Holiday Baking Guide
Christmas is all about family coming together to enjoy each other’s company and some great food! It’s important not to forget about what some dub the most important course of all… dessert! Today, we’ll share our holiday baking guide, which includes all our favorite tips and tricks to ensure that 2018 is the best year for holiday sweet treats yet!
First things first: preparation. Comb through all those cookbooks on your shelf for your favorite tried-and-true holiday favorites, or research something new you want to try from Pinterest. Once you have all your recipes in one place, make a master list of all the ingredients you’ll need (plus any special equipment.)
Next, survey your fridge and cabinets to see what you already have and what you’ll need. Make sure you check expiration dates so there’s no last-minute surprises, especially if you don’t bake often. You’ll make your grocery list from this.
In terms of baking equipment, figure out any gaps you may have. Only own one cookie sheet? Don’t have a mixer? Rather than run out to buy a bunch of stuff you may not use again until next Christmas, consider asking around and borrowing anything that is missing. This is a great way to get to know those neighbors on your Briar Hill floor!
Insider Tip: Rather than head to your Downtown neighborhood grocery store for 7 cartons of eggs that have a high probability of cracking on your way home, why not utilize one of the grocery delivery services NYC is so famous for? You can place online orders through sites such as FreshDirect and Instacart directly from your computer, and they’ll deliver it to your Glenwood home on the date and time of your choosing. This also saves loads of time that would otherwise be spent trying to dodge other New Yorkers in tight grocery store aisles, or waiting in those long, snaking lines that go all the way around the store.
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Set A Date
Once you have all your baking supplies, check your calendar for when the magical bake off will happen! If you’re planning to go all out, baking can easily eat up the better part of a day, so figure out if you want to clear off a weekend day, or perhaps jet out of work exactly at 5pm one night and bake late into the evening. Once you have the date and time, set it on your schedule with the importance of a doctor’s appointment, or else there’s a great chance those treats won’t get made before Christmas Eve!
Insider Tip: Baking is one of those holiday tasks that is often more fun done with other people. If you have kids, make this a family event and get everyone involved. Or, invite friends over to bake with you! Not only does this ensure that you’ll get to hang out before the holiday season is over, but it may just become your favorite new tradition! Pump those holiday tunes and get to baking!
Wrap Them Up
Once the gingerbread is frosted and the peanut butter balls perfectly chilled, it’s time to start packaging. Of course, you’ll want to leave a selection for yourself and your own family to enjoy (we suggest setting these aside first), but half the fun of baking is to share the bounty with other people. Again, make a list of everyone you want to share your goodies with. A good place to start? Your doorman, hair stylist, children’s teachers, co-workers, and personal trainer (hey, it’s the holidays!). Then, load up on cute Christmas-themed tins of various sizes (we adore the ones currently at Flying Tiger, with locations on the Westside and Upper East Side, that are priced perfectly). Or, if you prefer to avoid purchasing anything extra, just use what you have on hand to wrap them up: wax paper and baker’s twine. Simply attach a sweet note on top and voila! Baked goods are ready to go.
Insider Tip: For an extra personal touch, write out the recipe of one of the goodies you are handing out, and attach it to the sweets. You may just pass along the baking itch to all your friends and family, too, and be rewarded with desserts of your own next year!
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If you’re looking for inspiration on what to bake this season, here’s a few of our favorite baking sites to get your started. Real Simple specializes in super simple holiday cookies and candies, Health has healthy holiday desserts down to a science, Minimalist Baker rocks the vegan holiday desserts, and Food & Wine takes the cake for gluten free holiday desserts.