Holiday baking is just around the corner. I look forward to spending time with my family as we bake around 10 different kinds of cookies to share with our friends and families. Our three children enjoy helping us make and decorate all the varieties that we bake.
They are really good at taking wrappers off candy, stirring in ingredients, and sampling all the dough and cookies.
Cookie baking takes a little bit of preparation ahead of time. I usually have quite an assortment of candy in my baking cupboard, but we always need to stock up on more staples like butter and flour. Here are a few holiday baking tips that I try to remember as I get ready for holiday baking.
1. Get organized. I start by making a list of what cookies we will be making. Then I make another list of all the ingredients we will need before we can start baking. There is nothing more frustrating, then to be in the middle of a recipe and realize that you are out of something.
2. Remember to take your ingredients out of the refrigerator about 60 minutes before you start baking. The softened butter should leave a slight mark when you touch it.
3. Always let your oven come to the full temperature before placing cake or cookies in it. If it is not hot enough, your baked goods will not rise or bake properly.
4. Line your baking sheets with foil for quick and easy clean up. This way you are not in the kitchen doing dishes when you could be enjoying time with your family.
5. Cool the cookies completely before storing in containers. Keep soft cookies and hard cookies in different containers, otherwise the moisture from the soft cookies will make everything soft.
One kitchen staple that I like to keep on hand whenever I am baking is PAM Cooking Spray. This non-stick, no residue spray gives me the reassurance that my cookies are going to come off the pan the first time I bake them. The one I use the most is the PAM Baking Spray. They have combined the no stick power of PAM spray with flour. This spray will reach every area of your baking pans, even those hard to reach areas.
You can use the PAM spray for more things than just baking. When you are rolling cookies, spray your hands to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Spray measuring cups to keep sticky ingredients from sticking. Coat your cookie scoops with spray, so the dough comes out uniform every time. You can also spray your knives for easier cutting. This helps keep even and neat slices.
One cookie that makes our holiday list every year are these peppermint snowball cookies. You can roll the dough into balls to bake, or you can press the dough onto your prepared pan and make bars for a quicker version.
See how I lined my pan and coated it with spray?
I love that I can just fold this foil up after the cookies are done baking. This is one less dish I will be washing this year. Press the dough gently into an 11×9 inch rectangle right on the foil. The Pam Baking Spray will help it move smoothly over the foil.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the warm dough into small rectangles. Then let the bars cool completely before adding your chocolate and candy. The bars come right off the foil without even needing a spatula. I love knowing that part of my cookies will never be left behind.
Peppermint is such a great holiday flavor. Actually I enjoy peppermint all year long, but it is extremely popular right now. These bars have just a little bit of dark chocolate, crushed candy canes, and sprinkles to give them some holiday flair. These are the perfect cookie to enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee.
Go ahead and bake a batch, and then invite a friend over for coffee, cookies, and girl time.
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*Inside BruCrew Life was compensated with product and payment to create a recipe for PAM cooking spray. All opinions are 100% my own.