It happens to the best of us. As the holiday season approaches, you may find your cooking and baking schedule fills up really quickly! If you are looking to save time, money and effort, start out by picking the right recipes for your holiday baking.
When preparing for holiday meals, you want to ensure that you make something for everyone, so that everyone has fond memories of the wonderful food, the smells, and the joy. But, you also want to make sure that you choose recipes that make it easier to get the baking done. When picking recipes, keep the following tips in mind to make the holiday baking so much more enjoyable.
1. Make Items That Are Freezable
If you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and freeze the results without spoiling, consider the recipe a winner. If you can freeze the entire finished product all the better, although just having the ingredients ready is a boon. Freezing will help a lot with ensuring that you have enough time to make the holiday baked items your family enjoys.
2. Make Baked Goods with Similar Ingredients
A lot of people do not realise that most baked goods actually have very similar ingredients. The amounts may vary and are mixed in different ways. You know you’re going to need sugar, butter, flour and then a variety of different spices and additions to make each recipe complete.
3. Revisit Baking Memories from the Past
Gingerbread, sugar cookies, bread pudding and fudge might come to mind. If you have a childhood favourite, don’t skip it. It’s always great to share those things with your children. It is part of the wonderful traditions that make up the holidays.
4. 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 that is special to them, try to accommodate them if they’re coming to your house at any point through the holidays.
5. 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 ensure that absolutely no nuts are anywhere to be found. Check with them just how sensitive they are; in some extreme cases people can have an allergic reaction to nut oil even after you have washed all of the utensils and your hands!
6. Consider Food Preferences
Do you have someone who has a dietary preference who is going to be around for the holidays? If you do, try to 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 find that everyone can enjoy that item, not just the one with the dietary need.
7. Make Items That Consider Your Limitations
We all have issues that prevent us from being the perfect “Delia Smith” or “Gordon Ramsey”, 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. As long as the flavours are there and you get to experience the joy of baking with your family, they’ll love it. You can even enhance the store bought dough with an addition or two of your own.
And there you have it!
If you follow these simple tips you will have a less stressful holiday and have more time to spend with your family and friends. Don’t worry; you can get it all done if you’re prepared, organized, and create a holiday baking schedule.
Creating your schedule 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.
How you go about preparing for the gathering is up to you and depends greatly on the time and space you have available.