Submitted by Cynthia Finnemore... on Mon, 11/03/2008 - 5:36pm.
I've been hard at work on my latest cookbook and I'm baking desserts like a fiend. After writing down 157 recipes — some of which have been saved for later entries — I came to a fun realization: Having a well-stocked pantry allows you to whip up that birthday cake for a friend, cupcakes for your child's class, biscuits for supper or a special goodie tray for the bake sale — all without heading to the market for ingredients!
A well-stocked pantry makes cooking many baked goods a last-minute breeze. By keeping all ingredients at home, there's no need to dash out when the urge to bake something warm and sweet strikes.
The items on this list can be accumulated over time. Many of the ingredients have an extended shelf life. The perishables listed at the end are those that you probably have on hand in the 'fridge anyway. This list is helpful when you're getting started as a baker. Lots of the items can be found in the bulk section of your local health food store. Rising Tide is my favorite local shop in Damariscotta. They carry many different types of flour and sugar to suit whatever recipes I can think up.
Baking uses many of the same items to create a myriad recipes. You can gather them over time to have the staples necessary to whip something up when you need it:
Pastry or cake flour
Brown sugar- light and dark
Bakewell Cream- cream of tartar
Egg white powder
Crisco or other vegetable shortening
Various pure extracts- lemon, anise…
Nutmeg- whole and ground
Chocolate- bits, bars and unsweetened squares- white and dark