Time Saving Baking Hacks this Holiday Season

Time Saving Baking Hacks this Holiday Season

Get ready! The baking season is swinging into high gear. If you are short on time, these time saving baking hacks this holiday season will help to keep things simple and delicious.

We know that baking from scratch is delicious but it takes time to look up the recipe, measure the ingredients and put them to work. Not only time but if you have impromptu guests and need something in a pinch keep basic mixes on hand so you are ready to go under any circumstance.

One perfect example is when my daughter told me at 7:00pm she needed 100 cookies for a holiday bake sale! Well, I can’t tell you how thankful I was to have box mixes and cookie pre-made cookie dough on hand. Yes, I had pre-made, scratch dough, in the refrigerator which I made when I had some extra moments over the weekend. Also, just like sprinkles, keep walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips and even espresso powder or finely ground espresso on hand to take box mixes to the next level.

The first simple and delicious recipe is our Peppermint Bark Cake hack. Yes, it can be made by scratch we did not sacrifice flavor with a boxed chocolate cake mix. NOT DEVILS FOOD; just chocolate.

Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cake
10 mins
27 mins
Decorating
15 mins
37 mins
 

Outstanding Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cake can be made from scratch or from box mix. Cupcakes also work well and can be frozen for impromtu visits.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dessert
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Box Mix follow ingredients on box
  • 1 substitute Milk for Water delicious hack
  • 1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips delicious hack
  • 1 tsp Espresso Powder delicious hack
Instructions
  1. Follow mixing instructions and baking instuctions on box. Use the delicious hacks to kick it up and make it taste like its from scratch. 

Frosting
  1. To frost, make a buttercream recipe using. Melt 12 - 14 ounces of white chocolate chips; add slowly while mixing. Make sure chocolate is not hot. Cool a little after melting. If you dont have a large amount of peppermint crunch on hand, use Ghiradelli Peppermint Baking Chunks. Frost cake and sprinkle with peppermint crunch and adorn with a small piece of imitation pine and ribbon.

Recipe Notes

Holiday Baking Hacks Shopping List

  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Holiday Sprinkles
  • Peppermint Crunch
  • Extra Unsalted Butter
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • Premade Cookie Doughs or Box Cookie Dough
  • Box Chocolate Cake and Brownie Mix

For frosting and dusting keep confectioners sugar on hand. Get the medium or large bag not the small box. 

White Chocolate Buttercream
10 mins
 

Use this as your White Chocolate Buttercream staple. It is delicious on anything chocolate. Use the Ghiradellii Peppermint Baking Chips for added pepermint flavor.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Frosting
  • 12 ounces White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Heavy Cream can subtitute whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Mix on medium using a countertop or hand mixer. Buttercream is a very personal frosting depending on the project. Some like a thicker consistency some,  not so thick. Depending on your needs make sure you add the milk slowly. One tablespoon at a time. More or less if needed. This frosing is flexible. Taste the sweetnes as you move along. Some prefer more vanilla than others. 

 

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Bring A Hostess Gift to Talk About

Heading out to holiday parties can create a bit of stress wondering what to bring as a hostess gift. Now bring a hostess gift to talk about.

These unique tea towels will be set out in the kitchen or at the bar and everyone will have a comment to make. Whether you want something funny, racy or artistic, these hand towels make a great gift. So forget about the chocolate, potpourri, candle or soaps and lotions. Create a smile all season long: bring a unique hand towel. Affiliate link below. If you purchase through the link we are compensated.

Check out all of the awesome designs


Gift Giving for The Foodie

Make the Foodie in your life jump for joy this holiday season with these awesome gift giving ideas. (We are affiliated with the following products. If you make a purchase from one of the links, we are compensated).

Stonewall Kitchen has fantastic gifts for UNDER $30!

SHOP STONEWALL KITCHEN GIFTS NOW!


Gifts from JOSEPH JOSEPH are always favorites! Kitchen tools make great stocking stuffers. CHECK OUT COOL STUFF NOW!


The Ultimate Gift is this Bosch Universal Mixer. SHOP BOSCH NOW!


