Whoever had the bright idea to stuff all of the holidays on which you’re obligated to cook for other people into one month should be punched. I mean, really! There’s at least two pumpkin pies, probably an apple or pecan thrown in there, cinnamon rolls, and, if you’re especially unlucky, a birthday cake. What’s a person to do? Here’s what.
1. Don’t be scared of pre-made dough!
There’s no shame in relying on the frozen doughs of the world to get you a step further in your preparation. The fact of the matter is that until you feel that you’ve totally mastered pie dough, sometimes, it’s much better to acknowledge your weakness, head to the freezer aisle of the grocery, and focus on rolling it out well. A tip, though, if you do decide to go this route: make sure you pay attention to the instructions on the packaging to correctly defrost your dough of choice. This will ensure that the integrity of the dough is intact throughout your bake!
2. Freeze it up!
If you can make it ahead, do. There is absolutely nothing better than waking up on the morning of the big day and knowing that there’s a pie, cheesecake, or loaf cake in your freezer just waiting to be warmed up and eaten. These days, most recipes include instructions on how to freeze things for future use, as well as instructions for how long things last. My personal favorite is this double chocolate cheesecake that you can make up to a month ahead and freeze until you’re ready to serve. Save the ganache until last, though, lest your chocolate get weepy.
3. Keep it simple with holiday favorites.
I know you’ve been scouring Pinterest for ages. Clipping recipes out of magazines. Watching The Great British Baking Show and taking copious notes. But here’s the bittersweet truth of it: the dessert you make for 30 of your closest family members and friends should not be the incredibly complicated, artisanal, extra fancy recipe you’re trying for the first time. This is basically raising your hand and asking the universe to abandon you to your fate. Stick with what you know; they’re classics for a reason, sister!
4. Let the pros handle it.
Listen, we live in one of the best bakery cities in the United States. I can think of at least four people I know personally who would love to bake your holiday desserts for you. Let the bakers bake! The only cautionary here is to make sure you give them enough time to, well, bake before you show up at their doorstep with open arms and a grumbling tummy.
5. Take a baking class.
If you want to learn from the best, consider a baking class at The Chopping Block. Our upcoming Holiday Treats Exchanges are the best way to learn how to make a ton of sweet treats like cupcakes, bars, shaped butter cookies, classic holiday cookies and truffles. Plus, you'll go home with over two dozen confections!