Before you start baking all of those holiday cookies (Need some recipes? We have 60+ for you to choose from in our Holiday Cookie Calendar.), it’s a good idea to check to make sure your baking ingredients are still fresh and effective—especially if you’re an infrequent baker.
To test your baking soda, use this tip from TheKitchn. Mix together 1/2 cup of hot water (tap is fine), with 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar. Then stir in 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. If the soda bubbles it’s fine to use, and you can start baking. If not, you’ll need to add it to your grocery list. (You can test baking powder the same way, just leave out the vinegar.)
If your baking soda has gone bad, don’t toss it just yet, there are plenty of new uses for it. It’s one of our favorite household multitaskers.