Tag Archives: christmas recipes

Top 10 List of “do-ables”

This year has dealt a tough hand on our pre-Holiday gift preparations. No doubt I’m not the only one pinched for time. With under 10 days until Christmas Day, I’m hoping friends and family will grant us the gift of the 12 days of Christmas!

My Top 10 list of “do-ables” includes:


10: Order NOW gift bags and tags—large, medium and small. Stock up on cute jars for mixes and Sugar Scrubs.

9: Toast a boatload of nuts and seeds for maximum flavor in all things baked.

8: Bake biscotti in large quantities. Double Chocolate Pecan will be the flavor-of-2016 for all my hot beverage seeking friends and family.

7: Homemade Caramel Corn ‘n Nuts will be perfect to gift with a good book or movie. I’ll make two batches.

6: Choose from a wide array of options and prepare Sugar Scrub for those who apply their sugar rather than savoring it.

5: Friends living by their onesy love to savor the season. Prepare jars of DIY muffin-mix. Include a six-cup muffin tin and attach the stir-in options.


4: Prepare homemade fruit syrups  AND vast quantities of homemade Pancake or Waffle Mix to divide among friends with children. Don’t be afraid to make the mix with half whole wheat flour!

3: These Make-It-Yours cookie options will delight. Draft a grocery list to have the options at-the-ready.

2: Gift fresh-baked Cheddar Casserole Bread. Add a mini-tub of homemade Southwest Butter


1: While working on gifts 2 to 10, get your bread machine in gear– you’ll be ready when guests arrive with Fruit of the Vine Rosemary Olive Snack Bread.

More tips and recipes from Red Star Yeast


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Holiday Gift Ideas from HomeBaking.org

slide33The Holidays offer great opportunities for giving, whether in the classroom or at home. We’re all scrambling this time of the year, so here are some personal and doable gift-giving ideas to help check  items off your to-do list!

Any number of baked goods can be gifted by combining all of the dry ingredients, then packaging in a bright and festive manner for recipients to prepare at their convenience.

IDEA #1 Make your dough one day, refrigerate; bake fresh the next. Refrigerated yeast roll dough shapes great, tastes better and stays fresh longer.

Baker’s Insider Tip: Add 1 Tablespoon potato flour or flakes per cup flour for best keeping qualities.

Use this recipe to divide and gift four friends each with these dinner rolls!

IDEA #2 “Made-by-me” noodles, crackers or bread sticks all tied up with a great soup! They’re easier than you think and can be eaten now or later!

For a great recipe for Bread Sticks, check out the Home Baking Association book Baking with Friends. The recipe can be found on pages 46-47.

For homemade pasta ideas, check this out!

For gourmet mixes galore, visit Rabbit Creek Gourmet.

Interested in making some delicious Cheese Crackers? Find the recipe here.

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Filed under Baking Events & Holidays, Uncategorized

Five Holiday Baking Tips

Holiday Baking tip #1 Mise en place – (pronounced meez en plas) in French it means “putting in place”, as in gathering everything you need before you start to bake. Measure ingredients, prep pans, preheat oven, being prepared makes it go more smoothly giving you a great finished product. Happy Holiday Baking everyone!

Holiday Baking Tip #2 Chocolate Substitutions – Baking is a precise art. And when it comes to chocolate, it’s important to get things just right. Here are some formulas to help you if you’re ever in need of a chocolate substitute.

• One 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate = 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon shortening.
• One cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels = 2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate + 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar + 2 tablespoons shortening.
• 1 bar (4 ounces) sweet baking chocolate = 4 tablespoons cocoa + 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar + 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons shortening.

Extra tip: bittersweet and semisweet chocolate can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Bittersweet gives it a more sophisticated flavor due to its low sugar.

Holiday Baking Tip #3 Freezing Cookies – If you are freezing an already baked cookie, cool them thoroughly before freezing. Store each recipe in a separate freezer container that is labeled with the name and date. Most will freeze well for up to six months. You can store frosted cookies for up to two months, but we suggest you freeze the cookies unfrosted and then frost them just before serving.

To freeze individually raw cookie dough, roll in balls and put on a cookie sheet. Freeze until hard – about an hour. Then remove the frozen cookie dough balls from the cookie sheet and freeze in a gallon freezer bag. Make sure to label with date, baking time, baking temp and cookie variety. You can bake these at the same temperature called for in the recipe; just give them a minute or two longer.

Refrigerator /Icebox Cookies are cookies made from dough rolled into a long log. The cookies are sliced off one by one for even sizing and thickness. This can be done immediately, or you can freeze the log and slice them as needed.

iced_cookiesHoliday Baking Tip#4 Icing Cookies and Cakes – First make sure that cookies are completely cool before applying icing or it will melt. When adding food coloring, first mix the color into about 1 tablespoon of icing, and then blend that into the rest of the icing. You can keep adding more drops to get the depth of color you want. Try combining different ratios of drops and various colors to get all the colors of the rainbow.

Add 1 Tablespoon of Karo syrup to each cup of icing to help the icing set. You want a pretty stiff icing, however If it’s too thick, thin slowly by adding a few drops of water

Use a small offset or flexible-blade spatula or a rubber spatula to apply the icing. Push it from the center of the cookie to the edges, place on wire rack or wax paper to set. Work quickly so that the icing doesn’t dry out and start to set before you’re finished. You could cover any extra icing with plastic wrap and a wet towel

To make accent colors make a few colors then fill in Sandwich baggies twist into a cone and clip the end of the bag and it’s ready to use. Once the first coat of frosting is dry, you can pipe another color of frosting over the top to add details with accent colors and designs such as dots, lines, squiggles, and borders, when finish just toss the bag out.

Holiday Baking Tip #5  Which flour should you use? – The main difference among flour types is in the gluten content, which varies depending on whether the flour is made from hard wheat or soft wheat. Gluten is the protein that helps yeast stretch and rise. To achieve the best baking results, use the type of flour a recipe specifically calls for.

The California wheat council has some great information on all the different types of flours and their uses. Check it out here! http://bit.ly/1fdg8oX


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Filed under Baking Events & Holidays