5 Steps to Simplify Holiday Baking

It’s Christmas time!

The holidays are full swing in my house because I am actually a Christmas elf. I watch all the holiday baking shows, I convinced my boyfriend he needed a tree and decorated it three weeks ago, I’ve watched Elf twice (and I’ll watch it at least two more times still) and tomorrow is baking day!

Holiday Baking

Every year at work we do a cookie exchange. I like to keep it simple because I don’t want to get stressed out about making something fancy and have it turn out like shit. Also, my boyfriends family isn’t really into baking so I took it upon myself to do extra for them. He has a serious chocolate addiction so I added a couple more things to my baking list.

I’m a fan of gifting food to friends and family so with everything together I have a pretty long list of things to make tomorrow.

I really do like baking but it can become chaotic and stressful, even if you’re only making one thing. Over the years I’ve come up with a few things that simplify the day and make it an enjoyable experience.

5 Steps to Simplify Holiday Baking

  • First and foremost, make yourself a cup of tea (or pour a glass of wine cause it’s the holidays!) Holiday baking is a happy time so you want to make sure you’re ready!  Extra points if you wear festive pj’s and slippers.
  • Clear everything you don’t need off the counters. Get rid of the clutter! It makes less space to spread out and is visually distracting. When you have a clear space to work you’re more efficient and organized.
  • Get out every ingredient and every measuring tool you need. Before you start anything get out everything! If you don’t need a 1/4 cup or 1/2 teaspoon, leave them in the drawers. Read through the recipe three times to make sure you have everything out. This also keeps you from forgetting a step or scrambling because you thought you had an ingredient but you don’t.
  • Put away everything once you’re done with it. When you’re done with the vanilla put it away. Same thing with the baking soda, flour and chocolate chips (but sneak a few for yourself first!) This keeps the clutter down and the organization up.
  • Clean up as you go and wash your dishes when you’re done. If you spill flour all over the counter, wipe it up right then! Put your eggs shells directly into the compost bin. Once everything is in the oven start your dishes. If you leave them they’ll sit in the sink forever.
  • Bonus tip! Turn up the music and recruit a friend or family member that will make sure there’s lots of laughs and fun!

Want to know the major mess up I did over the weekend? I thought the prepackaged squares of margarine were 1/4 cup, but the label actually read 1/4 pound which is 1/2 a cup. I used twice as much margarine as I was supposed to! The cookies flattened out and turned into cookie pizza but they still tasted delicious!

These are the recipes I plan on making: Peppermint Bark, Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Shortbread, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Covered Marshmallows, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, and Holly Jolly Jello Shots!

The most important thing is to have fun and remember that the holidays are about spending time with the people you love!

Photo Credit: Dan

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