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Saturday, December 10, 2022
21.9 C
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Saturday, December 10, 2022
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    Toasting nuts, peeling onions and decorating cookies made easy

    Aaron Hutcherson

    THE WASHINGTON POST – Each Wednesday at noon, Aaron Hutcherson and Becky Krystal answer questions and provide practical cooking advice in a chat with readers at live.washingtonpost.com.

    Aaron and Becky write and test recipes for Voraciously, The Post’s team dedicated to helping you cook with confidence. Recently, Aaron answered questions while Becky worked on this year’s holiday cookie package. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.

    Q: I have not been successful when toasting nuts in the oven. I refuse to throw away one more pan. Can you suggest a way to do this in the microwave? I’ll try anything! My holiday gifts depend on you!

    A: The oven is my preferred method for toasting a large quantity of nuts, but yes, you can do it in the microwave too: Place the nuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high in one-minute increments, stirring in between, until toasted throughout.

    Q: Do you have a trick to make peeling onions easier? I have suddenly had more trouble with this in the past couple years than in the previous four decades combined and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. But the skins seem especially difficult to remove anymore, sometimes even cutting me under my thumbnail.

    A: I agree that it can really be a big pain sometimes. I generally sacrifice the outermost layer of the onion so I don’t have to deal with the papery skins. I hate to waste the food, but sometimes my sanity is worth it.

    Q: What’s the best icing for decorating cookies? Something that can be piped, and that dries so that cookies can be stacked and mailed.

    A: You’ll want to use royal icing if you’re looking to decorate cookies and have it dry.

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