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Baking Season Prep

Getting Ready for the Biggest Baking Season of the Year

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The biggest baking season of the year begins just before Halloween and ends with those dreaded diets after New Year's. To help make it a more joyous time, I've created this list of articles and features to curtail the stress that often accompanies my favorite time of year.

May this be the best baking season yet!

Clean and Stock Your Pantry

Baking Ingredients2 Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
It will make your life so much easier if you know what you already have and what you need ahead of time for holiday baking. I begin with by grabbing my trash can. I open my pantry door, and start throwing-away. If it's outdated, out it goes. After I've tossed-out the old items, I straighten-up by putting things back where they should be. Then, I take a notepad and make a list of what is left in the pantry. I then compare my list to the below lists. I'll make a separate shopping list. I check my coupons and it's off to the store I go.

Grocery/Pantry Lists For -
All-Purpose Dessert Making
Making Cakes
Cookie Baking
Pie Making
Bread Baking
Quick and Easy Desserts

Equipment Necessary for Baking

Pricegrabber Inc. Photo
Pricegrabber Inc. Photo
You can't bake or make desserts without the necessary equipment. You can use these lists to compare prices online, shop at the store, or even to consult before hitting the weekend yard sales. It's amazing what you can get for practically nothing compared to the original prices.

Equipment Lists for -
Making Cakes
Baking Bread
Pie Baking
Cookie Baking
Beginning Baker
Overall Baking Equipment

Freezing Baked Goods

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
Most frozen baked goods easily last at least 3 months in the freezer before they start losing their flavor or get freezer burn. Follow these simple tips for freezing your baked goods:
Desserts and the Freezer
What I Like to Freeze Most-
Cookie Dough
Upside-Down Cakes
Tropical Carrot Cake
Leftover Cakes

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies

Frosted Sugar Cookies Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com.
Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com.
Getting ready for holiday baking also takes some planning as well as reviewing how to bake certain items like cookies that you may only make once a year. Here are a few article and features to help you with all the cookie baking that's about to come.
Top Christmas Cookies
Favorite Cookie Recipes
More Cookie Recipes
Pan Size and Baking Time Conversions for Cookie Dough
Step by Step Photo Instructions for Making These Cookies
Sugar Cookies
Drop Cookies
Icebox Cookies
Macaroons
Pecan Tassies
Biscotti
Rosettes
Linzer Cookies
Cookie Press
Brownies
Shortbread

Holiday Cakes

German Chocolate Cake Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
Traditional holiday cakes seem to vary from family to family. It could be as simple as a German Chocolate Cake to one a elaborate as the Mile-High Coconut Layer Cake. Here are some tasty cake recipes for you as well as some necessary baking tips.
Texas Candy Cake
Italian Cream Cake
Mandarian Orange Cake
Eggnog Cheesecake
Mom's Pina Colada Cake
Festive Flourless Chocolate Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Tropical Carrot Cake
Bacardi Rum Cake

All About Cakes - includes step-by-step instructions for making cakes, decorating them and more.

Me Oh My It's Pie

Apple Pie with Apples and Hot Pad Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
Pies are good anytime of year. I believe more pies are made for Thanksgiving more than any other time. Thanksgiving pies go way beyond Pumpkin Pie and Mincemeat. Below is a list of popular pies as well as pie-making-instructions.
Photo Step for Making an Apple Pie
Making a Pie Crust with Photos
Lattice Crust Photos
Dutch Apple Pie
Granny Smith Apple Pie
Fried Pies
Pecan Pie
Lemon Chess Pie
All About Pies

Homemade Gifts from the Kitchen

Insulated Cups with Fudge Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
Photo © Carroll Pellegrinelli
There's nothing like getting someone the perfect gift. Sometimes that can be a store-bought one and sometimes a homemade one is best. I have lots of friends who have everything, so the best gifts for them are homemade goodies from my kitchen. Here are several articles and features that will help you with gift-giving.
Suggested Treats to Give as Gifts
Packaging Gifts
Tips for Mailing Baked Goods
Photo Instructions for Packages for Mailing
Kitchen Gift Baskets
Dessert and Baking Cookbooks

Cooking for Company

Dessert Buffet Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
Photo © Carroll Pellegrinelli
The holidays are all about being with other people. We love to entertain. Whether it is just being with family or with extend family and friends, there are plenty of opportunities to show-off my favorite baked goods.
Buffets
Serving Suggestions
Hosting a Cookie Exchange
Having Company for Breakfast?

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