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Old 10-04-2005, 10:55 PM   #1
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Holiday BAKING Tips

Now for the holiday baking tips. Feel free to add how you get through the best baking season of the year. Post ideas here that will help fellow bakers.

Please don't post recipes on this thread, but just ideas and tips to help streamline our holiday baking.

One of the dilemmas I go through every year is how to bake about 5 different kinds of cookies/bars/muffins, etc. effectively to give them all away on the same day.

Oh, if anyone has any packing or box decoration ideas, that would be great as well!


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Old 10-04-2005, 11:35 PM   #2
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I said this on another thread, but there are cookies such as chocolate chip that the dough freezes well. Make it now, shape into logs, wrap well and freeze. When ready to bake, thaw enough to slice (easier to make thicker slices and cut them into quarters than make thin slices, plus the "chunks" will bake similarly to a cookie that has been dropped). Unbaked dough takes less space in the freezer. My sister and I bake sugar cakes a week or 2 after Thanksgiving and freeze until needed. because they are a softer cookie and if the batter is frozen, the cookies taste ok, but don't rise properly and look funky. Also have plenty of cookie sheets so you can keep cookies baking constantly without having to wait for cookie sheets to cool. For the same reason have plenty of cooling racks ready. I put them on newspaper to catch the crumbs so all I have to do is roll up the newspaper and throw it out. A helper to help with the actual baking helps keep things moving.

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.--unknown, at least to me
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:29 AM   #3
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Get a group of friends together and do a cookie exchange. That way you only have to bake one type and end up with a bunch of cool stuff that you don't normally bake yourself!
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:48 AM   #4
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Alix said it perfectly. We did an exchange a couple of years ago. Using cheap disposible plastic containers, we grouped a dozen cookies with the recipe and exchanged with six people so we ended up with 6 dozen cookies. It's much easier to make a large batch of one kind of cookie.

A cookie decorating party can be fun to. Invite over people for the afternoon or an evening to get cookies decorated. :)
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:58 AM   #5
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If you plan to do the baking ahead of time, I think Christmas Stollen, an absolutely delicious Christmas cake from Germany, is a perfect idea!! This is what I will try this year... I had this cake before and it is soooo sinfully wonderful, but I never knew it could be made so much ahead of time... I got lots of great advice from Iris/Florida girl on Stollen, and this is what she said....

"the Stollen gets better the longer it has time to develop all the flavors.
And you can keep it wrapped in plastic foil up to 10 weeks. (store it in a coll place but not in the refridgerator) ( it has to be a stollen like this, with lots of butter in it etc., in Germany we call it "heavy"; then you can keep it that long!) Best time to start baking your Christstollen would be end of november, beginning of december, so that is enough time 'til christmas. But if you like to eat your first piece of Stollen at 1. Advent you definately should start earlier ;-)))))))))"

For those who are interested, okay Alix did not want the recipe here so I will just give you the link... it is highly recommended!!

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Old 10-05-2005, 12:31 PM   #6
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My 3 sister, a niece and I, get together about the 1st week of December and all bring our favorite candie, cookies or whatever recipes and make a day of baking. It's fun and we get all kinds of stuff to take home to our families. I have my usuals, but, I also like to try new things too.
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:28 AM   #7
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A lot of quick breads - banana, pumpkin, cranberry, etc. can be made ahead and frozen. And they're cute as presents if you make them in the mini pans.

For packaging, it depends on who it's going to; if mailing, or for someone who won't be diving into them right away, I use tins that I pick up during the year at yard sales, Tuesday Morning, etc. If it's for a group of folks (office, or doctors, teachers, etc.), I just get the cheap plastic party plates in different sizes. The Dollar Stores are great places to shop for things like this! A little clear plastic and pretty ribbon makes it a nice package.

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