Holiday (no matter what holiday you are celebrating) baking can seem….well, intimidating. Here are a baker’s dozen (that’s 13, folks) tips that can make your baking super sweet and successful.
How to Tackle Holiday Baking: Tips from a Pro
- Plan out 1-3 cookies, treats, or desserts you want to make: Don’t overload yourself! Now, is not the time to try something brand new when it comes to baking. Bake what you know and what you have baked before. See some of my cookie and brownie recipes here!
- Make any doughs the night before: Baking sugar cookie cut-outs? Pie dough? Make it the night before, then roll ‘n’ bake the next day. This makes sure it is 110% chilled = butter is cold and gluten strands are relaxed.
- Update your cookie sheets and baking pans before baking: Have that plan on what you are baking? Make sure your pans are up to date. Toss out any worn, super greased on, or peeling baking equipment.
- Baking with soft butter: Bring it out on your kitchen counter 1-2 hours prior and cut it into small cubes. Set an alarm on your phone or fave smart home device (oh…and Alexa is my sous chef in my kitchen!). This will take the chill off of butter if you need to soften butter. Forgot to take it out of the microwave? There is no shame in using the microwave. Cook for 10-15 seconds.
- Baking with eggs: Need them room temp? Use the same trick and take them out of the fridge 1-2 hours before. Baking with multiple eggs? Crack ’em all in a small bowl, whisk, and add to your batter or dough.
- Don’t be afraid to freeze: Bake when you have time and put ’em in the freezer until ready to be enjoyed. Honestly, even iced and decorative sugar cookies can be frozen. How long do cookies last in the freezer? As long as you are not tempted to eat ’em all! But…within 1 month, is a good timeline.
- Need pie weights: Use dried beans (my fave!!!) or uncooked rice. Avoid buying those fancy pie weights and save your money for more pantry ingredients. Line your unbaked pie shell with foil and fill with enough dried beans or rice.
- Rolling out dough? Avoid using too much flour by rolling it between two sheets of parchment paper. Yup, you can add the lightest sprinkle of flour in the parchment, but you shouldn’t need much.
- Always line baking pans with parchment paper: From cookie sheets to loaf bans to cake pans, parchment paper helps releases the baked goods evenly and smoothly. Another great option is using silpats (re-usable!) for cookie sheets.
- Or…grease with melted butter and light flour: Baking bundt cake? Or another uniquely shaped pan? Brush with melted butter and sprinkle all-purpose flour over, using a sifter. The last option is using a non-aerosol spray bottle to grease your pans.
- Get friends and family involved: You can bake the cookies, a friend can make the icing and frosting, and a family member can pick up the sprinkles. Make sure to get others involved, it is more fun, too
- Use one cookie dough to make multiple cookies: Like my cream cheese sugar cookies, you can make Christmas cut-outs and top ’em with sprinkles. Or, halfway dip ’em in melted chocolate and top with chopped walnuts. Even make my royal icing and make a pretty decor on them.
- Save your holiday recipes: Digitally, on a cloud-based storage (I like Google Drive) or non-digitally, in a notebook. Then you have all your holiday baking recipes in one spot for your next celebration!