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Christmas Food From eggnog to candy canes to ginger bread and beyond the flavors and treats of Christmas are a delight. Here we engage in all things connected to Christmas foods -- from recipes to how-to's. This section of the Merry Forums is presented by Merry Christmas Recipes, our own database of Christmas recipes, many of which get submitted by our users from around the world.


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  #11  
Old 10-22-2012, 09:49 AM
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redkaga redkaga is offline
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Originally Posted by Minta View Post
Great tips!

When it comes to butter makes sure you are using the correct type - Salted or UnSalted. Using the wrong one will make a big difference.
Good tip. Most modern recipes, unless otherwise stated, are meant to use unsalted butter.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2012, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Minta View Post
If trying a new recipe, its best to make it now and do a trial run to ensure it is something you want to add to your holiday baking list. Nothing like trying a recipe only to find out you dont like it.
Plus then you get to TRY the recipe and have cookies or whatever baked goods on hand that you just HAVE to eat because you can't use an untested recipe on anyone. hah hah. I love it.

I actually did this at work one year. I wanted to bake a bunch of cookies for my loved ones so I made like 6 different kinds and took them to work, asking people to rate their favorites. They got into it pretty well, turns out.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2012, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GingerMel View Post

I actually did this at work one year. I wanted to bake a bunch of cookies for my loved ones so I made like 6 different kinds and took them to work, asking people to rate their favorites. They got into it pretty well, turns out.
That actually sounds like a fun idea! I think I might have to try that at work this year. Now if I can prevent them from killing each other to get to the cookies....
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by redkaga View Post
This year I'm throwing out all (or most) of my baking ingredients on the 1st of November. I'm going to make a list of what I will likely be baking over the next couple months and purchase new ingredients for this holiday season.

Over the years I've found that I start baking for the holidays and one of two things happen: 1. I think I have something and I don't, or I don't have enough of it 2. something as gone bad and I don't know it. I've addressed the first problem with my November 1st purge. As for the second, anyone who watches cooking shows knows that some ingredients go bad even if they don't look it. Baking soda and powder are probably the worst, but flour and spices suffer a similar fate.

Also, when you're buying your spices this year I suggest everyone consider whole spices such as nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. The difference is amazing when you grind them right into your pumpkin pie or spice cookie dough. Plus, you don't have to worry so much about them going bad or losing flavor since you're releasing the flavor and oils when you grind them. I just use a microplane grater, but be careful because the flavors will be stronger than the same amount in a recipe using ground spices. You might want to cut back a little in your first attempt. Oh, and the exception is cinnamon. Cinnamon sticks look good in drinks or decorations, but they don't grind well into recipes. Buy a good ground cinnamon for baking, and try to avoid the cheap cinnamon dust.

So those are my tips right now. Does anyone else have baking tips for this holiday season?
Ok, So I did a little research and there are general guidelines that you can use so that you don't have to throw out everything. For example, did you know that most whole spices that you grind yourself have a suggested shelf life of up to 4 years? McCormick, one of the largest spice and herb manufactures has created a guide on their site that should help. http://www.mccormickgourmet.com/Products/LifeofSpice.aspx
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  #15  
Old 10-29-2012, 08:54 AM
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I couldn't get the link to work.
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2012, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chef Matt View Post
Ok, So I did a little research and there are general guidelines that you can use so that you don't have to throw out everything. For example, did you know that most whole spices that you grind yourself have a suggested shelf life of up to 4 years? McCormick, one of the largest spice and herb manufactures has created a guide on their site that should help. http://www.mccormickgourmet.com/Products/LifeofSpice.aspx
Yes, I was speaking of things like baking powder and soda. Even some of my flour will probably be pitched. Sugars and fats don't last long enough in my house to worry about, and whole spices are fine.


Another tip... parchment paper is your friend
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2012, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by redkaga View Post
Another tip... parchment paper is your friend
It most certainly is!
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  #18  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:46 AM
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I'm a baker at a bakery/cafe in town, and some things I would say is important would be baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tarter, flour, sugar (granule and powdered), brown sugar, oil, and of course the sprinkles!
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2012, 04:47 PM
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I'm a baker at a bakery/cafe in town, and some things I would say is important would be baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tarter, flour, sugar (granule and powdered), brown sugar, oil, and of course the sprinkles!
Those are all staples year round in my house In my opinion, sprinkles are what make the Christmas cookies! Gotta have lots of different kinds!
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