Use up leftover pie dough
After baking a pie, you might have some dough scraps. Use them up! Make a tasty treat by rolling out the extra dough and cutting it into strips. Top with a little butter, cinnamon and sugar, and bake.
The first reader tip shares another idea:
Leftover pie dough:
As a kid, my aunt made thumbprint cookies from leftover pie dough. Basically she rolled leftover pieces of dough into a small cookie-sized ball, then pressed down with her thumb to make an indentation. She’d fill it with jam or preserves and bake. You could also use pie filling to make them tastier. — Olive, Florida
Invest in a bread maker:
I have a bread maker and a book with lots of bread recipes, and I use them a lot! I make my own pizza crusts, bagels, hot dog and hamburger buns. Last week I made a dinner loaf with hamburger meat, cheese, and mushroom soup and rolled it up in Italian-style dough.
I also make pretzel-bread rolls, which are a huge hit. Start with the pretzel dough recipe, then add baking soda to water and bring it to a simmer. Put the rolls in the water for about a minute, then bake them at 425 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes. It makes a really tasty sandwich. — Bev, email
Treat the underside of countertops:
I read your recent column in which a reader had a problem with the laminate countertop over the dishwasher being ruined because of opening the door to dry the dishes. When I remodeled my kitchen and had new countertops installed, the installer told me that it’s very important to seal the underside of the countertop, because most dishwashers have a steam vent at the top of the door, and the steam ruins the underside of the countertop. I varnished that area when the dishwasher was being installed, and 10 years later the countertop remains in perfect condition. — Elaine, Iowa
Dipped candy canes:
At Christmas, I like to make chocolate-dipped candy canes. They’re delicious when added to hot chocolate or coffee. I dip the canes in melted chocolate and roll them into candy pieces and sprinkles. The hook makes a perfect little handle. Sometimes I poke the dipped end of the candy cane into a marshmallow, too. My daughter looks forward to them every year. — Laura S., New York
Heart-shaped cinnamon rolls:
Roll your dough out in a rectangular shape, then roll both ends in toward the center until they meet, forming the top of the heart. Slice like you would when making jelly rolls. Pinch the bottom of each sliced section of dough to form the point of the heart shape, then bake as usual. — Carla, Ohio
I decided to try curing bacon at home instead of buying it at the store, using this recipe on a pork loin: ruhlman.com/2010/10/home-cured-bacon-2. I used dried thyme and powdered garlic, and I added a teaspoon of cinnamon. The bacon cured for three weeks in a covered ice-cream bucket in our fridge. I turned it once a week. After it cured, I smoked it on the grill using some apple wood our neighbor gave us when he cut down his tree. My husband and the kids loved it — even my younger daughter who does not like bacon. It was much leaner than regular bacon, because I didn’t use pork belly. None of us care for fatty bacon anyway. — Katrinka G., forums