I love it when readers send me questions! Here are a few of the questions I get asked the most. I am always adding to this page, so if you have a question that’s not answered below, feel free to contact me here.

Q. My recipe calls for buttermilk but I don’t have any. What can I use in place of buttermilk?

ANSWER: Buttermilk adds a delicious tang and a whole lot of moisture to baked goods. It’s very easy to make your own buttermilk — here’s how:  To make one cup of buttermilk combine one cup of milk with two to three tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir and let the mixture sit for five minutes to thicken.

Q. Can I substitute another type of sweetener (such as maple syrup or Stevia, for example) for sugar in a recipe?

ANSWER: It depends on your recipe. You can sometimes substitute one type of granulated sugar for another in certain recipes (brown sugar for white sugar, for example). Cup for cup, their sweetness level is the same. Using brown sugar in place of white sugar may impact the texture of your baked goods because it has a higher moisture content.

Replacing a dry sweetener (such as white sugar) with a liquid one (maple syrup or honey, for example) could have a big impact on the taste and texture of your final product. There are some instances when you can make the exchange, but it would require adjusting and adapting the measurements and ratio of the dry vs. liquid ingredients in the recipe. In short, I do not recommend it unless you know what you’re doing or are willing to risk your recipe not turning out as you’re expecting. 

Stevia is a sweetener I get asked about a lot. It can be used to replace sugar in some recipes — but, it is WAY sweeter than cane sugar and can therefore not be used in equal measurements. 

Q. The recipe calls for nut flour (such as almond flour, hazelnut flour or pistachio flour, for example.) Can I make my own?

ANSWER: Yes! It’s very easy to make nut flour — and you can make some out of virtually any nut. Simply put your nuts into a food processor and process until the nuts turn into a  fine powder. Be careful not to over-grind your nuts or you’ll end up with nut butter. Now you can use your nut flour to make Italian Almond cookies or Italian Hazelnut cookies!