Bake like a pro in no time

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April 12, 2010

Want to whip up a batch of treats but think it takes too long? Master these simple shortcuts and become a kitchen hero.

SOFTEN BUTTER IN SECONDS If you're ready to start your recipe but have forgotten to take your butter out of the fridge, thinly slice the amount you need and lay out the pieces on a plate at room temperature. The butter will be soft by the time you have measured the dry ingredients.

CLEAN YOUR HANDS QUICKLY Kneading dough for pies or biscuits is fun, but getting if off your hands when you're finished can be a chore. To speed it up, rub your hands with cornmeal and give them a brief rinse. The dough will come right off.

SEPARATE EGGS WITH EASE Use a plastic bag to help separate whites from yolks. Simply snip a small corner off the bag, place it in a glass to contain the white and carefully crack your egg into it. The white slips through the hole into the glass while the yolks stays in the bag.

MEASURE WITHOUT MESS Working with peanut butter, molasses, honey and other sticky substances can be slow, especially when you're using a spatula to get every bit into your mixing bowl. If you lightly mist your measuring cups with cooking spray beforehand, even the gooiest ingredients will slide out.

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