A Smart Trick for Measuring Peanut Butter and Other Sticky Ingredients

published Oct 26, 2023
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cookie butter being scooped out of a reused peanut butter jar
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

If you’ve ever baked with any sticky ingredient like peanut butter (for peanut butter pancakes, for example, or these amazing Rice Krispies treats), tried to measure out tahini for hummus, or scooped almond butter into your smoothie, you’ve probably hit the same messy snag: After you wrestle the ingredient out of the jar and into the measuring cup or spoon, half of it sticks and stays there, leaving you with a bit of a mess and a less-than-perfectly-accurate amount. Turns out, there’s a better way.

“I was today years old,” reads the overlay on this TikTok video showing nut butter or tahini being measured out to make cookies. The video demonstrates what to do: Simply spray the measuring cup with a little oil or cooking spray before using it. Then add the gooey ingredient; when you dump it out, voila! It slides right out. It works for things like honey and corn syrup, too.

“Did anyone else know this?” the caption asks. Well, I already used this trick for keeping my garlic press from getting sticky and hard to clean, but it never occurred to me to use it for measuring cups.

As someone who did not grow up in a cooking spray household (it was mostly margarine; it was the ‘80s, and it came in a tub), I’m constantly fascinated about all the things you can do with cooking spray besides the obvious (spraying a baking pan). Spritzing your cheese grater before using it will make it easier to clean, and spraying Tupperware before you use it will prevent those awful colored stains. It also helps to remove price tag stickers from new dishes. And it turns out to be magic in rooms besides the kitchen, too!

This article originally published on The Kitchn. Read it there: A Smart Trick for Measuring Peanut Butter and Other Sticky Ingredients