Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tips for Christmas Cookie Baking & Giving...Works for Me Wednesday


Making cookies at Christmas used to overwhelm me a bit.  There are so many people I want to make cookies for....and so little time.  I still don't get them made for everyone on my list (the church choir has been on my list now for 2 years and still has not seen one cookie), BUT I've learned how to de-stress the whole process and just have fun with it.  Maybe the choir will get their cookies this year, after all.


First...take a look at your supplies.  You're going to need:

    Order.Them.Now.

    Try Amazon, Sweet Baking Supply, King Arthur Flour, or even your local craft shop.  (Also, try clicking the links in this post.) ;)


    OK....next.  Start early.  Cookie decorating is really more fun if you break it up into chunks.   
    Do one of the following to make life easier:
    • make the dough ahead and freeze (thaw in the fridge overnight)
    • bake the cookies and freeze (thaw at room temperature for a few hours)
    • bake the cookies the day before decorating
    • make the icing a day (or so) before decorating (if you are doing fine detail work, you'll want to make this the same day you are using)

    If you are making hundreds of cookies, you might want to make and decorate a few dozen at a time, THEN freeze...yes, cookies decorated with royal icing can be frozen.  I individually bag the cookies, then place in freezer baggies, then place those in plastic containers to prevent crushing.  Thaw at room temperature in the packaging for several hours.


    Shipping...after all of that hard work, you really want your cookies to arrive intact.  Check this post and this video for info on shipping.

    So, who's decorating cookies this season?
     
    {Or are you waiting until New Year's?}

    These few tips work for me; I hope they work for you, too!  

    50 comments:

    1. Thank you so much!! I'm totally in the mood to decorate cookies now!

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    2. can't wait to start cooking my cookies for the family & friends. such fun!!! what great ideas. (:

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    3. Thanks for the tips!! Gonna share this with a friend whom i'm helping with the baking!

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    4. So nice of you to make me a house! My last name is Adair. Not common. Love all the tips. Heading to Sweet this week for supplies. Love having it in town!

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    5. Love your blog! Love your cookies. Thanks for always sharing.
      laura@imnotatrophywife.com

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    6. I am!!! This year I'm doing it just for fun... so I'm sure I'll have a great time!!!

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    7. Awesome post, as usual, Bridget! Love all your Christmas cookies - so cute!

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    8. Bravo! Great information and very timely. Your cookies are so cute too! Loved seeing them in all their glory!

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    9. This post makes me happy. I love baking cookies every year for Christmas gift giving. After following you for a few months now, I feel ready to try my first "big girl" decorated cookies this season.
      Your cookies look great! Even Thing 1 thinks so, he keeps saying "tooties and point at your pictures. :) My favorites are the christmas lights. Thanks for sharing.

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    10. Waiting on a box from amazon and I am making my first batch of cookies this weekend! Excited.

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    11. I love your cookies especially the sheep.

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    12. Gina @ CreativeCrumbs by GinaNovember 29, 2011 at 10:06 PM

      great tips! Question....do you ever freeze cut but unbaked cookies? How far in advance would you do that?? Have some big orders (for me) coming up and getting ready!! :) Thanks for all the inspriation!!

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    13. Oh I love your Christmas cookies! Anyone who receives these will be so excited I know!

      I've been meaning to let you know that I made your vanilla sugar cookies and blogged about them Here:

      http://jennipriceillustration.blogspot.com/2011/11/snowman-cookies.html

      Thanks for the delicious recipe! I'm eating a cookie from that batch right now :)

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    14. Your cookies are amazing and inspiring. I decorate cookies every year, and I will refer to your photos for inspiration. WOW!

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    15. Your cookies are amazing and inspiring. I decorate cookies every year, and I will refer to your photos for inspiration. WOW!

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    16. Wow beautiful Christmas cookies!! Thanks for suggestions...

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    17. Sooooo,CUTE!!
      I'm love it:)
      Your cookies makes everybody happy!
      Of course,I also became happy!!

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    18. So many cute designs here! You really have a talent!

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    19. Que bonito post y que galletas tan preciosas. Cuando las miras son como joyas.

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    20. Lot's of great advice. I do the "one thing a day" if I can. it really helps, and I think a lot of new bakers think it all has to be done at once.

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    21. I had no idea iced cookies could be frozen! Thanks for the tips!

      For packaging...I create custom, personalized ribbon. Perfect for tying this sort of thing!

      www.Royal-Ribbons.com

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    22. Every time you post pictures of your cookies I am so amazed! Love, love, love them! I will be making Christmas cookies to give as a gift for my husband's office party this weekend, but I promise they will not look this good. I guess I better get off the couch and start baking!

