December 22, 2011

Baking Tips - Cleaning Edition

If you are like me, then holiday time means one thing: Baking TONS of Christmas Cookies! But with baking tons of cookies usually comes... TONS OF CLEANING!! And I really dislike cleaning the whole kitchen after spending all of my energy baking. So I have devised a few quick and easy ways to minimize cleaning, while maximizing your cookie output production.

Tip #1: Set aside an ingredient area

I like to pick a spot in my kitchen (preferably near the sink) where I can measure out all of my ingredients. Then I put a very large piece of parchment paper down onto the surface (as seen below). In this area I like to put all of my dry ingredients that have the highest potential of getting stuck to every possible surface. Ex: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, powdered sugar, etc. That way, when you scoop out a few cups of flour for one recipe, and will need it again later, all of the flour "dust" will get onto the parchment paper, and not all over your counter/ the floor.
Then, when you are done making your four batches of cookies, cleaning up only takes seconds! Measuring out all of your ingredient in one area of the kitchen, rather than all over the place, quarantines the mess.
 Look at that cookie making gross-ness! But in 2.5 seconds or less, it's gone! 

Tip #2: Parchment Paper is your Friend!

So, I know I already told you one way how I use parchment paper in the baking process, but really, it works wonders. Say you need to crack some eggs, but don't want to get Salmonella all over your counter.... crack on Parchment! Need to cube some butter for that cookie recipe? No problem! Parchment allows for a customized butter cutting location!
Parchment also allows for easy transport of said butter to the cookie making bowl! It really is a wonderful multi-tasker.

Tip #3: Plan Ahead

Having a time line in mind about what kind of holiday baked goods and the quantity of each you want to make will really stream-line the process. And by planning ahead, it allows you to make all of the cookie dough one day, and you have time to bake on another day. I usually find the preparation of the cookie dough to be the "messiest" part, and the baking of everything to be the more "time consuming" part. But by dividing these processes into two days, you don't get worn out and there's less to clean up! A win-win situation in my book!

But you MUST plan ahead! No plan = stress! And no one needs more stress during the holiday times.... and cookies really aren't stressful, they are just festive!

Stay Tuned for Tomorrow!! Four Delicious & Easy Cookie Recipes!

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