My friends, stuff is about to get real. It seems that after Halloween, time speeds up or maybe it’s just me. Thanksgiving is in two weeks. Count ‘em 2! There’s lots to do, cleaning, decorating, shopping, catching your breath and of course baking. Some of us may want to go all Martha and have magazine worthy platters of baked goods presented on the finest of trays, stands, etc. Some of us just want to turn out a decent cookie or cake. Before the elves and dust bunnies steal us away here are a few things that we can get a head start on.
Bake and freeze a Buttermilk and Chocolate Pound Cake. Serve these with a dollop of whipped cream or caramel sauce. They can also be sliced and made into a trifle layered with whipped cream, homemade or store bought no judgment. Add to those layers your choice of sauce, pudding, coconut, maraschino cherries, or chopped nuts.
Cookie dough is a given and when made from scratch and properly wrapped it keeps well in the freezer for months. If you have a sudden burst of energy, you can bake and freeze them.
Sweet Potato Pie is a must at my house for Thanksgiving, and at Christmas. When everyone is home, I bake at least four. At Christmas, I give up on my quest for the perfect scratch piecrust. The filling is the bomb diggity and that’s all the matters to my hungry family. My grocery store has a sale this week on frozen pie shells and now is the time to stock up.
Other things that can be baked ahead and frozen are layer cakes, cupcakes and brownies.
Check out this article from Kraft that gives some great how to’s on freezing baked goods.
Buttermilk – fresh buttermilk can be frozen. I’ve frozen a whole quart and it was good as new when thawed. I’ve also frozen it in 8 oz Styrofoam cups with a lid. Another option is to buy the buttermilk powder. I haven’t tried it yet but heard that it is good.
Egg whites – These come in dried form also but are super expensive. I didn’t like the ones in the carton because they had seasonings in them. You can get small plastic containers that hold approximately one egg white and pop those bad boys in the freezer. They’re small so they don’t take up much space. You can also freeze them in ice cube trays.
Cream Cheese and butter are the last things I’m going to ask you to buy and freeze, I promise. I’m sure you have a stash of bananas in the freezer also so space is at a premium.
Mini bottles of alcohol and liqueurs. They add tons of flavor to frostings, fillings and cakes. They also help you get through long baking sessions, ha!!
Check your stores weekly ads for flour and sugar. Powdered, granulated and brown. I have a plastic bin with a lid just for my stockpile.
In previous posts, I’ve confessed my complete adoration of Big Lots. They have an awesome baking section complete with all varieties of Guittard Chocolate Chips. At $2.75, that’s almost a steal. Buy it now before everybody finds out and the price goes up.
Planning and shopping ahead when you can is a time and sanity saver. We want to bake the best for our family and friends but it’s also very important to make sure we take the time to enjoy the season. This means setting aside some time just for us. Put your feet up and have a few cookies with your favorite beverage. Turn off the electronic devices and just be still for a bit and enjoy those tidings of comfort and joy.