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Old 12-07-2006, 01:15 AM   #31
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That's what I figured, I did 2 tsp.
They're all done.
Here they are.
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:16 AM   #32
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This is a very enlightening thread. I think.

Will be interesting to see where we go to from here! I for one used to have huge probs with a stick of butter. But thats another thread.

OK, so we are on confectioners sugar, and Im pulling up my chair and getting the popcorn popped.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:27 AM   #33
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Actually, Lynan, we're on confectioners' sugar, liquid-vs-solid shortening, and now ... sticks of butter!

Really this is an enlightening thread in that the confusions Gobo's dealing with are those we've all dealt with at one time or another, right? It takes awhile to know where and how both to substitute and to eyeball. It's also enlightening how many different ways of measuring still persist despite their flaws.

Gobo, I'm glad it was finally asked "what are you making" since that's crucial to determine how importance accuracy is -- the success of some foods is notoriously dependent on the accuracy of the measurement (cakes, for instance).

However, note that you already got a real big hint that an exact sugar quantity isn't life-or-death in the recipe when they said "3/4 to 1 full box" of sugar. That's quite a bit of leeway ... unless it's a very tiny box of sugar!

As for the shortening/butter/oil issue, in any number of cases you can't interchange solid fats with liquid fats because they behave very differently. Just file that thought away in your head for next time, that you'll want to be sure you can before you substitute. You've obviously gotten away with it here, however, which is great.

I'm going to cast another strong vote for weight measurement, however, and I mean for dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and anything in between! It's much, much easier and far more accurate! Just this last weekend I was making pastry and began measuring out my butter the way I learned as a child, i.e. by the volume/water-displacement method, and then suddenly I thought "hey! I can convert this recipe to weight!" and proceeded to do so. (I've actually always thought measuring solid fats through water displacement was kinda entertaining (little things for little minds) so I'll miss it, but boy is that recipe easier now!)
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:51 AM   #34
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In the US most cookbooks are based on volume measurements in standard "cup" measuring cups--not weight. It is just the way it is. It works out pretty well in most cases--and actually works very well as long as it is understood.
In the case of confectioner's sugar, it really isn't a "lot of leeway". when making icing, you often add conf. sugar until the consistency is what you want--and woe be to you if you don't have the extra 1/4C to make it less runny.
And of course, professional bakers always deal in weights--but so do their recipes.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:32 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
In the US most cookbooks are based on volume measurements in standard "cup" measuring cups--not weight. It is just the way it is. It works out pretty well in most cases--and actually works very well as long as it is understood.
In the case of confectioner's sugar, it really isn't a "lot of leeway". when making icing, you often add conf. sugar until the consistency is what you want--and woe be to you if you don't have the extra 1/4C to make it less runny.
And of course, professional bakers always deal in weights--but so do their recipes.
I'm well aware of how most U.S. cookbooks are set up and have used volume measuring most of my life -- still do when converting isn't worth the hassle. And, sure, it works out fine many times. That doesn't mean that I don't now, after having used both systems, think that weight is, overall, quicker, easier, and more accurate. Certainly when multiplying recipes and/or using them over and over. Weight, and bakers' percentage when applicable, which it is when and if you need to fine-tune a recipe to your liking.

As for "leeway," my comment was specific to that particular situation, not an indication that in general a cup here, a cup there, no problem if we're talking confectioner's sugar. And for sure, one should buy ingredients based on the most possible needed, not the least!
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:53 AM   #36
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Didn't mean to offend. Gobo might not have known about the US cookbooks and the reason for the cup measurements and the differences with volumes. I was just trying to do some summing up.
Ayrton,there is little doubt that weight measurement is a better system but I don't see mainstream America doing it. I'm glad you can.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:29 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
Didn't mean to offend. Gobo might not have known about the US cookbooks and the reason for the cup measurements and the differences with volumes. I was just trying to do some summing up.
Ayrton,there is little doubt that weight measurement is a better system but I don't see mainstream America doing it. I'm glad you can.
Axh! Is it the full moon, or a collective case of PMS?! Are we all ultra-sensitive to offense taken/offense given these days or what?!

Gretchen, no offense taken (but I'd be lying to say I hadn't thought the same of your post!).

I'd like to propose to every DC member this jolly pre-holiday thought: that probably very few of us actually ever mean offense -- it's just a great, big, huge, fat, gaping downside of everything being in writing. (Mind you, I don't know who's going to see this or not since it's so logically getting filed under 'how much is a box of powdered sugar' ...)

Here -- I drew this just now of my face so that you'd know I'm smiling and happy, and neither offended nor out to offend you:

!!
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:23 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
In the US most cookbooks are based on volume measurements in standard "cup" measuring cups--not weight. It is just the way it is. It works out pretty well in most cases--and actually works very well as long as it is understood.
In the case of confectioner's sugar, it really isn't a "lot of leeway". when making icing, you often add conf. sugar until the consistency is what you want--and woe be to you if you don't have the extra 1/4C to make it less runny.
And of course, professional bakers always deal in weights--but so do their recipes.

We use cup measurements here too. Cups, mililiters, tsp, and tbsp for baking.
At my work we portion alot of things like pasta, and meats in ounces.

And that was my problem. I didn't know how much is in a box, and then since it only says 1 box in the recipe, I needed to know how much, plus that amount in cups or mL, so I could measure it myself.

It all worked out. They're done, they taste great.
My friends say they're better than Reeces
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:26 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
3.75 cups in a pound. BTW, this information is usually available on the package.

Until you sift it. Then everybody knows gets lighter.

A little off the original topic but pertinent to the discussion: The quality of my bread improved and the kneading process became easier after I realized that my Anchor Hocking liquid measuring cups were consistently giving me too much and I started weighing water instead.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:32 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by skilletlicker

Until you sift it. Then everybody knows gets lighter....

Right. And if you pack it down, it's heavier. Therein lies the problem.
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