Guest Author - Aimee K. Wood
With so much going on this holiday season, it is helpful to know you can simplify certain festivities without sacrificing anything. Baking can be fun and simple, if you go basic and recall the holidays from your childhood. One of my first memories is baking cookies with my Grandma. What is important to know; I do not remember it being complicated or hard. In fact, our family is getting ready to celebrate our 15th annual cookie party. I know for certain that no one spends too much time baking; the importance is placed on making memories and spending time together. I will also touch on fun easy packaging of cookies to send to loved ones. This article should get you on track to baking simply in no time.
-Start with baking bar cookies. Sometimes you are in a rush and do not want to spend time cutting cookies out or individually rolling them. When that is the case, bar cookies are the answer. In no time at all, you can whip up a few pans, put them in the oven and be done in a little over an hour. Snicker doodles or lemon bars are a few ideas that come to mind. Blonde brownies, regular brownies, and even standard chocolate chip cookies can be made into bar cookies.
-Get ready to dip! I love dipping everything in chocolate; it is one of my weaknesses. Get creative. Last year I took crushed candy canes and mixed together melted white chocolate and made festive candy cane bark. You can dip uncrushed candy canes, pretzels, nuts, and even fruit. Here is a recipe for dipping candy canes:
Dipping Candy Canes:
Needed: Package of candy canes, white or regular chocolate (your favorite kind), and sprinkles. Melt the chocolate of your choosing on a double boiler or in a bowl that is over another bowl of warm water. Carefully dip candy canes and place on parchment paper to rest for five minutes. After the candy canes have rested for five minutes, dip the chocolate end in sprinkles. Lay the candy canes back on parchment paper and let dry.
-Cut out cookies are a classic cookie to bake. Enlist the help of the children in your life. Whether it is your own, grandchildren, neighborhood kids, nieces, nephews, etc., kids put the special touches on these cookies. Get your favorite simple recipe and start rolling! Get creative and get some decorative details such as candies, frosting, etc. Children just love baking these cookies and will be a lot of help, guaranteed! Make sure you are having fun and making memories!
-Drop out cookies are a simple cookie. Cookies that you simply drop onto the cookie sheet are easy. For example, chocolate chip drops, chocolate drops, and thumbprint cookies are not that difficult and are certainly yummy to eat.
Once you have all of these yummy desserts made, youíll want to send them to loved ones near and far. Go to your local craft store and you are sure to find interesting boxes, bags, tags, and bows to festively decorate your cookies with as little muss and fuss as possible. Look for these items in particular:
-Chinese food packages.
Often found in the birthday aisle, these little containers can hold about a dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie. Look for festive colors such as red, green, blue, silver, and gold.
Boxes that bakers put donuts and pastries in are usually found at craft stores as well. Usually these boxes are white so you will want to draw a fun scene on it or tie bows and ribbons on them.
Placing festive tissue paper on the bottom of the box gives the cookies a little lift as well as some cushioning. Again, look for festive fun colors and designs.
Flowerpots, small buckets, coffee mugs, and tea cups make fun and festive ways to display your cookies. Look around the house; you will be amazed at what you find.
With these simple tips you will be well on your way to baking and packaging your little surprises in no time. Remember, keep it simple, keep it fun, and make sure your priority is to make memories.