It’s fun when readers share their questions with me. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I received from them, and I’m continuously updating this page, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question not addressed below.

Q: My recipe calls for buttermilk, but I don’t have any. What can I use as a substitute?

A: Buttermilk contributes a delightful tang and moistness to baked goods. Fret not, for making your buttermilk is a breeze! To create one cup of buttermilk, simply combine one cup of milk with two to three tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar. 

Give it a gentle stir and let the mixture sit for about five minutes to thicken. Voilà! Your homemade buttermilk is ready to work its magic in the recipe.

Q: Can I replace sugar in a recipe with another sweetener, like maple syrup or Stevia?

A: The answer depends on the recipe. In some cases, you can swap one type of granulated sugar for another (e.g., substituting brown sugar for white sugar) as their sweetness level is equivalent. However, keep in mind that using brown sugar instead of white sugar might affect the texture of your baked goods due to its higher moisture content.

When it comes to substituting a dry sweetener (like white sugar) with a liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup or honey), it can significantly impact the taste and texture of the final product. Such replacements would require careful adjustment and adaptation of the measurements and ratios of dry versus liquid ingredients in the recipe. 

I generally advise against this unless you are confident in your knowledge of baking chemistry or are willing to take the risk of the recipe not turning out as expected.

As for Stevia, it’s a sweetener that I often get asked about. While it can replace sugar in some recipes, be aware that it is incredibly potent and much sweeter than cane sugar. Consequently, you should not use it in equal measurements; adjusting the quantity is crucial when incorporating Stevia into your recipe.

Q: The recipe calls for nut flour (e.g., almond flour, hazelnut flour, or pistachio flour). Can I make my own?

A: Absolutely! Making nut flour at home is a simple task, and you can create it from almost any nut of your choice. 

Just place the nuts of your preference into a food processor and process them until they transform into a fine powder. Be mindful not to over-process the nuts, as you might inadvertently end up with nut butter. 

Now, armed with your homemade nut flour, you can indulge in creating Italian Almond cookies or Italian Hazelnut cookies and enjoy the delectable results!