10 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Baking
We’ve all been there with powdered sugar up to our eyeballs, oven timers going off, sprinkles spilling on the floor and the company knocking at the door. You started out with the best intentions to bless your family and friends with all their favorite holiday treats. But somewhere in between the reindeer cookies, gingerbread houses, grandma’s homemade dinner rolls and the fruit cake no one ever eats, things went wrong. How can this year be different?
We’ve done our fair share of baking over the years, and the holidays are an especially busy time of year for us as you can imagine. Here are our 10 tips for stress-free holiday baking.
1. Get Organized
A little planning up front can save a lot of time and stress along the way. Before you put on your apron and fire up your mixer, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts, make a list and clear your work space. You’ll thank yourself later.
2. Stock Up Early
Grocery shopping on “off days” at the store will make your baking day more enjoyable. Your baking staples like butter, flour, sugar, yeast, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda can be stored up ahead of time. Why not beat the holiday rush so you’re buying as few items as possible at the last minute?
3. Bake in Company
Throw a baking party with your family or closest girlfriends. The holidays are all about making memories, so why not kill two birds with one stone? The memories you make while baking with family and friends will long outlive even the last sugar cookie.
4. Follow Tradition
As much as you may want to try something new, the holidays are all about tradition. Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe shouldn’t be replaced with the latest Food Network formula. The stories passed down with your family’s favorite recipes are fun memories that just can’t be replaced.
5. Bake in Stages
Some classic holiday favorites like decorated sugar cookies, can be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, cookie dough freezes well. Instead of trying to do everything in one day, why not make up your cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it. Then it’s ready to go when you’re ready to bake and frost your little masterpieces.
6. Use Parchment Paper
If you haven’t used parchment paper for your sugar cookies, you’re missing out. You’ll love the way your cookies come out of the oven golden brown around the edges. Besides, who doesn’t LOVE a quick and easy clean up!
7. Read Your Recipe
Now, read it again! Have you ever started a recipe only to realize you have to refrigerate your dough overnight or you overlooked an ingredient you don’t have on hand? We’ve been there. Knowing your recipe’s prep time, ingredients, baking time and details will make all the difference between a fab or flop baking experience.
8. Less is More
Choose recipes that are simple, easy and familiar. Around the holidays, it’s all about spending time with your family and friends. You don’t want to miss all the action because you’re in over your head experimenting with a new recipe at the 11th hour. Stick with what you know and your guests will thank you for it.
9. Go Easy on Yourself
Do what you can, order items ahead of time, and remember the REAL reason for the holiday season. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the holiday rush and before you know it, the holidays have passed in a blur. Be sure to make time to sit back, reflect and savor the holidays this year.
10. Call Ashley’s!
We’ve been baking up a storm around the holidays for over 32 years. Give us a call for advice, tips or to place an order at (937) 293-1719. We have lots of holiday desserts that are worth checking out.
We applaud your efforts to bake up your holiday favorites this time of year. Hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful as you head into the holiday season. You might even have a few tips of your own you’d like to add to the list. Happy Baking!