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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Adventures in Baking!

Year 2 of marathon baking cookies, candy and muffins for friends and family as gifts. I've got a few tips to share after baking 11.5 dozen cookies, 2 dozen muffins and 1 sheet of candy (so far).

Christmas Tins:
* Before Black Friday, Big Lots had an entire aisle of tins $3.00 each!
* Old Time Pottery has same priced tins at this time, I'm going out for 6 more this weekend with a 15% off coupon.

* Buy bulk at Costco, my happiest day was finding a giant bottle of vanilla at Costco for the same price as one 1/4 of it's size in the regular grocery store.
* Don't use specialty ingredients on Friends and Family. Just go with good old white flour, even if your little family is on board with white wheat or regular wheat, snacks just taste better with white flour.

* Don't assume your three year old has any interest in helping except to eat the batter and beg for more. She will say "but I HAVE to eat more!" Such drama!
* Just do everything after they go to bed! Or while another adult is supervising, although even a barrier in front of the kitchen will not stop the most determined child from getting through and seeing what his mama is up to.

* Buy a cookie scoop, it will change your life! No more sticky fingers scraping cookie dough from a spoon. AND your cookies will finally come out in the quantity the recipe states! Seriously I don't know how I lived before the cookie scoop!

Know when to quit:
* I just had to do that last pan of muffins at 9:45pm! I forgot the sugar topping and not seeing a pot holder nearby, reached in to pull the pans out bare handed! It worked for the 1st pan but the second was hotter and I dropped it! Upside down into the oven!!! Requiring us to turn off oven and spend a half hour cleaning!!! Pumpkin muffins that I had just lovingly pureed that morning and let drain all day just for this purpose! I was devastated to say the least.


Katrina Ryder said...

I grabbed a frypan this morning, so I sympathize! Clearly I had not had enough coffee. :) For the last two years I have been making some giant batches of granola and giving jars of it for all my gifts. It has been very popular! I haven't made any cookies in a while, mostly because as a male teacher, my husband is normally gifted MANY baked items. It takes the pressure off me since I don't relish too much MORE time in the kitchen. I TOTALLY agree with you about the cookie scoop. :)

Angie said...

I baked my final round of cookies the other night after I put my little gal to bed. I mixed them up while she was watching Elmo and waited until later to bake. I'm glad that's done.

Caterina said...

What's a cookie scoop look like and where would you find one? So sorry about your muffins! But I hope you didn't burn yourself?! Yikes.

rubberbacon said...

Hi Caterina, I did not burn myself! Just surprised!! I bought the cookie scoop at Walmart and it's labeled "cookie scoop". I didn't know they existed until I read a baking blog that suggested using one. I highly recommend it!

rubberbacon said...

I only have the special cut out cookies left to make. A snowman has been requested! Can't wait to be done!!!

rubberbacon said...

That's a really great idea! Granola!! My husband has considered homemade salsa, maybe next year we can do that over the summer and we'll be all done by Christmas!