Ultimate Guide to Christmas Baking for 2021

“Oh the weather outside is frightful… but the fire is so delightful….”. Christmas is right around the corner and what does that mean? Christmas baking of course! Holiday baking is the actual best! The bars, the cookies, the candies, the pies, and all the other desserts—I think I just gained 5 pounds imagining sugar cookies and gingerbread.

The only problem is everyone is baking at the same time, which puts ingredients in short supply when you need them. Remember earlier in the year when Pandemic baking was huge? When all the flour, yeast, and even baking powder were nowhere to be found? This Holiday Season could be like that again so no better time to start than now!

With inflation rising by the day, this year skip the last-minute stress plus extra cost and stock up on all your holiday baking essentials. In this article, we talk about:

  1. Holiday baking recipes to get you inspired for 2021
  2. How to store your Christmas baking goodies effectively
  3. Baking essentials you’ll need
  4. How to pay less to afford more this Christmas

Christmas Baking inspiration you need

Sometimes, the thing about planning ahead means that you might miss out on what everyone ‘feels like’ eating. But, there are some things that won’t change between now and Christmas Day. You’ll need gifts for teachers, friends, and neighbors. You’ll need snacks to keep everyone amused over the holiday season. You’ll also need snacks to go with the many mugs of eggnog or pumpkin spice lattes.

So, here are a few of our favorite Christmas recipes for baking in advance to get you inspired:

  • Cinnamon Sugar Stars – This is from Australian Taste Magazine. These stars freeze well and also look lovely when tied up with a red satin ribbon.
  • Pecan Cranberry Tarts – These tarts have a lovely sweet and tart flavor combination. Not to mention, they look lovely. When you store them in your freezer, remember the parchment paper separating them.
  • White Chocolate Nanaimo Bars – this surprising twist on the classic Nanaimo can be decorated with milk or dark chocolate for an extra special touch.
  • Triple Chocolate Nanaimo Bars – Because, sometimes a holiday is a perfect time for a change.
  • Mars Bar Slice – this is a favorite in our household. It freezes beautifully and the kids are sure to love it. The biggest challenge? Making sure the Mars Bars survive in the house to be baked into the slice!
  • Peppermint Bark – storing this ahead of time is fantastic to help make Christmas gifting easier. Just be sure to defrost a day or two before packaging in treat bags to make sure they don’t ‘sweat’.

Tips for storing your holiday baking in the freezer

strawberry ice cream bottle inside container covered in ice

Basics of freezing food

You can store raw and finished goods in the freezer. Butter, milk, cheese, nuts, nut flours, and bread can all freeze for a long time. So when these items are on sale, try stocking up but keep in mind some things like butter take a day to thaw in the fridge.

We created a list of 15 surprising foods you can freeze to help you become a freezer whiz.

Tips for freezing your baking efforts

Minimizing water will help prevent freezer burn. Freezing your holiday baking can be quite an art and proper preparation will pay dividends. If you’re freezing fruits for use in baking (or cocktails), it can be best to lay them out on a baking tray topped with parchment paper. When they’re frozen, transfer them into a double-sealed freezer bag. This approach also works well for muffins, cookies, and other items where you’ll want to use one or two at a time but don’t want to defrost the whole lot.

Freezing Sourdough starters

If you got into the sourdough-making thing and getting a little tired of it, take 1-2 cups of your starter—like the discard before feeding/baking—and put it in a freezer bag. Drop that in the freezer and you have a safety starter at the ready. All you’ll need to do is thaw and feed it a couple of times and you’re ready to bake again.

Essentials you’ll need for Christmas baking success

I don’t just mean flour (All-Purpose, bread, cake, whole-wheat is most commonly required), but don’t forget:

  • butter (salted and unsalted)
  • shortening (if that’s your thing)
  • baking power
  • baking soda
  • corn starch
  • sugars (regular, light brown, dark brown, and icing)
  • cocoa powder (the good stuff is worth every penny)
  • molasses
  • salt (sea and table)
  • bakers yeast
  • pie shells and puff pastry

Now more than ever it seems like things run out all of a sudden. If the bread baking bonanza of this spring was any indication, I think this year everyone is going to try to make grandma’s cookies. So stuff is going to go fast.

In my family, we make bubble bread on Christmas Eve and it calls for frozen bread dough. Want to know how many years we’ve run around trying to find frozen bread dough just before Christmas? Too many. So, it pays to be prepared.

The extras you’ll need for your holiday baking

When Michael Buble starts on the mall speakers, you know that it won’t be long before all the usual delicious snacks like nuts start getting in short supply. Take it from us, you do not want to be trying to find chopped pecans or walnuts at the last minute. But, holiday baking often calls for more than nuts. So, don’t forget all the other stuff like:

  • coconut
  • dried fruits (raisins and the rest)
  • chocolate (buy the good stuff)
  • cherries and other candied fruits
  • gelatin
  • pudding mix
  • custard powder
  • cake mixes (the best homemade Oreos start with chocolate cake mix)
  • extracts (vanilla, almond, and hazelnut)

Remember nuts can go in the freezer. For the other stuff, if you don’t have a pantry cupboard, try a storage tote with a good lid. Don’t label it “Christmas baking supplies” or your family might raid it when feeling snacky.

