It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Snow dances down from the heavens, peppermint and pine scent the air, and jolly carols play wherever you go. It’s also the time for holiday baking and cookies covering every surface of your kitchen counter. Delicious as all these holiday treats are, baking is very time-consuming.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that there’s still joy infused into this holiday tradition, rather than being overwhelmed by the need to bake and bake and bake. Here are some of our top tips for holiday baking to help you get the most out of the holidays!
#1. Practice, Practice, Practice
If you can start baking sooner rather than later, this gives you the time to make some test batches. Taste-testing these practice batches allows you to fine-tune your baking for the tastiest possible treats. Plus, holiday baking takes a while, but the resulting treats are gone in the blink of an eye. Practicing also gives you and your loved ones more goodies to try before the real holidays roll around.
#2. Prepare Thyself
While cooking is an art and something that you can really experiment and have fun with, baking is more of a science. A measurement that is off or a batter that is over-mixed can impact the end result. Hone your skills by attending a cooking class or two.
If you’re a scratch-baking beginner, we actually have an ongoing blog series of tips and tricks to help you out! To learn more about how to better prepare yourself for success in holiday baking, check out the following blogs:
- 3 Essential Tips For Scratch Baking For Beginners
- Essential Tips For Scratch Baking Beginners: Part 2
- Essential Tips For Scratch Baking Beginners: Part 3
To give you the general gist of those articles: ensure that you have everything that you need prior to getting started and follow the recipe to a T. The more organized you are and the more careful you are to follow the instructions, the more likely it is that your holiday treats will turn out well!
Another way you can prepare yourself is by making some goodies in advance! Check out our previous blog, How Far In Advance Should You Start Holiday Baking? 6 Helpful Tips For Storing Cookies, to learn more.
#3. Ensure That Your Ingredients Are Fresh
How long exactly has that flour been sitting in your cupboard? While some dishes, like casseroles, are great for tossing together random ingredients that you want to use up before they go bad, when it comes to holiday baking, you want to ensure that your ingredients are fresh. The fresher the ingredients, the tastier the treats.
It’s good to be aware of the shelf-life of baking basics.
- Flour’s shelf life depends on the type of flour that you have. Wheat flour usually lasts about 6 months when unopened. White flour can last up to a year. To help your flour last longer, refrigerate it.
- Sugar can last you up to 2 years before it is recommended that you dispose of it.
- Baking soda can last up to 3 years unopened, and up to 6 months after opening.
- Baking powder can last up to 18 months unopened, and up to 6 months after opening.
Keep an eye on the expiration dates. Remember that depending on your environmental conditions, some ingredients may vary in how long they last before they expire. How you store them impacts how long they remain fresh too. If you’re unsure of whether or not the ingredients are still good, it’s best not to risk it.
#4. Mind The Decorations
One of the best parts of holiday baking is decorating your treats festively. Be careful with this, though. Not all decorations that can be used on food are edible. There’s a difference between something that is food-safe, which means that it can safely come into contact with food, and something that is safe to eat.
It can be confusing trying to figure out what decorations are actually edible. A tip for you: if the decoration is edible, it should say so on the packaging. If it does not and only sayings something like “food-safe” or “nontoxic”, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume that it will make your treats look pretty, but that it isn’t safe to eat.
#5. Make It A Family Affair
Bring magic and new traditions to the holiday season by getting your loved ones involved in holiday baking. Many people enjoy decorating sugar cookies and the like. Holiday baking together is a wonderful way to form memories together and to start new traditions you can continue to enjoy for years to come.
Remember: holiday baking is supposed to be fun! If you find yourself getting overwhelmed and stressed, there’s no shame in using box mixes or picking up a box of cookies from your local grocery store or bakery.
Quality Baking Ingredients And Equipment For Your Holiday Baking
Kitchen Kneads is here to provide you with the quality equipment and ingredients you need for your holiday baking. Click through our site or stop by our store in Ogden, UT, and let us help you bring tasty magic to the holiday season.
Contact us with any questions you may have about our products or services!