If the thought of preparing and baking Christmas cookies makes you want to scream, this is the post for you. Baking cookies is a family tradition (more Christmas traditions here), so I have been baking cookies every year since I can remember. I have made more cookie mistakes than I can count. However, I have learned a few tips and tricks that make my holiday cookie baking easier. Happy baking!
Compile your list:
Have some standard favorites? I typically have a few standards, but I always like to experiment with new recipes. Whatever your style, planning is key. You can grab some inspiration on Pinterest and create a board with your favorites. Not sure where to begin? Think about some of the flavors you would like to taste in your cookies. I also like to make sure there are a variety of types and flavors on my list so that there is something for everyone.
Once you have your list of potential cookies, take the time to skim through the recipe! I can not tell you how many times I put a recipe on my list, only to find out that the recipe was incredibly labor intensive. Most times I realized this while I was midway through the preparation. Not fun. Now, I spend the time to look over both the ingredients and the steps so that I know just what I am getting into. Recipes with ingredients that are difficult to find don’t make the cut. If I see candy thermometers and stove top directions, I know it’s not the cookie for me. Thinking about making a cake instead? Read my post about cakes here.
Buy ingredients in bulk:
I tend to make a master list with all of the necessary ingredients because there is always some crossover. Items like butter, sugar and flour are pretty much standards in any cookie recipe. I tend to buy those things in bulk at either BJ’s or Costco since it is much more economical. I also don’t have to make a zillion trips to the store in order to restock my stash.
One Batch at a Time:
Before kids, I used to spend hours upon hours prepping and baking multiple batches of cookies on the same day. With a full-time job and a sixe year old, that doesn’t quite work. These days, I double or triple a single recipe and work on just that one recipe. Since I make anywhere from 5-12 different kinds of cookies, I’ve learned that baking multiple batches at the same time can make for hectic prep. Working on a single recipe allows me to accomplish more in a smaller amount of time.
Freeze and Bake:
Freezing unbaked cookie dough is my secret weapon. Once I have all my cookie dough made for each batch, I simply freeze it in Ziploc bags and bake as needed. There are so many benefits to freezing unbaked dough! Since I can bake whenever I need them, I don’t have to bake them too close to the holiday. I don’t have to worry about storing or preserving cookies and I can avoid sneaking too many before Christmas. To save time, I label my freezer bags with the oven temp, cook time and name of cookie. When I pull out a few for baking, I don’t have to go back and find the recipe! Although most cookies freeze well, please check your recipe for specific information about your cookie of choice.
Holiday baking can be a tradition that the whole family can enjoy. The key is prepping and planning for a fun and delicious experience. Listed below are some of my favorite cookie recipes! I would love to hear what you are making this season.