Holiday Baking Tips & Tricks

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This is the perfect time to get baking. Check out these tips and tricks for success before you get started.

Holiday Baking Tips and Tricks | Good Cheap Eats

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Are you ready for the holiday baking season? Over the last two weeks I’ve been thinking about what we’re going to bake this year and gearing myself to plug the big freezer back in. (We emptied it and unplugged it before we left for a month in France.)

Having holiday baked goods on hand is one of the highlights of the season for us. This year will be the first year that most of the kids could tackle some tasks independently — and my sister has strongly encouraged me to do so. This could get interesting!

If you’re looking to do some holiday baking, consider these recent (and not so recent) posts I’ve pulled together:

Bake someone happy.

Download this Holiday Baking Checklist so that you can easily take inventory of your baking cupboard and easy refill your stock with holiday sale items.

While November is pie month for me, December just screams cookies. Check out these 8 Steps to Better Cookie Baking.

Are you measuring your flour wrong? My baking has been streamlined tremendously since I started using a food scale. Don’t have one? That’s okay. Just be sure that you measure flour properly.

Holiday Baking Tips and Tricks - This is the perfect time to get baking. Check out these tips and tricks for success before you get started.

Fill the freezer.

This FREE printable freezer baking plan is a great one. I’ve followed it several years in a row and it’s set us up for success. It provides grocery lists and step by step instructions for filling your freezer with all kinds of yummy baked goods.

Not sure how to adapt your own recipes for freezing? Grab this Cheat Sheet for Freezing Holiday Baked Goods.

Check out some of our favorite Baked Goods to Make Ahead and Freeze as well as which flours you should stock up on to maximize texture and flavor in your baking.

Keep calm and mix on.

Don’t feel bad if you use boxed mixes and commercially-prepared cakes. Add your own homemade touches with these easy recipes:

What’s YOUR favorite thing to bake at the holidays?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Janet says

    I agree about pies for Thanksgiving and cookies for Christmas. We also make candy for Christmas. Our favorite candies include peppermint bark, peanut butter bark, fudge, divinity, peanut brittle, and anise candy.

    • That’s a lot of bark! I’ve yet to perfect peppermint bark. Got a good recipe?

      • Janet says

        Yes, it is a lot of bark, but we have a house full of company and it is always gone by January 1st. I modified a recipe I found online and it is very easy. The online recipes usually call for a teaspoon of peppermint extract. I find you do not need it (the candy adds plenty of mint flavor) and I have had my chocolate seize up on me when adding it once too often to try it again.

        Peppermint Bark Candy

        12 oz. chocolate chips
        12 oz. white chocolate (I find the Wilton Melting chocolates work very well)
        ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies

        Line a baking sheet and butter the foil
        Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave
        Pour the melted chocolate onto the foil
        Using a rubber spatula or an offset spatula spread the chocolate out until it is about 1/3″ thick
        Melt the white chocolate in the microwave
        Pour the melted white chocolate on top of the darker chocolate- trying to make the layers the same thickness. (It is best to do this step while the dark chocolate is still very soft)
        Sprinkle the crush peppermints on top of the white chocolate
        Let the chocolates harden in the refrigerator or freezer, then break the candy into pieces
        Keep cold until ready to eat

        The Peanut Butter Bark is even easier.

        Peanut Butter Bark Candy

        12 oz. white chocolate
        1 cup smooth peanut butter
        ¼ to ½ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

        Line a baking sheet and butter the foil
        Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave until smooth and well mixed
        Pour the mixture on the foil and
        Using a rubber spatula spread out until it is about 1/3″ to 1/2″ thick
        Sprinkle the semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top
        Let harden in the refrigerator or freezer, then break the candy into pieces.
        Keep cold until ready to eat

        One of the kids next door to us saw this candy and dubbed it Leopard Bark because the chocolate chips looked liked spots.

  2. Rhian says

    The traybake in the main photograph looks delicious. Please can you share the recipe?!

  3. Rhian says

    Brilliant! Traybake is English then and I didn’t even know it!??

    • Yes. We’d call them bar cookies if they are sweet. But you have savory traybakes, too, right? We might say casserole or sheet pan supper, I think.

      • Rhian says

        Quiche if it’s pastry with an egg mixture on top, casserole is more meat and vegetables in a large lidded dish

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