When it comes to holiday baking, I love recipes that can be doubled, tripled and quadrupled.
No, it’s not because I have a huge sweet tooth.
(OK, I do, but that’s not why I make huge quantities of my baked goodies this time of year.)
I give away a lot of food in December (the mailman gets a plate, my kids’ teachers, the neighbors, etc.), so I love go-to recipes that are quick and taste great if it serves 2 or 20.
Here are some tips from Spice Islands about baking in large batches and a yummy gingerbread recipe:
Bread and cakes: Bake breads and cakes at your leisure throughout the month. Let them cool completely and wrap them in parchment paper and/or plastic wrap followed by a freezer bag or container. When it’s time to serve, take them out of the freezer and thaw completely before serving or icing.
Cookies: Cookie dough freezes well, so prepare batches in advance and bake them as needed throughout the holiday season.
Fruit pies: Make fruit pies in large batches by preparing it up to the point of baking. Instead of putting it in the oven, cover it tightly in plastic wrap and place the entire pie in a freezer bag. When it’s time to bake, only cook the pie from its frozen state; reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake it about 20 minutes longer than what the recipe calls for.
Baking tip: When baking cookies, only use two pans at one time to prevent overcrowding. Also, place them on different shelves so that air can circulate evenly between the cookie sheets.
Mixing tip: When measuring flour, don’t scoop the measuring cup directly into the bag. Instead, spoon out flour into a measuring cup and then level off the correct amount. Bagged flour is packed tightly, and cooks can accidentally get an extra cup of flour by measuring incorrectly.
- 1/2 cup butter OR margarine, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 2 cups flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Spice Islands Ginger, Ground
- 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Cinnamon, Ground Saigon
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Nutmeg, Ground
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- prepared icings for decorating, optional
- colored sprinkles for decoratiing, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy. Beat in molasses. Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in separate bowl. Beat into creamed mixture until just combined.
Form dough into ball. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out shapes.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Cool 1 minute on sheet; remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Source: Spice Islands’ test kitchen