a higher fat product, such as butter.

    Can I freeze Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    We do not recommend freezing Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt. Freezing may affect the product texture and quality. Also, the packaging is not freezer-grade and could break or crack if frozen. However, if you choose to freeze the product, remove the product from its original container, place into an airtight, freezer-grade container and freeze for up to four months.




     

    Can I recycle the Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt package?

    The tub and lid are both #5 recyclable. Municipal recycling programs vary, so be sure to check the recycling guidelines in your community.

    Can I re-use the Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt package?

    The tub packaging is designed for refrigerator storage of our product only. This package is not designed for re-use, freezing or microwave heating.

    How can I use Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt adds a delicious, creamy flavor to toast, vegetables, pasta and any of your other favorite foods. It is ideal for spreading and topping, and can also be used for cooking.

    How long can this product be left out of the refrigerator?

    Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt is spreadable right from the refrigerator and should be stored in the refrigerator. It is best to refrigerate the product after each use and not leave it on the counter for an extended period of time.

    Is Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt gluten free?

    The ingredients in this product are gluten free as defined by the FDA. The best source to confirm this information is the ingredient listing on the package.

    What does the date on the package mean?

    To ensure the highest product quality, we recommend the product be used by the expiration date on the package.

    What makes Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt spreadable?

    Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt contains just enough olive oil to make it ready for spreading right from the refrigerator.

    Why is olive oil used in Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    Olive oil blends deliciously with the great taste of pure Land O Lakes® Butter, creating a product that is more spreadable, lower in saturated fat and higher in monounsaturated (good) fats.

  • Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt in Half Sticks

    How long can this product be left out of the refrigerator?

    It is best to refrigerate this product after each use. Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt should not be left out of the refrigerator for an extended period of time. The product will soften more quickly than traditional butter because it contains olive oil.

    Is Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt kosher?

    Yes.

    Where can I buy Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt is available in many supermarkets and can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store near other Land O Lakes® Butter products. Click on the Where to Buy tab at the top of the page for our online product locator or call 1-800-328-4155 for help locating this product in your area.

    Can Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt be used in baking?

    Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt can be used interchangeably with traditional butter in any recipe.

    Can I taste the olive oil in this product?

    Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt has the pure, sweet cream taste of butter with a hint of olive oil taste.

    Can this product be frozen?

    Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt can be frozen in its original carton for up to four months from the time of purchase. To protect the flavor of the product, wrap the carton in an airtight, resealable plastic freezer bag before freezing. Once Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt has been thawed, it should be used within 30 days.

    How much olive oil is in the butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    We add just enough oil to make it spreadable from the refrigerator. The exact amount is proprietary.

    Is Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt gluten free?

    The ingredients in this product are gluten free as defined by the FDA. The best source to confirm this information is the ingredient listing on the package.

    What can I use this product for?

    Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt is extremely versatile and can be used for cooking, spreading and topping your favorite foods.

    What is the difference between sea salt and regular salt?

    Both sea salt and regular table salt contain at least 97.5% pure sodium chloride. The main difference is sea salt is harvested from evaporated sea water and table salt is mined from underground salt deposits.

    Where can I find recipe ideas that use Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt?

    The Land O’Lakes Test Kitchens have developed a collection of recipes for this product. Click here to view the recipe collection.

  • Cheese

    Can I freeze cheese?

    We do not recommend freezing cheese because it changes the texture of the cheese usually resulting in the cheese being crumbly. However, if the cheese has been frozen, thaw the cheese in the refrigerator and use in cooking recipes such as omelets, casseroles, sandwich melts, etc.

    Do you have recipe that use your cheeses?

    Yes! We have hundreds of recipes for dips, appetizers, sandwiches and more.

    How can I help prevent my cheese from getting moldy?

    •    Use clean cutting utensils and work surface.
    •    Seal plastic wrap tightly around the cheese or store in a resealable plastic food storage bag, making sure the air is driven out.
    •    Store between 35 to 40°F. Warmer temperatures accelerate mold growth

    How long can I keep cheese?

