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
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.
- 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)
Follow mixing instructions and baking instuctions on box. Use the delicious hacks to kick it up and make it taste like its from scratch.
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.
Holiday Baking Hacks Shopping List
- Mini Chocolate Chips
- White Chocolate Chips
- 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
Use this as your White Chocolate Buttercream staple. It is delicious on anything chocolate. Use the Ghiradellii Peppermint Baking Chips for added pepermint flavor.
- 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
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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Indulge in a super easy, super delicious Apple Pie that your guests will love! This Fall it’s out with Granny Smith Apples and in with the Pink Lady. Well, not totally out with Granny Smith; let’s 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 tart. 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 always use a combination of 2 – 3 different varieties of apples. The best combination includes Pink Lady, Granny Smith with Jonamac. For this Pink Lady Apple Pie, the Pink Lady Apple will be the predominant apple with equal amounts of Granny Smith and Jonamac.
Pink Lady Apple PIe
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!
- 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
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.
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.
Now is the time of year to clean out your spice cabinet to get ready for Fall baking season. The photo is my messy Summer baking cabinet which I am organizing and getting ready for Fall.
Set aside all of the rubs and grilling spices for the key spices you will need for all of those amazing Apple and Pumpkin recipes.
The 7 Spices Necessary for your Fall Baking Apothecary
- All Spice
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
As extras, include vanilla bean and anise.
You should be ready to bake your butt off with these basic spices. The key is to buy the best you can afford and check the freshness of what you currently have on hand to ensure baking success!
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Halloween is coming! Check out all of the treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar 2018 Halloween Collection
Not only do I enjoy baking cookies, cakes and pies but, I also love baking my own dog treats. With the holidays coming up, the best gift for that dog lover on your list is homemade dog treats. These really simple dog treats drive them wild and leave them barking for more! Let’s keep our four legged friends happy and healthy with this almond butter dog treat recipe.
Continue reading “Simple DIY Dog Treats”
Food for thought.
The smell, the taste and the bond of being in the kitchen together creates memories of a lifetime.
Whether it’s making a holiday meal, baking or cooking up Sunday breakfast, time spent together in the kitchen is priceless.
Think back to your earliest baking memories; were you 2 or 3 years old? Maybe 5 or 6? I can remember cooking and baking with my Grandmother like it was yesterday. I in turn spent time cooking and baking with my kids from the day they could walk.
So during all of the chaos and crazy schedules remember to make time to create simple but special memories to last a lifetime. Forget the laundry! No one will remember if their laundry was done. They will remember the joy, taste and smell of that batch of chocolate chip cookies and the time you spent together making them.
Make your memories with Bosch
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