Overwhelmed with Holiday preparations? I get especially stressed when it comes to baking cookies. I want my cookies to be as fresh as possible on delivery day. I mean, who wants five day old cookies? As a result, I want cookie baking to occur on December 23rd & 24th. But honestly, I do not think there could possibly be a worse time to be trapped in my kitchen. I posted this stress-reducing tip on our Facebook page yesterday and thought to myself, “Am I the first person to think of this? Why have I never seen this tip anywhere else before?” This told me it was worthy of a blog post. So here it is: how to make homemade holiday cookies in half the time!
And this is something you can do WHENEVER you have some time … as much as 2-3 weeks in advance.
- Gather all your recipes for all the goodies you want to bake.
- Read them carefully, make sure you have all the ingredients and that you understand the instructions.
- Get some baggies (or airtight containers with lids) and a marker.
- Line up all the dry ingredients that all your recipes collectively call for. This includes nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, sugars (white, light brown & dark brown), flours, baking soda & powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. If it is a dry ingredient that doesn’t need refrigerated, then it counts.
- Get your measuring cups and spoons. (You see where this is going, right?)
- One at a time, review each recipe and create premeasured baggies of just the right amount of the right dry ingredients based on the how the recipe is written. Usually, with cookies, you mix and set aside flour, salt, and baking soda and/or baking power. Get a baggie, label it with the name of the recipe and then measure and mix those “first stage ingredients.”
- Look at the next stage of the recipe. Usually, you will cream the butter, vanilla, and egg (which is a step you skip until it is really time to bake) and then mix in the sugars. Make a baggie for just the sugars.
- If your recipe calls for cinnamon or other spice, you need to check the recipe to see when it should go in. Does it go in with the flour? Or the sugars? Put it in the right baggie.
- Now make a baggie for the chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, oatmeal, etc. that your recipes call for in its final stage.
- Put all the baggies together with the recipes and set them aside until your baking day.
- On your baking day, get out your mixer, cookie sheets, eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, etc. …. and all the baggies. But you will NOT need to drag out any of the dry ingredients. You already have them all premeasured and ready to go in the batter when the recipe calls for them.
- Then just follow the recipes. When it is time for a dry ingredient or combination of dry ingredients, just grab the right baggie and dump it in.
I find this trick cuts my baking and clean up time in half on baking day because a lot of the work is already done. I am always game for homemade holiday cookies in half the time. What time-saving and/or stress-reducing kitchen tricks have you got to share?