One way to save time, money and effort is to start out by picking the right recipes for your holiday baking. You want to ensure that you make something for everyone so that everyone has fond memories of fantastic food, delectable aromas, and joyful times. But, you also want to make sure that you choose recipes that make it easier to get the baking done. Picking recipes with all these things in mind will make your holiday baking more enjoyable.
Holiday Baking Tips
Make Items That Are Freezable
If you can make a recipe ahead, freeze it and still get a good result, then you have a winner. It doesn’t matter if you can freeze the entire finished product, or just the dough. Freezing will help tremendously with your time management. Here’s my freezing cookie dough post.
Make Baked Goods with Similar Ingredients
Most baked goods do have very similar ingredients, just in different amounts and mixed in different ways. Here’s what I mean. You know that you’re going to need sugar, butter, flour and then a variety of various spices and additions to make each recipe. So, organize your baking around common ingredients to simplify your life.
Revisit Baking Memories from the Past
Do gingerbread, sugar cookies, bread pudding or fudge bring happy memories to mind? If you have a childhood favorite, don’t skip it. It’s always great to share those things with your children or friends. It is part of the beautiful traditions that make the holidays special.
Ask Your Family and Friends What They Want
Everyone has something that makes the holiday for them. For some it’s pumpkin pie, for others, it’s their grandma’s apple pie. Whatever it is, the treat or dish is special to them and try to accommodate them if they’re coming to your house during the holidays. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Consider Any Allergies
If you have family and friends with allergies, be sure to find out what is seriously an issue for them. For example, if someone is seriously allergic to nuts and they are coming to your house for a holiday dinner, you probably want to make sure that there no nuts around in dishes and trays.
Consider Food Preferences
Will any of your holiday guests have a dietary preference? If yes, then make at least one baked item they can enjoy. For example, if you have someone who is on Weight Watchers®, you can go to their website and find recipes that fit their diet. Perhaps your aunt is a vegan; find some recipes online that are vegan. Taking the extra time to include them won’t be that difficult, and you might discover that everyone will enjoy that item, not just the one with the dietary need.
Make Items That Consider Your Limitations
We all have issues that prevent us from being the perfect Betty Crocker, but don’t let that stop you. If you only have so much time or space, no one is ever really going to mind that your sugar cookies were store bought from the refrigerator section, or that you made bread from a box. Who cares? What matters is that you get to experience the joy of baking for family and friends. They’ll love it. I think our desire for perfection gets in our way of just doing it.
Relax and don’t worry. You can get it all done if you’re prepared, organized, and create a holiday baking schedule. Creating your plan will depend on how much time you have left before the holidays and which holidays you’ll be responsible for in your home. You can do a lot of baking in one day, freeze, and thaw later. Or, you can do some baking each night until you’ve filled your freezer. Alternatively, you can do it all day before. It’s up to you, and it depends on the time and space you have available.