I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember. I love to bake. But as the years go by, it gets more and more difficult. It seems like the things I need to do to prepare for the holidays doubles every year.
Every Thanksgiving, I spend the entire day before, just baking. And the same goes with Christmas Eve. By the time the evening of Christmas Eve gets here, I’m so exhausted from spending the entire day baking in the kitchen, everything else I have to do just seems like such a task. I love wrapping presents, but who wants to do that after spending the entire day on your feet, baking and cleaning in the kitchen?
We spend Christmas day at my parents’ house every Christmas, and by the time we get home at night, we are exhausted. I don’t feel like cleaning the house, or even having our own Christmas celebration by that time. So this year, I decided I’m doing this differently!
I am the one person who does all of the baking for the holidays. My mom does the cooking (turkey, ham, potatoes, etc) for our big Christmas dinner, and I do the baking. I do have a sister-in-law, but her idea of baking is break-apart cookies you just throw on a cookie sheet, and even that’s pushing it. I only bake from scratch!
And, of course, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to cookies.
Some want pumpkin cookies with butterscotch, some with just chocolate chips. Some with nuts and chocolate chips. Dad wants a batch with dark chocolate. Chris & dad want chocolate chip cookies MINUS the chocolate chips, and butterscotch instead. My brother wants regular chocolate chip. Mom wants oatmeal cookies that are basically just a pile of nuts with just barely enough cookie batter to hold them together. Dad and I hate nuts in our cookies, so I have to make a batch with no nuts. Chris wants to try my chocolate crackles that I’ve never made him before.
You see where I’m going, right? This will take All. Day. Long. to bake. And it always does. But not this year!
Today, I spent the day getting all my batches ready! If I had thought of this before today, I would have done a little each day for the last couple of days. But that’s ok – I’ll be better prepared next year.
But here’s what I did.
For my pumpkin cookies (these are the most popular), I needed 3 batches. So I grabbed 3 large bowls and put all my DRY ingredients in each bowl at the same time. So if it calls for 2 cups of flour – I put 2 cups in bowl one, 2 cups in bowl two, and 2 cups in bowl three. Like this:
For these particular cookies, I do NOT want to make the batter completely. I will add the wet ingredients tomorrow, mix, and then bake them. So for now, I just want all the dry ingredients measured out, and I then put each batch in a plastic ziploc baggie. I used a ladle to put the batches in the bags, because the bowls don’t pour easily, and I know I will have a huge flour mess if I attempt it 🙂
Chocolate chip cookie dough holds up very well in the fridge, so I went ahead and mixed up the batter for my several chocolate chip cookie batches. I also got my batches of oatmeal cookies, and chocolate crackle cookies all prepared. I put each batch in a ziploc baggie, and taped the cookie name on the bag, with the temp & how long I have to bake them.
I also made 4 batches of biscuits ahead of time today. I always make these for the holidays, and we bake them about 20 minutes before it’s time for dinner. These, along with the cookies, will all be stored in the fridge overnight.
Now tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, when I get up all I have to do is mix the wet ingredients for my pumpkin cookies, and then just bake all the cookies. I don’t have to measure flour or any other messy ingredient. If you are like me, you can’t help but get flour EVERYWHERE when you bake.
I already cleaned the mess today, and the kitchen is nice and clean! Baking these will be very little mess tomorrow. I will just have my mixing bowl to clean from the pumpkin cookies, and cookie sheets, which are easy-peasy, because I use parchment paper on them.
I should have all my baking done in record time tomorrow! And we will even have time to go out and enjoy a nice Christmas Eve dinner at Olive Garden!
This is how I will be preparing my baked goods for every holiday now! The only difference is, for now on, I will start preparing my batches a few days before the holidays, and then bake everything the day before.
I hope this helps you if you have a lot to bake for!
And I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! ♥