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    23. I've really been thinking about doing some decorated cookies this year (I've slacked off all year and didn't do any) and these tips help a ton! I really think I may get some dough in the freezer!!

      Also...I loved seeing all your pretty Christmas cookies. The New Years Eve are my favorites!!

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    24. Love all of these tips, Bridget! I haven't had much time to decorate cookies, but I'm hoping to squeeze some in before Christmas!

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    25. those kissing ones for new years are so cute!

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    26. I'm hoping you or fellow bakers could help. I'm going to try making choc. covered cherries, reeses cups and almond joys...does anyone know if I can freeze them so I can have them for Christmas? Thank you in advance for your help.

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    27. Great tips! Only if I could actually take your advice instead of deciding the night before and trying to make 100 in one day!

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    28. I have decided to be brave and decorate cookies this year, thanks to all your advice! I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and love it! Thanks for sharing your helpful hints.

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    29. would love to see you do this contest. Or at least do the snow globe decorating and post it on your blog! I wish I had your patience for this. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2011/11/29/let-it-snow-let-it-snow-let-it-snow-globe-join-the-snow-glove-fun-and-make-your-own-cutter/?go=EP111130D&utm_source=EP111130&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&spMailingID=4246570&spUserID=MTEwMDMyOTk1MTgS1&spJobID=255187555&spReportId=MjU1MTg3NTU1S0

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    30. can't wait to start christmas cookie baking!!! so much fun with the kiddos..... i absolutly love you site and have used so many tips! every post is so inspiring!
      caseyssweetcreations.blogspot.com

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    31. Hi! Around my pictures on my blog there is a white border. Yours do not have a border. How do I change my pictures to have no border on my blog?

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    32. big hugs for this amazing post of things I need to know!!! My sanity thanks you

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    33. Hi, I was wondering what you use to add the sparkle, such as on the ornament cookie and the Christmas light cookies. Is it colored sparkles or a clear that picks up the color of what you add it to?

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    34. Your cookies are darling and you have great tips. This is my first time visiting your site. I'll definitely be back.

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    35. I have read as many of your posts today as my poor eyes can. I am trying to create my list of needs so I can finally stop lurking and start trying to decorate cookies of my own. I pulled out my rolling pin that has not been used in eons to find that the wood has cracked. It put me on a mission today to try and decide what kind of new rolling pin did I need. Do you have any suggestions?

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    36. Angie R.....that's red sanding sugar

      Holt notes....I use a silicone rolling pin, but a wood one works perfectly fine, too. Reslly, whatever you like. :)

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    37. Thanks for the tips Bridget, you are so talented!!!

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    38. You are insanely talented. Absolutely incredible. This is my year to conquer this cookie decorating thing. Off to bake and freeze some cookies!

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    39. Strolling down your cookie memory lane was fun:) Every cookie you make is darling, Bridget. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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    40. Hello Bridget

      I love your site and your cookies, I am a cook/baker, I bake lots of desserts but never tried my hands on decorating cookies. I am not working now,and Iam interested to try doing this and take it from there.... Thanks for sharing your experience with us....
      Arlette

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    41. Bridget !

      You are the cat's meow!!!! Just awesome I wish I could have an ounce of your talent!
      THanks for sharing the wonderful and inspiring things you do!

      Lyria

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    42. This is so helpful - THANK YOU for answering my questions and allowing me to manage the stress better : )

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    43. Bridget, this a great post!!! I love making cookies for everyone, but I too get so overwhelmed!
      I've always been afraid to freeze decorated cookies - do they thaw out in "fresh" condition, and do you ever have trouble with condensation inside the packaging that messes up the frosting? I'm always afraid of this finicky Houston humidity messing them up as they thaw.

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    44. Such a great post! Thanks to you, when the teacher I work for asked me to make Gingerbread men for our preschoolers to taste, I was able to whip them up in no time, with your gingerbread recipe, and your royal icing is easy to make and easy to work with! Thanks for sharing all your "secrets" with us. We do so appreciate the help.

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    45. I adore the little dotty trees so very much! The trunks are ultra cool. :)

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    46. Making cookies during November-December stresses me out! So many people order cookies from me...it is awesome, but having a full time day job and then coming home and baking for 4 or 5 hours a night is exhausting! Looking forward to January and the vacation I get to take with the money I made on cookie sales : ) Love your cookies!

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy baking! :)
    (Comments, especially on busy giveaways, may take a minute to show...thank you for your patience.)

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