    We recommend that Land O Lakes® pre-sliced cheese products be used by the date on the package if unopened. Once the package is opened, use pre-sliced cheeses within 5-7 days.  If you purchase freshly sliced deli cheese, use within 5-7 days of purchase for best quality.

    How should I store cheese?

    Land O Lakes® cheeses are best stored in the center part of your refrigerator at temperatures between 35° to 40°F. We do not recommend storing the cheese in the door of the refrigerator. Once the package is opened, it is best when used within 5 to 7 days. It is important to rewrap the cheese securely in airtight plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or a resealable plastic food bag.

    My recipe calls for 4 ounces of shredded cheese?

    4 ounces = 1 cup shredded or about ¼ pound or 6 slices of Deli cheese.

    What enzymes does Land O’Lakes use when producing cheese?

    The enzymes used for producing our natural cheese come from a microbial (non-animal) source. Deli American is made with either a microbial and/or animal-derived flavor-producing enzyme.

    What is the difference between natural and process cheese?

    Natural cheese like Cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack are made directly from milk. Process cheese is made from natural cheese that is heated and blended with emulsifiers to give it a smooth texture and better meltability. Process cheese flavor remains constant while natural cheese flavor develops with aging.

  • European Style Super Premium Butter

    Can I use European Style Butter in your regular butter recipes?

    Land O Lakes® European Style Butter may be substituted for regular butter in any recipe. Whether salted or unsalted, our European Style Butter makes tender cookies and flaky pastries and crusts, making it a great choice for baking. Check out our European Style Butter recipe collection here.

    Can I use Land O lakes® European Style Butter for baking?

    Salted and Unsalted European Style Butter makes tender cookies, flaky pastries and crusts, making it a great butter choice for baking.

    Can I use regular butter in place of European Style Butter in your recipes?

    The recipes using Land O Lakes® European Style Butter were developed to highlight the tender texture you get from our European Style Butter. While you can substitute regular butter in these recipes, you may notice a difference in the flavor of the food and the texture of baked goods.

    How do I use Land O Lakes® European Style Butter?

    European Style Butter is perfect for spreading on bread and for all your baking and cooking needs. European Style Butter, with its higher fat content and rich and creamy texture, makes everything taste better.

    How is European Style Butter different from the Land O Lakes® Butter I usually buy?

    European Style Butter, like our traditional Land O Lakes® Butter, is made from fresh sweet cream, but the European Style butter is churned to product a higher milk fat content of 82%.

    What is European Style Butter?

    Land O Lakes® European Style Butter is the super-premium butter that makes everything taste better because it is made with fresh sweet cream that is churned to a higher milk fat content of 82%.

    What makes European Style Butter a higher fat content?

    European Style Butter is churned to meet European standards for butter, which has a lower moisture content and an increased fat content of 82%. This is in comparison to standard butter at 80%.

  • Fat Free Half & Half

    Are there any recipes in which Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half does not work well?

    Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half does not work well in the following types of dishes. (Land O Lakes® Traditional Half & Half will work better):
    •    Candies from a boiled syrup, such as caramel and toffee
    •    Baked dishes, such as quiche, casseroles and homemade scalloped potatoes
    •    Sauces that do not contain a flour or cornstarch thickener
    •    Recipes that contain vinegar, such as cucumber and coleslaw recipes
    •    Ice cream recipes that do not contain fat

    Can I cook and bake with Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half?


    Yes, Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half works well in many recipes. Here are some suggestions:
    •    In flour or cornstarch thickened sauces, soups and gravies
    •    Baked goods, such as scones, muffins, cakes and quick breads
    •    Uncooked frostings, such as butter cream frosting
    •    Cooked custard creams
    •    Chocolate sauces and toppings
    •    Frozen ice cream desserts if the recipe contains fat or eggs

     

    Can I substitute Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half for milk?

