Baking Tutorials

How To Make Perfect Pumpkin Muffins — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

I recently read an article that mentioned most people are satisfied with one Pumpkin Spice Latte every fall. Just one. The same cannot be said for soft, lightly spiced pumpkin muffins. These breakfast treats are especially wonderful right now, as we settle into autumn, but are also perfectly acceptable to eat year-round.

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How To Make Bakery-Style Crumb Muffins — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My very first job when I was in high school was at a bakery down the street from where I grew up. In the midst of boxing up cakes, slicing bread, and slinging donuts on Saturday mornings, I developed a deep love affair with crumb cake that opened my eyes to a world way beyond Entenmann's. The buttery, plush dough, the fat crumbs, and powdered sugar were pure bliss.

This is a crumb cake meets muffin combo that's directly inspired by the classic bakery breakfast cake. And like their inspiration, these muffins have a fine, delicate crumb with a buttery, vanilla flavor and a thick topping of sweet crumbs. Ready to make them your reality? Let's get started!

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How To Make Southern Tomato Pie — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

From the first bite to the last slice, tomato pie is sublime: Sharp tomatoes and savory bacon are seasoned with thyme and bathed with mayo and sharp cheese to make a humble pie that's the perfect entrée for your end-of-summer suppers and lazy weekend brunches.

I have a theory that tomato pie was created by thrifty Southern cooks who were trying to make the most of tomatoes from their backyard gardens — especially those tomatoes that weren't quite ripe enough for tomato-and-mayo sandwiches or canning. These cooks had the ingenious idea to transform these so-so tomatoes into something wildly delicious with pantry staples like mayonnaise and breadcrumbs. It also means that any home cook can master this speciality with just a few key points.

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How To Make Cheddar Cheese Crackers — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Cheese crackers, whether they are square or shaped like an animal, are highly snackable. They're tender and crisp, a little buttery, and bursting with cheese flavor. Replicating these snack staples can be disappointing, as my 5-year-old told me often during attempt after attempt to make her beloved "cheddar bunnies" at home.

It wasn't until I started adding cheddar cheese powder to a basic cheese cracker recipe and leaving the baked crackers in the oven to dry overnight, that I finally got my long-awaited thumbs-up of approval.

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How To Make Pita Bread at Home — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

Whether we're talking falafel or deli ham, pockets of pita bread are one of my top choices for sandwiches. So portable! So neatly contained! So easy to eat! The pitas you make at home are worlds apart from the stuff you buy in stores, and watching them puff to glorious heights in your oven or on your stovetop is culinary magic at its best. Here's how we do it.

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How To Make Homemade Copycat Kind Bars — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Kind Bars are the snack bar that I always reach for when I really want a candy bar but don't want the resulting sugar crash. Full of nuts and seeds held together with a sweet-sticky glue of brown rice syrup, these bars are sweet, crunchy, a little salty, and sometimes gilded in chocolate. They are totally crave-worthy in their own right!

But Kind Bars are kind of budget-busting when I've got five dinners, seven breakfasts, and seven lunches to shop for my family of four. So I set to work making these snack bars at home. Yes, there are some specialty ingredients that are an up-front investment, but there's still a huge cost savings.

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