Tips for Tweaking Recipes

Most recipes can be tweaked – if you know how. The original shortbread recipe we used as a foundation had half the sugar, no cream, and no egg yolk. It is delicious, light, crumbly…perfect as an accompaniment to coffee. It does not hold up well to adding fillings.

To accommodate the fillings we wanted, we needed to add sugar (we doubled it but you could split the difference), and sometime to emulsify the original mixture to make it stick together.

Here are a few more tips:

  • An extra egg in brownies makes them richer, and a bit cakier, but an egg yolk makes them fudgier.
  • Using melted butter in place of oil in a cake makes for a buttery-rich cake.
  • Making biscuits but don’t want hydrogenated oil, AKA shortening? Use lard (pig fat), tallow¬† (beef fat) has too strong a flavor though.
  • Pie crusts can also benefit from lard – use half lard and half butter for a light, buttery, flaky crust.
  • Looking for crispy-on-the-outside, but gooey-inside cookies? Turn the oven up about 15 degrees and cut your bake time.


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