    Yes, Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half works well in many recipes that include milk as an ingredient.

    Can I substitute Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half for regular half & half?

    Yes, Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half can be used in place of Traditional Half & Half in most cooking and baking applications.

    How can half & half be fat free?

    Because our Fat Free Half & Half is produced similar to Traditional Half & Half, combining milk and cream, we can label it half & half. Half & half is a standardized food defined in 21 CFR 130.180. It states that half & half is a mixture of milk and cream which contains not less than 10.5% but less than 18% milkfat. In 1993, FDA enacted a new regulation to promote and facilitate the development of healthier foods. This regulation allows food manufacturers to modify a standardized food to meet a defined nutrient content claim. In this case, we have reduced the milkfat in half & half to meet the nutrient content claim “Fat Free.”
    To meet the criteria for a “Fat Free” claim we have reduced the total fat to below 0.5 grams per serving by using less cream and nonfat milk in the place of whole milk. 21 CFR 130.10 also allows for the addition of other safe and suitable ingredients to improve texture, add flavor, improve appearance or add sweetness so that the fat reduced product is not inferior in performance characteristics to the standardized food defined in 21 CFR 130.180.

    How do you recommend that I store Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half?

    This product requires refrigeration.  For best resuls we recommend using it by the date stamped on the package.  Once opened, the product should be used within 7-10 days. We do not recommend freezing this product.  Although f reezing does not affect the safety or nutritional value of the product, texture and/or taste may be affected when the product is thawed. We do not guarantee the quality of our products if stored frozen.

    What coffee or espresso drinks work well with Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half?

    Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half is the perfect complement to coffee and espresso drinks. Hot coffee drinks will have a creamy rich flavor without the calories. Here are coffee drinks we suggest: Mocha Java or Cinnamon Hazelnut Latte.

    What is the shelf life of the open container of Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half?

    The product should be used within 7 to 10 days of opening or by the date printed on the container, whichever date comes first.

    Where can I find Land O Lakes® Fat Free Half & Half?

    Please call 1-800-878-9762 for help locating this product in your area or click on the Where to Buy tab above.

  • Heavy Whipping Cream

    How do you recommend that I store Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream?

    This product requires refrigeration. For best results we recommend using it by the date stamped on the package. Once opened, the product should be used within 7 – 10 days. We do not recommend freezing this product. Although freezing does not affect the safety or nutritional value of the product, frozen-then-thawed product may affect texture and/or taste. We do not guarantee the quality of our products if stored frozen.

    How far in advance of serving time can I whip cream?

    Ultra-pasteurized whipping cream can be whipped up to 4 hours ahead of the serving time. After whipping, cover and refrigerate the whipped cream.

    How much whipping cream should I use when my recipe calls for a specific amount of whipped cream?

    If one cup of whipping cream is whipped it should equal about 2 cups of whipped cream.

    What can I do to make my Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream whip better?

    For best results chill the bowl and beaters for 30 minutes in the freezer before whipping the cream. Make sure that the cream is as fresh and cold as possible.

    What is the difference between heavy whipping cream and heavy cream?

    There is no difference, heavy whipping cream is also known as heavy cream. Heavy whipping cream has a milkfat content between 36 – 40 percent. Heavy whipping cream is the richest cream readily available. Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is the best for making whipped cream, it makes stiff peaks that hold their shape. It is also used for thickening sauces and making desserts. Heavy cream/heavy whipping cream can easily be confused with whipping cream and/or light whipping cream, which has 30 - 36 percent milk fat. Light whipping cream is used in sauces and soups and as a garnish for desserts. It can make whipped cream, but heavy cream works best. 

    When is the best time during whipping to add other ingredients?

    Additional ingredients such as sugar or vanilla should be added when soft peaks form or toward the end of whipping the cream. If ingredients are added too early the volume of cream whipped is reduced. If ingredients are added too late, or after the whipped cream has reached its peak, the cream may be over-whipped.

    Where can I find Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream?

