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Fluffy Pancakes

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2011
These are great! I make one (four-serving) recipe for myself for breakfast on weekends. This is only four servings if you have other food on the side (eggs, hash browns), but it's a convenient size for one person if all you want are pancakes. I always add vanilla and cinnamon to pancakes by eye, I'd estimate about 1/2 tsp each if it was measured. I did try to make these into chocolate pancakes by subbing out 1/4 cup of flour with cocoa, but as it turns out, chocolate pancakes aren't that exciting. They still had the fluffiness and delicate texture of the original though! This is now my go-to recipe. If you have powdered buttermilk at home (it's in supermarkets if you hunt a bit), you can make up homemade pancake mix by replacing the milk and vinegar with enough powdered buttermilk to make 3/4 cup. Then you can just add water, an egg, and oil or butter anytime for quick and homemade pancakes!
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Black Magic Cake

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2010
I've made this recipe more than a few times now, because it's excellent! The first few times I made it into layers, and frosted it. Everything about this cake is really nice, from the rich flavor to the moist crumb. The only potential issue is that it sometimes comes out too dense (probably something to do with the kind of flour I use). My reaction to this is to use just a smidge less flour. I have an oven thermometer, but it still takes longer to bake than 40 minutes. I just check on it with a toothpick, and it turns out awesome. I just finished making another batch of this into cupcakes. Two things: 1) The batter is so good, it is disappearing before I even bake it. 2) I just plopped frozen cherries into the cupcakes before making them, and it turned out great! Didn't even have to prep them in flour or sugar. Try it! Cupcakes from this don't even need frosting (although you can indulge in it of course =]). Also, if you're shy about buttermilk, I always sub regular milk with a tbsp of vinegar for it. Thanks to the creator of this recipe! It's perfect!
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Baker's Secret Pie Crust

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2009
What a nice pie crust! I'm a first-time pie maker, and this still came out lovely. I did not have cake flour on hand, so I measured out 3/4 cup regular flour, took out about 3/4 tbsp of flour, and replaced it with an equal amount of cornstarch. I sifted this mixture before adding the other 3/4 cup of flour, and sifted again (I figured I might as well). I used a hand blender to mix together the butter and shortening before putting it in the freezer, which made it easier to work with when it came out. As per the recipe, I put half the fat into the food processor with the flour mixture, and then cut in the rest of the fat by hand. I was careful not to overmix, rolled it out between two sheets of wax paper (great tip), and actually I don't have a rolling pin so I used a wine bottle (it worked). I also let the dough relax in the fridge both before and after rolling out. Came out with just the right texture and a subtle flavor, goes well with either sweet or savory flavors. I think the mixture of shortening and butter really gives this a nice flavor.
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Margaret's Southern Chocolate Pie

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2009
I tried out this recipe with no modifications. When I cooked the pie filling in a saucepan, I stirred constantly, cooked it on a medium-low flame and achieved a beautiful non-lumpy mixture. I had no problems with the meringue (although 6TB sugar is way way too sweet, 3 or 4 will be much better). The problem is, the pie never set. It baked about 20 or 25 min at 325 and even though I knew it was still liquid, the meringue was clearly done. The pie filling itself is way too sweet, even for my sweet tooth. Honestly, just too much sugar. I'm not going to give up on it though. Next time, I'm going to 1) cut back on the sugar both on the meringue and the pie filling and 2) use cornstarch to thicken the filling.
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