Saturday, 24 November 2012

3 tips to make holiday baking...a breeze!

Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is officially finished. We can put away the extra candy and finally polish off all the delicious leftovers from the Turkey Day feast. What is next on everyone's baking and cooking agenda: the holidays!

Besides a cheerful spirit, be sure to bring something sweet and homemade to any party, event, or social gathering you attend. Why? It is so much SWEETER to bring a homemade delight versus store bought. Are you afraid of trying something new? Don't be! Follow my very easy tips to make your holiday baking easy and simple.

Tip #1: Stick to what you are good at!
This rule also follows to most things in life: do what you can do exceptionally! Love scones? Bake a dozen perfect. Can you whip up the perfect sour cream coffee cake? Then do it! Have you always been the go-to for homemade brownies? Bake some and share!
Please avoid attempting anything brand, BRAND new. Save a new recipe for a rainy afternoon when you have extra free time.

Tip #2: Don't be afraid to use your freezer!
Freezing extra cookie dough or pie crust is a sneaky way to save you time. All baked goods, raw or baked, freeze great if they are stored properly. Make sure you use an air-tight container that seals shut.
-For example, when freezing raw cookie dough: You can bake frozen cookie dough just like raw cookie dough, just be sure to calculate for extra baking time.
-Are you short on time for the party? Don't be afraid to freeze baked goods like brownie and bar cookies. Be sure to let them defrost, outside their container, at room temp for about 2 hrs.
-I love making pie and tart crust ahead of time. I roll out the dough and shaping it into its proper pie/tart shell, then freeze it. Freezing crusts also helps shrinkage of the pie crust!

Tip #3: Plan it out!
Make a schedule of your baking prep. This helps you carve out time to properly bake you sweet treat and double check your ingredients list.
Make sure you answer these questions after you plan out your baking treat:
-Will I have enough time to make, bake, and cool my baked good?
-Do I have all of my ingredients on hand? Extra, in case I mess up?
-What will I bake (or bring) if I mess up? Do I have enough time to bake something different, if I do?
-Do I have the properly baking equipment for my baked good (pans, mixer, bowls, etc).

Remember, the holiday season is meant to bring more cheer and sweetness to your community! Plan your baking spree ahead, and it will sure be a success.

Happy Baking,

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