What was America’s Test Kitchen up to this Valentine’s Day? Well, after sampling some delicious cookies in the Test Kitchen, we had the opportunity to sit down with Julia Collin Davison, the executive food editor of the cookbook division at America’s Test Kitchen and on-air test cook for America’s Test Kitchen TV and Cook’s Country TV. Julia took over the @TestKitchen account and joined us for a special live Twitter Chat sponsored by Valley Fig Growers. Our followers tuned in online and fired away their questions about everything from figs, baking techniques, dinner ideas, and Valentine’s Day desserts. And if you didn’t know, figs are an aphrodisiac! So if you were busy planning a dinner for your Valentine all afternoon, don’t worry! We’ve compiled a recap of our favorite moments during our #ATKchat.
ALL ABOUT BAKING
@radthomas: Does it matter much if you choose to stagger or line-up cookies on a sheet?
@TestKitchen: Yes. it can effect baking times and how they bake. Also, if you can bake 1 tray at a time it helps a ton. -Julia
@rubberduckgrrl: How do I sub vanilla beans for vanilla extract? Is there some sort of easy conversion?
@TestKitchen: Scrape the seeds and add to liquid in recipes. Would imagine about 1/2 good sized bean per teaspoon. -Julia
@themagicapron: When making baked goods and recipe says “greased” sheet, etc., what’s the best method? Shortening? Spray?
@TestKitchen: We like to use baking spray- Pam with flour. But softened butter followed by a dusting of flour works well too -Julia
FUN FACTS ABOUT JULIA
@acsteger: Alright Julia, what’s your FAVORITE recipe from the last 10 years of ATK?
@TestKitchen: Good one! Love new roast chicken. Done in skillet in 425 degree oven- you turn oven off halfway through roasting -Julia
@robmolla: What does Julia cook for herself for a really quick Tuesday night supper?
@TestKitchen: Big fan of pesto-turkey meatballs. Takes 15 minutes- tops. See recipe in new Pasta Revolution book. -Julia
ALL ABOUT FIGS
@DIpharmacist: Julia, you’re my fave TK chef! What’s an easy “starter” recipe for someone who’s never cooked with figs before?
@TestKitchen: Goat cheese and Fig Spread. Will send recipe to you. -Julia #ATKchat