It’s fall. Fall means wearing Halloween costumes and trick or treating. It means Thanksgiving and Christmas meal prep, present buying, pumpkin spice everything and weekly baking projects.
In other words, it’s the best time of the year. Giving baked goods as holiday gifts is a great way to show you care and save money at the same time. You can even get the kids in on the action—baking cookies, fudge and chocolate bars for your children’s friends.
Some of our favorite recipes include:
You will undoubtedly have some family favorites of your own (feel free to share them in the comments!) that get made every year. Gather together everything that stands a remote chance of being baked. Now is the best time to start putting together your winter/holiday baking plans because, as you know there is no such thing as too much prep when it comes to baking with kids.
Here are some of the other things that you can do to make your holiday baking sessions go smoother.
1. Stain-proof your kitchen
Make sure you have the materials on hand to cover any surface that doesn’t lend itself to being coated in baking materials. Somehow, no matter how careful everybody is, ingredients get everywhere when you’re baking with children.
PRO TIP: Make sure your kitchen blinds are made from laminate or similar material so they’re easy to clean. You’ll protect your windows and be stylish at the same time!
2. Give Everybody Their Own Apron
Get cheap aprons from Michael’s or JoAnn’s and have your kids go decoration-nuts with fabric paints and markers. This way everybody will have their own very special apron that can be reused every baking session and you won’t waste valuable time refereeing arguments over who gets to wear what.
3. Hands in the Pockets Rule
Your kids will get a thrill out of your allowing them to use your mixers and beaters. Teaching them how to use these machines at an early age is definitely a good idea (and makes them far less tempting than if you were to tell them they were completely off limits). To keep little fingers out of the way, have a rule stating while the mixer is running, your kids can watch the dough being mixed but they need to keep their hands in their pockets and their hair pulled back. This way you won’t have to worry about fingers or hair getting caught into the beaters or blades.
4. Decorate First
The lovely ladies at The Kitchn encourage the use of egg wash tempera paint for the decorating of cookies before they get baked in the oven. This way you only have to run the cookies through the oven once and they are ready to eat (or give) as soon as they are taken out and cooled! And, of course, let your kids do their own decorating!
5. Read the Recipe Together
Reading through the recipe together is a great way to keep the youngest kids involved (and helps improve reading skills). You might even appoint someone the “Official Recipe Keeper” so that nobody feels left out of the preparations.