What's Wrong With My Baking Soda?

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Q: I love to bake and I bake all the time. Invariably, when I use recipes that call for only baking soda or a mix of baking soda and baking powder, the cookies, muffins and cakes turn out terrible. They expand far too much and taste soapy. I have tried the very same recipes with only baking powder and they turn out great. What am I doing wrong?

Do I just hate the taste of baking soda? Has my baking soda gone bad? Help!

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Editor: Readers, has this ever happened to you? Do you have any advice?

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(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)