I have a lot of my ingredients in easy-to-grab baskets and containers. When I’m getting things together to cook, I use a 1/2 sheet pan to carry stuff to the counter (mise en place is your friend and secret weapon). Containers, bins, and sheet pans are a cook’s best friend let me tell you.

sliced cheese on white ceramic bowl

Essential Spices for Holiday baking

Spices! I’m just as guilty as everyone else is having a lot of stale spices in my cupboard. Now is a good time to check the usual holiday baking suspects like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice to see if they still even smell like, well, spices. Stuff that smells like old dust will taste like old dust, so toss them.

cookies on white wooden surface

Don’t forget about Christmas lunch or dinner + wrapping paper!

I might have started with baking, but it’s not a bad idea to keep your eye out for things you need for holiday dinners and Christmas decorations right now too. There might be sales for the big things like turkeys and roasts but also plentiful supplies of wrapping paper and sticky tape. Given the inflation in Canada right now, it might ultimately be cheaper to buy now. You could even start grabbing the bags of day-old bread cubes for stuffing and tossing them in the freezer. Stick to the freezable or dry stuff like cranberries, cans of sides, and cartons of stock (chicken, beef, and veggies).

orange cupcakes

Pay less to afford more this 2021 holiday season

Planning in advance means you can maximize your savings. Shop smarter by buying discounted gift cards to use to pay for your purchases. This approach means you can stack your savings. When you save more, you can afford more. Which means more Christmas, more joy, and more food. So, download Moola and carry 200+ deals in your pocket this holiday season

Ultimate Guide to Christmas Baking for 2021 1
Ultimate Guide to Christmas Baking for 2021 2

 

I don’t just mean flour (All-Purpose, bread, cake, whole-wheat is most commonly required), but don’t forget:

  • butter (salted and unsalted)
  • shortening (if that’s your thing)
  • baking power
  • baking soda
  • corn starch
  • sugars (regular, light brown, dark brown, and icing)
  • cocoa powder (the good stuff is worth every penny)
  • molasses
  • salt (sea and table)
  • bakers yeast
  • pie shells and puff pastry

Now more than ever it seems like things run out all of a sudden. If the bread baking bonanza of this spring was any indication, I think this year everyone is going to try to make grandma’s cookies. So stuff is going to go fast.

In my family, we make bubble bread on Christmas Eve and it calls for frozen bread dough. Want to know how many years we’ve run around trying to find frozen bread dough just before Christmas? Too many. So, it pays to be prepared.

The extras you’ll need for your holiday baking

When Michael Buble starts on the mall speakers, you know that it won’t be long before all the usual delicious snacks like nuts start getting in short supply. Take it from us, you do not want to be trying to find chopped pecans or walnuts at the last minute. But, holiday baking often calls for more than nuts. So, don’t forget all the other stuff like:

  • coconut
  • dried fruits (raisins and the rest)
  • chocolate (buy the good stuff)
  • cherries and other candied fruits
  • gelatin
  • pudding mix
  • custard powder
  • cake mixes (the best homemade Oreos start with chocolate cake mix)
  • extracts (vanilla, almond, and hazelnut)

Remember nuts can go in the freezer. For the other stuff, if you don’t have a pantry cupboard, try a storage tote with a good lid. Don’t label it “Christmas baking supplies” or your family might raid it when feeling snacky.

I have a lot of my ingredients in easy-to-grab baskets and containers. When I’m getting things together to cook, I use a 1/2 sheet pan to carry stuff to the counter (mise en place is your friend and secret weapon). Containers, bins, and sheet pans are a cook’s best friend let me tell you.

Holiday baking is much easier when you plan ahead - Christmas 2021 is going to be magical

Essential Spices for Holiday baking

Spices! I’m just as guilty as everyone else is having a lot of stale spices in my cupboard. Now is a good time to check the usual holiday baking suspects like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice to see if they still even smell like, well, spices. Stuff that smells like old dust will taste like old dust, so toss them.

Holiday baking is much easier when you plan ahead - Christmas 2021 is going to be magical

Don’t forget about Christmas lunch or dinner + wrapping paper!

I might have started with baking, but it’s not a bad idea to keep your eye out for things you need for holiday dinners and Christmas decorations right now too. There might be sales for the big things like turkeys and roasts but also plentiful supplies of wrapping paper and sticky tape. Given the inflation in Canada right now, it might ultimately be cheaper to buy now. You could even start grabbing the bags of day-old bread cubes for stuffing and tossing them in the freezer. Stick to the freezable or dry stuff like cranberries, cans of sides, and cartons of stock (chicken, beef, and veggies).

Holiday baking is much easier when you plan ahead - Christmas 2021 is going to be magical

Pay less to afford more this 2021 holiday season

Planning in advance means you can maximize your savings. Shop smarter by buying discounted gift cards to use to pay for your purchases. This approach means you can stack your savings. When you save more, you can afford more. Which means more Christmas, more joy, and more food. So, download Moola and carry 200+ deals in your pocket this holiday season

 

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