1. To add a Southwest accent to your brownies, unwrap and cut up 12 caramel candies. Sprinkle these on top of the batter in the pan before baking the brownies.
  2. If you've had baking powder or soda for a time, you can check to see if it still has leavening power by adding a small amount to a bit of very hot water.
  3. If it bubbles and fizzes, then it's still good.
  4. When adding nuts to a batter, do so at the very last moment and the nuts will have a crispier texture.
  5.  Use only the collared portions of citrus skins, since the white pith is bitter.
  6.  If you're chopping nuts in a food processor, use a portion of the sugar or flour specified in the recipe. It will keep the nuts from sticking together from their oils. All nuts taste better if they are roasted in an oven set at 350º F for 5 to 7 minutes to crisp and release their fragrant oils.
  7. If you're out of baking powder, mix 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 cream of tartar.
  8. Mixing chopped nuts, dried fruit, or other additions with a little of the flour called for in the recipe will keep them from sinking to the bottom as they bake.
  9. Raisins and other dried fruits are better if plumped before they are added to a dough or batter.
  10. Pour boiling water over the dried fruit and soak for 30 minutes. Then drain and blot well on Bounty paper towels.
  11. If using glass-baking pans instead of metal ones, reduce the oven temperature by 25º F.
  12. Shiny metal pans reflect heat, so foods are tender with a light brown crust. Dark metal or enamel pans absorb heat so foods brown more quickly and develop a crust.
  13. Non-stick cookie sheets should be light coloured, or cookies may brown too much on the bottom.
  14. Allow at least 1 inch between pans so that they don't touch in the oven. Also, allow at least 1 inch between the pans and the wall of the oven.