Sliders, cupcakes and 100-calorie snack packs are examples of the downsizing of America. Learning to estimate portion size is an important visual cue that can keep us from overeating.
You probably know this one: A deck of cards or the palm of your hand (minus fingers) equals a serving of meat, chicken or fish.
But you might not know these tricks:
■ A tennis ball equals a serving of fruit or vegetables.
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■ Four dice equals a serving of cheese.
■ A compact disc equals one serving of a pancake or waffle.
■ A golf ball or large egg equals ¼ cup dried fruit or nuts.
■ A computer mouse equals the size of a small baked potato.
■ The tip of your thumb equals a teaspoon of peanut butter.
But when it comes to dessert, bakeware companies have been quick to supply mini pans for itty-bitty cupcakes, baby Bundt cakes and tartlets.
Mini chocolate chip angel cakes are a smart way to curb your cravings.
Shopping tip: Why buy cake flour if you already have all-purpose flour? The finer texture and high starch content give baked goods a fine, tender crumb.
Serving tip: For a nicer presentation, remove paper baking cups from cakes, slice cakes in half horizontally and fill with fresh, sliced strawberries.
Mini chocolate chip angel cakes
11 egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1½ cups sugar, divided
1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons 1 percent milk
Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and allow to stand at room temperature 30 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line regular size muffin tins with paper baking cups; set aside.
Sift together flour and ½ cup sugar three times; set aside.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Add vanilla. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, to egg white mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat until glossy, stiff peaks form. Fold flour mixture into egg white mixture ½ cup at a time. Fold in chocolate chips.
Place about 1/3 cup batter into each paper cup. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until light brown and cakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove to wire rack immediately to cool.
Whisk together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Brush onto cakes. Let stand at room temperature until set. Makes 3 dozen cakes.
Nutritional information per cake: 85 calories, 1 g. fat, trace cholesterol, 17 g. carbohydrates, 2 g. protein, 49 mg. sodium, trace dietary fiber.