Friday, December 18, 2009

Headache Free Holiday Baking--Tip 1--Divide and Conquer

In yesterday's post, I discussed some of the tricks I've learned over the years to keep holiday baking fun and not overwhelming. In this series of posts, I'm going to show how we applied each of those tips to this year's baking extravaganza. First up, tip one:

Divide and Conquer

My baking buddy is my hubby. His mother taught him how to bake exotic things like pies and he won my college roomie over with homemade cookies when he first came over to study so his love of baking was secured before he ever met me. The important thing here is that he likes to bake. (Nothing will take the joy out of holiday baking faster than a Grinch in the kitchen so it's key that your buddy enjoy the process as much as you do.) We also have a lot of fun talking about anything and everything, which makes the time pass easily.

Finky Hubby

Having a second pair of hands lets you do things like:
  • Make up two batches of dough at once
  • Have one person prepping and one person putting things into/out of the oven
  • Get a head start on dishes while you are still baking (a must if you only have a few bowls or pans)
  • Negotiate out of (or at least share) the less fun tasks (like stirring chocolate ad infinitum)
Aside from all that, it's a great time to bond and talk and generally create some of that holiday spirit. : )

If you can't get two people in the kitchen at the same time, consider doing a cookie exchange, where you bake up X+1 dozen of your favorite treats and then swap with X other people. In the end, you only have to make one recipe, but you have a lovely assortment of cookies to gift. In most cookie exchanges, people also include the recipes and tips so you can make them again later / next year if you are so inclined.

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