It's hard to resist the temptation to make New Year's resolutions. Next year, you'll eat more greens, wake up to see the sunrise, spend more time visiting family, and keep up with the news. But hey, that sounds eerily similar to what you were going to do this year, doesn't it?
Finally, we've come up with a resolution you can keep: In 2014, you're going to be a better baker. With a little help from baking expert Alice Medrich, you're going to make the best whipped cream of your life. You're going to bake cookies in big batches without get frustrated. You're even going to melt white chocolate without scorching it.
Along the way, you're going to save time and money, splurge where it counts, and eat more chocolate. Because who says eating more chocolate can't be a legitimate New Year's resolution?
- Throw away your sifter! Or act more reasonably and only sift when it's really necessary.
- Don't spend time clarifying butter on the stovetop — check out Alice's easier, microwave-friendly method instead.
- Try this super fast technique for drying whisks and strainers.
- Make a bright, fresh lemon curd without separating any eggs.
- Instead of shelling out money for pricey balsamic, make a less expensive homemade version that will taste like a million bucks.
- Follow Alice's three rules for baking with nuts, then pocket the extra money and buy something nice.
- Make your own fluffy, airy nut flour at home with this one trick.
- Get the most out of your parchment paper and buy it less frequently.
Splurge where it counts.
- Buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds and sheets and stop wrestling with those nasty rolls.
- The key to better whipped cream is using heavy whipping cream with only one ingredient: cream. Go ahead and buy the real stuff.
Eat more chocolate.
- Let no ice cream go un-sauced.
- Decorate your sugar cookies with pure melted chocolate.
- Give white chocolate the attention it deserves.
Photos by James Ransom
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This article was originally published at Food52: 14 ways to be a better baker in 2014