Holiday Baking Tips

If you’re anything like me, you take huge pleasure in baking vat loads of cookies and other baked goods around holidays. Not only is it an inexpensive way to give gifts, but you simultaneously show people how much you love them because a lot of time, effort, and sweat (sometimes tears) goes into baking.

I’ve had a few people ask about baking tips and even for recipes as we come into the holiday season so I thought I’d sum up a few of the pointers I’ve been shelling out to people along with some of the resources and recipes.

As an extra bonus – perhaps make your goal this year to attempt to use one or a combination of the following wholegrain flours in your classic holiday recipes to boost the nutrition (and flavour) – for wheat alternatives – spelt, kamut, oat – for gluten free alternatives quinoa, chickpea, fava, sorghum, teff, brown rice, millet, almond, buckwheat, and coconut.

Holiday Baking Recipes

My gluten free shortbread cookies– favourite is the lemon/blueberry combo

Egg Substitutions

Vegan flourless chocolate torte with beans and avocado

How to make a gluten free strawberry shortcake

Vegan sugar free chocolate icing

Helpful Holiday Baking Tips

  1. If you’ve never baked before – do a test bake with just a small bit of the mixture. This means roll or cut out one cookie/muffin/whatever and bake it to test your oven, dough consistency and timing to make a perfect batch. No sense in wasting a whole batch if you have time to make some tweaks based on how it bakes.
  2. If your cookies spread too much – add more flour. Use these as crumbs for an ice cream cake, filling for a cookie sandwich, a pie crust or garnish for something. If they just look like one sheet of cookies, get out that cookie cutter!
  3. No cookie cutter? You probably have one or all of the following – a shot glass, drinking glass, small tupperware for dressings, a knife, a water bottle cap, a muffin tray, or a pill bottle. They all serve as great cookie cutters.
  4. If the dough (mostly gluten free dough) is sticking more to your fingers than the ball you’re creating – slightly wet your hands or pat with a bit of gluten free flour. Sometimes this just means there is a high butter to flour ratio, when it should be the other way around.
  5. If your dough has been refrigerated and feels like stale play dough- rub your hands together until they feel warm, then touch it with slightly wet hands and knead until the heat and moisture of your hands softens the dough.
  6. If you’re making gluten free baked goods please DO NOT dust the surface with wheat flour, and DO NOT use the same trays as your gluten-containing goodies without washing it, and DO NOT use the same scoop for the wheat or spelt flours for the gluten free flours. Cross contamination people, it’s a nightmare.
  7. If you don’t own a rolling pin- use an empty wine or beer bottle. Key word, empty. Or you could roll the dough into a ball, sandwich it with parchment paper and then evenly press a cutting board on top of it until you get the thickness you want. Parchment paper also comes in handy when working with extremely sticky dough.
  8. FOCUS – don’t try to make 7 different baked goods at once or you’ll end up adding yeast to your cookies, and peppermint extract to your quiche. If you don’t focus you’re almost guaranteed to mess up.
  9. Start with sugar cookies or shortbread if it’s your first adventure – steer clear of delicate cookies, complicated designs or bold flavours that could decrease your confidence.
  10. DO NOT BAKE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Do I have to tell you what happens? Also, don’t bake continuously for more than 3 hours without having a snack or meal of some sort – and no that’s not the raw dough, cookie crumbs, slightly burnt or perfectly good baked goods. If your hands will be covered in dough for hours, blend up a smoothie before hand, put a straw in and off you go!
  11. Secret option number ’11’ – Have fun!

About Sarah Maughan

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, ON and has been consulting since 2009. Her website aims to educate you, make you laugh, help you live and inspire you to eat whole food! To stay up to date sign up for free blog and recipe updates! In the meantime, empower your body with food!
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