Baking holiday recipe is a wonderful way to give gifts from the heart. By choosing tried and true Christmas cookie recipes, stocking your pantry well in advance, and giving yourself time to actually bake, you’ll be well on your way to a low-stress holiday season.
Plan A Baking Menu
The first step in getting organized is to plan which recipes you’d like to use. Be sure to choose tried and true holiday recipe, or leave yourself plenty of time to test recipes in advance. Recipes from friends or family members can add variety. Many internet sites also feature well-reviewed Christmas cookie recipes. Keep in mind how much time you want to spend baking, and whether or not your holiday baking can be frozen– starting early and freezing the results can make for a less stressful holiday season.
Choosing Holiday Cookie Recipes
Consider whether your holiday baking will be mailed– in this case, a delicate cookie may not be the best option. Allergies and dietary restrictions can also be a factor in choosing recipes. When giving Christmas cookies or baked goods as gifts consider what cookies make a pleasing visual assortment.
Stock Up For Christmas Baking
Plan to purchase new pantry staples, such as baking powder, flour, and baking soda. Fresh ingredients will yield the best results. Check to see if you have enough containers to store the finished product– if not, the dollar store often has a selection of resealable containers for a good price. Other staples like nuts and chocolate can be expensive–watch for sales and fill your freezer to be prepared.
Consider A Cookie Swap
A cookie swap is a great way to spend time with friends, find new holiday baking recipes, and cut down on the time you spend doing holiday baking. For a cookie swap, each guest brings cookies they’ve baked (the exact number depends on how many guests will be in attendance). Each guest receives cookies that they can serve at their own holiday parties– the more guests in attendance, the greater variety of cookies! This can be a great time to relax and get together before the holiday rush begins.
Mailing Holiday Baking As Gifts
Be sure to check with your local post office for mailing deadlines. Choose recipes that are hardy and will travel well. Cookies that require refrigeration are not recommended for mailing, nor are cookies with a custard or jam filling. Sturdier cookies like biscotti, or chewy cookies like chocolate chip tend to be hardier and survive mailing with flavour (and cookies) intact. Bars like brownies or blondies can also be good candidates for mailing, as long as they are wrapped well in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
Packaging Holiday Baking To Give In Person
Packaging holiday baking gifts can be as simply elegant or as wildly creative as you choose. Dollar stores and craft stores will have plenty of supplies to inspire you. Cookies can be wrapped in coloured cellophane, nestled in tins or boxes, or given in mugs with gourmet hot chocolate on the side.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!