By Kat Wojtylak
Don’t let holiday baking ruin all your fun and the special moments around the holidays. Instead, embrace one of the busiest times of the year for your oven and showcase holiday spreads and your gifts with awesome skills and minimal stress. Baking is an inexpensive and special way to show someone or your horse you care. Here’s just a few tips to utilize what little time you have and make the most of your holiday baking.
Baking Tip 1: If you don’t have time for cutouts, don’t make them! They’re super labor intensive. Instead, consider sugar cookies pressed with a vintage glass or just a regular drinking glass. You can add colored sugar and make them even more festive. And if you have kiddos in the house, they can still help with this. Checkout Grandma Glinda’s Sugar Cookies or White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnap Cookies.
Baking Tip 2: On the cookie front, consider another alternative to cutouts in bar cookies! Rather that forming them into individual shapes or even scooping them out, it works well to just put the batter into a baking pan or jelly roll pan and bake the whole thing! Extra baking time will be required of course, unless you use a no bake option like Peanut Butter Bars with Crispies. Cut them up using a sharp knife and wrap in pretty paper.
Baking Tip 3: Try not to use a recipe you haven’t had sufficient time to try. There’s nothing like waiting till the last minute and the recipe falling to shambles. If you garnered your recipe online, look at reviews or talk to people who have made them before. Lots of times they can provide valuable insight so if you do decide to go new this year, you’ll have a better chance of success.
Baking Tip 4: Learn how to properly scoop flour so that you get consistent results every time. Scooping flour with your measuring scoop can actually result in tough baked goods as you’re taking away valuable moisture with the extra flour. The best way to measure out flour in a recipe is to first fluff, aka stir your flour in its canister. Then you sprinkle the flour into your measuring cup and finally level off the cup. This should result in a perfect amount every time to give you consistency when baking. This is all determined by weight so if you have a scale, try it out and see!
Baking Tip 5: Enlist help! Wrangle a family member into helping your prepare, or consider a cookie exchange. Play hostess to a group of individuals and provide the drinks. Each person brings a decided upon amount of one type of cookie. At the end of the party, depending on how many people show up, you can leave with a variety of cookies from each member. Or just spend a weekend with the girls and bake cookies together, laughing and enjoying what the holidays should be about!
Baking Tip 6: Personalize your baking so it stands apart. Consider using a stencil and sift powdered sugar, cinnamon or cocoa over top. You can also do this with frothy beverages to leave your stamp on a not-so-permanent delectable.
Baking Tip 7: Consider quick breads….after all they’re quick! You can make carrot versions for your favorite horse friend, banana bread or even fruit cake for anyone on your list. They’re usually one bowl wonders and if you make them in pretty disposable containers, you’re one step closer to getting the job done.
Baking Tip 8: Learn how to make cupcakes and more in mason jars! They’re another great way to present gifts and you can personalize the outside with ribbons, tags and anything your heart desires! Not to mention no cleanup after baking!
Baking Tip 9: Don’t fret if you don’t want to make goods from scratch! Store bought or pre-made gifts can be personalized so that the recipient would never know that you didn’t do the heavy lifting. Try adding special toppers that are unique, such as Harbor Sweets Sweet Sloops Ice Cream Topper, or fancy sprinkles. You could even buy extra of your toppings and gift them some of their own to have fun with!
Baking Tip 10: Have fun! Find a style that works best for you and embrace it. If your skills aren’t with homemade from scratch items, buy pre made and personalize. You could also wrap it and present it in a fun way. Just don’t get carried away in the stress, this should be enjoyable after all!
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me anytime firstname.lastname@example.org.
To full plates and eating your tarte out.
About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at email@example.com.