    Please call 1-800-878-9762 for help locating this product in your area or click on the Where to Buy tab above.

  • Low Fat Half & Half

    Are there any recipes in which Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half does not work well?

    There are certain cooking or baking recipes in which Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half does not work as well as traditional half & half such as:
    •Candies from a boiled syrup, such as caramel and toffee
    •Baked dishes, such as quiches, casseroles and homemade scalloped potato recipes
    •Sauces that do not contain a flour or cornstarch thickener
    •Recipes that contain vinegar, such as cucumber and coleslaw recipes
    •Ice cream recipes that do not contain fat

    Can I cook and bake with Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half?

    Yes, you can cook and bake with Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half.

    Can I substitute Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half for milk?

    Yes, you can cook and bake using Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half in place of milk in most recipes.

    Can I substitute Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half for Traditional Half & Half?

    Yes, Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half can be used in place of traditional Half & Half in most cooking and baking applications.

    How can half & half be low fat?

     
     
    Because our Low Fat variety is produced similar to the Traditional variety, by combining milk and cream, we can label it half & half. Half & half is a standardized food defined in 21 CFR 130.180. It states that half & half is a mixture of milk and cream which contains not less than 10.5% but less than 18% milkfat. In 1993, FDA enacted a new regulation to promote and facilitate the development of healthier foods. This regulation allows food manufacturers to modify a standardized food to meet a defined nutrient content claim. In this case, we have reduced the milkfat in half & half to meet the nutrient content claim “Low Fat.” To meet the criteria for a “Low Fat” claim we have reduced the total fat to below 0.5 grams per serving by using less cream and nonfat milk in the place of whole milk. 21 CFR 130.10 also allows for the addition of other safe and suitable ingredients to improve texture, add flavor, improve appearance or add sweetness so that the fat reduced product is not inferior in performance characteristics to the standardized food defined in 21 CFR 130.180.

    How do you recommend that I store Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half?

    This product requires refrigeration. For best results we recommend using it by the date stamped on the package. Once opened, the product should be used within 7 to 10 days.

    We do not recommend freezing this product. Although freezing does not affect the safety or nutritional value of the product, texture and/or taste may be affected when the product is thawed. We do not guarantee the quality of our products if stored frozen.
     

    Where can I find Land O Lakes® Low Fat Half & Half?

    Please call 1-800-878-9762 for help locating this product in your area or click on the Where to Buy tab above.

  • Margarine

    Can I bake with Land O Lakes® Margarine?

    Absolutely! Land O Lakes® Margarine contains 80% vegetable oil, which means you will get consistent results every time you use it.

    Can I bake with Land O Lakes® Margarine?

    A

    Can I freeze margarine?

    Yes. Place the stick margarine package in a resealable freezer bag. Freeze before the expiration date on the package, and stored frozen up to six months. For tub margarine, we do not recommend that you freeze. Freezing may affect the quality of the product.  Also, the tubs are not made for freezing and may crack when frozen. 

    How do I know when I should use margarine versus butter in a recipe?

    Stick margarine, made from vegetable oil, can be used just like butter in most types of baking. Margarine is soft, right from the refrigerator, so you don’t need to bring it to room temperature before using it in a recipe. Like butter, margarine will produce high-quality baking results. We do not recommend using margarine for pastry recipes or candy made from a boiled syrup.

    Is Land O Lakes® Margarine gluten free?

    The ingredients in this product are gluten free as defined by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration). The best source to confirm this information is the ingredient listing on the package.

    What are some recipes that call for margarine?

    The Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen has developed great recipes that use our margarine. Enter “margarine” in the search bar.

    What is the difference between butter and margarine?

    Butter and margarine each contain a minimum of 80% fat. The difference between the products is in the type of fat, butter is made from cream, and margarine is made from vegetable oil.

    What is the difference between butter and margarine?

    What is the fat content of Land O Lakes® Margarine?