Keep the holiday cheer flowing all year long with gifts from MACY’S WINE CELLAR!


Give greenly this year with eco-friendly gifts ECOlunchbox Zero Waste Gifts!


Whimsical Tea Towels are everyones favorite! Give adorable tea towels that can be used year after year! SHOP TEATOWELS NOW!

HAPPY SHOPPING!


The Best Meal to Keep On Hand for the Holiday Weekend

Keep the chaos in kitchen to a minimum after Thanksgiving with this simple and delicious go to, pick at all weekend long, best meal to keep on hand for the holiday weekend. Traditionally known as Breakfast Bread, this holiday staple has been turned into breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Sausage Bread, as we call it, is simple to make, reheat and take a long. It is a hearty breakfast for running out the door on Black Friday morning or the perfect mid-day meal after shopping. You can adapt this recipe from mild to spicy or make one of each. We make one of each to satisfy the different palates in our household. Enjoy this recipe; I am confident it will be a go-to in your household as well.

Sausage Bread
15 mins
30 mins
Resting Time
5 mins
45 mins
 

The perfect, most simple go to breakfast, lunch or dinner to keep around and eat off of all weekend long. 

Course: Breakfast, dinner, lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Meal
  • 16 oz Jimmy Dean Sausage mild or spicy
  • 16 oz Pizza Dough 1 bag from grocer
  • 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella
  • 2 Large Egg One for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F. Brown break up sausage in a skillet. Remove from heat to let cool for 5 minutes. While sausage is cooling, roll out dough so it is the length of  a half-sheet cookie sheet lined with parchment. Place sausage in bowl with cracked egg and the cheese. Stir well. Place dough on cookie sheet. Spoon dough length wise evenly onto the dough. Roll over and seal edges with a pastry cutter. Brush the exterior with the 2nd egg. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove let rest for five minutes and serve. Cut slices and wrap individually to reheat. 

Stock Up for the Holidays!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. We are compensated if you make a purchase from one of these links.

Game Changing Pink Lady Apple Pie

Out with Granny Smith; in with Pink Lady. Well, not totally out with Granny Smith; lets just give old Granny a break. When it comes to baking the perfect apple pie you need the perfect apple: Pink Lady. This game changing Pink Lady Apple is sweet, tropical and mildly tarte. She is crisp and juicy. The Pink Lady Apple works marvelously in any culinary application; she resists browning and doesn’t shrink.

For the perfect apple pie, you should use a combination of 2 – 3 different varieties of apples. The best combination includes Pink Lady, Granny Smith with Jonamac. For Pink Lady Apple Pie, the Pink Lady Apple will be the predominant apple with equal amounts of Granny Smith and Jonamac. Use a basic pie dough recipe for crust or purchase from the grocer refrigerated section.

Pink Lady Apple PIe
1 hr
1 hr
Resting Time
30 mins
2 hrs
 

This mouthwatering apple pie, predominately made from the PInk Lady Apple with have your palate doing the the happy dance. The satisfying flavors from this delicious pie will have everyone asking whats your secret!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Pie
  • 2 lbs Pink Lady Apples peeled, cored and cut into slices about 1/8"
  • 1 lb Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and cut into slices about 1/8" thick
  • 1 lb Jonamac Apples peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/8" thick
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed, light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tbs for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tblsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 egg white
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. In a 7 quart pot or dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the liquid has become thickened and glossy. Approximately 10 more minutes. Squeeze juice of half of lemon around mixture, stir and let cool for 30 - 40 minutes. While cooling, roll out your dough or use pre-made dough from the refrigerated section at the grocery. This is a deep dish pie recipe so you will need a deep dish pie plate as well as additional crust for the top of the pie. *See pie dough recipe.

Recipe Notes

Tips for A Perfect Pie

  • If your fruit filling is thin and runny add more cornstarch with an equal amount of water, a little at a time, until mixture reaches desired thickness.

Make a statement with these adorable cupcake toppers this holiday season. Their holiday collection of picks, papers and garlands adds flair to holiday festivities. Affiliate link: . Discover Holiday Flair!