Every holiday season it happens. We head to the kitchen to bake, armed with ingredients, cookbooks, and determination. We bake all kinds of goodies. Some are traditions we simply refuse to skip. Other times we itch to try a new holiday recipe.
But have you ever stopped to think how many of those holiday treats go to waste? How many times have you tossed out a tray of Christmas cookies because you simply could not eat any more goodies?
One way to save time, money and effort is to start out by picking the perfect recipes for your holiday baking.
Focusing on recipes you know will get savored and eaten, ensures that your time in the kitchen and your investment in ingredients won’t be wasted. When you pick the right holiday recipes, it makes holiday baking so much more enjoyable.
How to Pick the Perfect Recipes for Your Holiday Baking
Make items that are freezable.
If you can make it ahead and freeze it and still get a good result, consider the recipe a winner. It doesn’t matter if you can freeze the entire finished product, or just the dough – freezing will help tremendously with ensuring that you have enough time to make the holiday baked items your family enjoys.
Make baked goods with similar ingredients.
Most baked goods actually do have very similar ingredients, just in different amounts, 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. When you bake items with similar ingredients, your shopping list will be shorter and you can buy in bulk to save money.
Revisit baking memories from the past.
Gingerbread, sugar cookies, bread pudding and fudge might come to mind. If you have a childhood favorite, 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.
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 spritz cookies. 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. You’ll make them happy and it will make you happy to see your hard work get eaten!
Consider any food allergies and dietary needs.
If you have family and friends with food allergies, be sure to make a note of them. For example, if someone is seriously allergic to nuts and they are coming to your house for a holiday dinner, you should make sure that absolutely no nuts are anywhere to be found. Safety should always come before your own personal tastes.
Consider food preferences and dietary needs.
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.
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. As long as the flavors are there and you get to experience the joy of baking with your family, they’ll love it.
The holiday season is a busy time of year, and it’s important that you do what you can afford, both with your time and your money. Spend some time picking the perfect holiday recipes for your family and you’ll make sure the season will be so much more enjoyable.