Substitutions: a quick guide for busy cooks

December 13, 2006|By Lisa Gutierrez | Lisa Gutierrez,McClatchy-Tribune

With holiday cooking here, you're bound to be in this pickle at least once.

"You believe you have everything you need and then, in the middle of preparation, you find out you're missing an ingredient," says Susan Mills-Gray, nutrition and health-education specialist for the University of Missouri Extension in Harrisonville.

She keeps these three lists taped inside her favorite cookbook for quick reference. For the complete lists, visit the extension's Web site: Click on "Food & Nutrition," "Preparation," then "Modifying Recipes."

Dry ingredients

For 1 teaspoon baking powder, use 1/3 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.

For 2 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, use 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate and 4 teaspoons sugar.

For 1 cup powdered sugar, use 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed well.

For 1 cup granulated sugar, use 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar.

For 1 cup cake flour, use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Liquids and fats

For 1 cup corn syrup, use 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup liquid or 1 cup honey.

For maple syrup, use equal an amount of corn syrup.

For 1 cup half-and-half, use 7/8 cup milk and 1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine, or 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk.

For 1 cup heavy cream, use 3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup butter or margarine.

For 8 ounces of cream cheese, use 8 ounces cottage cheese blended with 1/4 cup margarine.

For 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup buttermilk, use 1 cup plain yogurt.


For 1 teaspoon allspice or cardamom, use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.

For 1 teaspoon dried basil, use 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon thyme.

For 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

For 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, use 1/2 teaspoon vinegar.

For 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, use 1/2 teaspoon paprika plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.

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