    Land O Lakes® Margarine contains 80% vegetable oil (fat). Other brands have replaced the fat with up to 40% water and are no longer called margarine. Land O Lakes® Margarine still contains 80% fat, which means your baked goods will turn out the way you want them to every time.

    What is the fat content of Land O Lakes® Margarine?

  • Mini Moos

    Does Land O Lakes® Mini Moo’s® Half & Half need to be refrigerated (since they are a dairy product)?

    This product does not need refrigeration. Optimal storage temperature for this product is between 45 - 80°F.

    How do you recommend that I store Land O Lakes® Mini Moo’s® Half & Half?

    This product does not require refrigeration. Optimal storage temperature is between 45 - 80 degrees F.  For best results use this product by the date stamped on the box.

    We do not recommend freezing this product.  Although freezing does not affect the safety or nutritional value of this product the texture and/or taste may be affected.   We do not guarantee the quality of our products if stored frozen.

    Is Land O Lakes® Mini Moo’s® Half & Half a dairy product?

    Yes, Land O Lakes® Mini Moo’s® Half & Half contains milk.

    Where can I find Land O Lakes® Mini Moo’s® Half & Half?

    Please call 1-800-878-9762 for help locating this product in your area or click on the Where to Buy tab above.

    Why does my half & half curdle when I add it to my coffee?

    Sometimes the acid in coffee along with the coffee’s heat may curdle the cream when it is added to coffee especially if the cream is not fresh. To prevent this from happening, be sure to use fresh cream.

  • Traditional Half & Half

    Can I cook and bake with Land O Lakes® Half & Half?

    Yes, Land O Lakes® Half & Half works well in many recipes. Here are some suggestions for the types of recipes where it works well:
    •    Sauces, soups and gravies
    •    Baked goods such as scones, muffins, cakes and quick breads
    •    Buttercream frostings
    •    Cooked custard creams
    •    Chocolate sauces and toppings
    •    Frozen or ice cream desserts

    Can I substitute Land O Lakes® Half & Half for heavy cream or whipping cream?

    It is best to use the cream product called for in the recipe. Sometimes half & half may be substituted successfully for whipping cream in sauces, soups, batters, puddings, and fondues although the consistency of the finished recipe may be thinner or less rich. Half & half should not be substituted for whipping cream in ice creams and other recipes that require a higher amount of milk fat, or for whipping.

    Can I substitute Land O Lakes® Half & Half for milk?

    Yes, you can cook and bake using Land O Lakes® Half & Half in place of milk in most cooking and baking recipes.

    How do you recommend that I store Land O Lakes® Half & Half?

    This product requires refrigeration.  For best results use by the date by the date stamped on the package.  Once opened, the half & half should be used within 7 to 10 days.

    We do not recommend freezing half & half.  Freezing does not affect the safety or nutritional value of the product, texture and/or taste may be affected when the product is thawed.  We do not guarantee the quality of our products if stored frozen.

    How long is an open container of Land O Lakes® Half & Half good for in my refrigerator?

    The product should be used within 7 to 10 days of opening or by the date printed on the container -- whichever date comes first.

    What coffee or espresso drinks work well with Land O Lakes® Half & Half?

    Land O Lakes® Half & Half is the perfect complement to coffee and espresso drinks. The hot coffee drinks will be creamy and rich. Here are coffee drinks we suggest: Raspberry Crème Coffee and Hearts Afire Coffee.

    What is the shelf life of the open container of Land O Lakes® Half & Half?

    The product should be used within 7 to 10 days of opening or by the date printed on the container -- whichever date comes first.

    Where can I find Land O Lakes® Half & Half?

    Please call 1-800-878-9762 for help locating this product in your area or click on the Where to Buy tab above.

    Why does my half & half curdle when I add it to my coffee?

    Sometimes the acid in coffee along with the coffee’s heat may tend to curdle the cream when it is added to coffee if the cream is not fresh. To prevent this from happening, be sure to use fresh cream.