Cookies: How To Organize Your Christmas Baking Without Going Crazy
Enjoy the fun times of homemade holiday baking by planning ahead of time to create delicious Christmas cookie gifts and involve children in the festivities!
By Patty Gale
There is nothing more comforting than the smell of Christmas cookies
fresh out of the oven.
As a little girl, I remember eagerly watching my mom, as she would carefully remove the hot cookie sheets from the oven. I couldn't wait to help decorate with the homemade frosting, the cinnamon candies and the multi-colored sprinkles that would make each cookie design come to life.
Those were different times then. Mom didn't work outside the home and family lives weren't as hectic as they are today.
Today, it seems like there is a mad rush from Halloween to Christmas Day and little time to simply enjoy the moments shared.
You can enjoy the fun times of homemade holiday baking by planning ahead of time.
Christmas cookies make delicious, thoughtful gifts and are a great way to involve children in the festivities.
First, let's look at the calendar and start planning with enough time.
The first thing is to decide if you are going to bake holiday cookies for home, for entertaining or if you are going to be giving them as gifts and how many. Allow yourself plenty of time to start getting things together. Late October isn't too early.
Next, let's decide how many varieties of cookies to bake. A variety is nice, but too many can be overwhelming. I like to bake three to four different types of cookies. This way, I can make larger dough batches ahead of time, and still have a nice display.
Once you've decided how many different kinds you are going to bake, the next thing to do is pick your recipes. Whether you use your own Christmas cookie book or find recipes on the web, make a copy of each so that you can keep them all together. This makes it simpler than flipping around from the various cookbooks and will also help to make sure your cookbooks don't get soiled, either.
Now it's time to gather your ingredient list. Determine how many cookies you want to make of each recipe and then adjust your ingredients accordingly. Make one list of all ingredients, so that shopping can be done in one trip without forgetting important items.
Let's review the recipes to see if there is any dough that can be made and frozen ahead of time. This will be a huge time-saver as later on, you will simply be able to defrost the dough, bake and decorate. Since you have all already shopped for the ingredients, set aside an hour or so to mix the dough recipes.
Let's get out that calendar again and pick a time to set aside for the actual baking. Since we've already prepared the dough, all we need to do is organize our decorations. It's best to just do one type of cookie at a time, this way you won't have to go back and forth between cookies.
Whether it's during the week or on the weekend, clear off everything else from that day except for your baking. This way, you're not rushed and can simply enjoy the day. If you will be involving children, this is a great time to just enjoy very special moments together.
These special times come once a year and sometimes once in a lifetime. Christmas baking is a memorable tradition that you can start with your family.
Patty Gale is a successful entrepreneur who specializes in personalization and customer care for all of her clients. She exchanged her suits, hose and heels to work from home in her "jammies" and is on a mission to empower others to do the same. She can be reached at Gingerbread-Goodies.com