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Cure for Cookie Stick-to-Itiveness

December 27, 1987|JOAN DRAKE | Times Staff Writer

Question: I have access to a great many egg whites; therefore, I often make macaroons or haystacks. No matter what I use--non-stick pans, heavily greased pans, wax paper--or all three, I don't seem to be able to keep these cookies from sticking to the pan. Can you help me?

Answer: Line the baking sheets with parchment paper and your problem should be solved. The paper is available at some groceries, as well as at cooking specialty stores.

Q: Whatever happened to Whitney's yogurt? Their lemon flavor was may favorite. Is it gone forever?

A: We can't say that it's gone forever, but the company that formerly distributed the product in this area tells us it is no longer available in California.

Q: I bought some self-rising flour by mistake and now I don't know how to use it. Please help.

A: Each cup of self-rising flour contains 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and one-half teaspoon salt. It may take a little arithmetic, but using these figures you should be able to use the self-rising flour in most recipes. Since self-rising flour is made from soft wheat, while all-purpose flour is a mixture of soft and hard wheat, some differences will result in the end products, especially in biscuits and cakes.

Q: Your article on peppercorns missed one. We were given a jar of pink peppercorns and I can find no reference to them in any of my numerous cookbooks. I would appreciate any information on same.

A: We didn't cover pink peppercorns because they are not actually peppercorns, but the berries of a tree species that grows on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Their botanical name is schinus terebinthifolius. A number of French companies harvest the berries and pack them in brine, in vinegar or freeze-dried.

In 1981, Times staff writer Dan Puzo reported that several university botanists claimed pink peppercorns were mislabeled and were a potentially toxic substance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed an import alert on the product, but dropped it in 1983 in light of results from a French research study and long-term usage of the product in that country.

Pink peppercorns gained popularity in the early 1980's, both in chic restaurants and gourmet shops as a prestige spice in nouvelle cuisine. They are used to give color and flavor to sauces for meat and seafood.

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