Before getting to the real business of today’s post, I’d like to announce that an interview with me about “Thomas Aquinas on Prudence and Other Virtues (That We Seem to Have Lost)” is now available on my Talks Page.  The interview was conducted by the Austin Institute, an excellent organization that does a lot of things, including the podcast series of which this interview is part.  If you’d like to know more about Thomas Aquinas’s wisdom about the virtues, take a look at my Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics.

Whew!  Now to our real subject.  Although this isn’t a baking website, one of the most popular posts ever to appear on this blog was a holiday baking tip from my superbly talented wife.  It was a way to dip cookies in chocolate without having to make a ganache to keep the coating from running.  To continue the holiday treats tradition, here a tip for making better cream cheese frosting.

When making it, just add 1/4 cup of powdered buttermilk to whatever cream cheese frosting recipe you ordinarily use.  My wife likes to give credit:  She got the idea from America’s Test Kitchen.  For the powdered buttermilk, she uses Saco brand cultured buttermilk blend, which will be on the baking shelf of your local grocery store, but there must be other brands.

Frosting made with the addition of powdered buttermilk has a lovely consistency, and for some reason, even though the quantity of sugar isn’t changed, making it this way cuts its usual teeth-hurting sweetness.  I like that, because most frostings are too sweet for me.

Cream cheese frosting is used on lots of cakes, including carrot cake, Italian cream cake, and the contemporary version of red velvet cake -- although the classical frosting for red velvet cake isn’t cream cheese frosting, but ermine frosting (also known as heritage frosting), which, for red velvet cake, is even better.  (We think so, anyway.)

There – you got two baking tips for the price of one.  And I hope you’ll enjoy the podcast too.


Treats!  Treats!