Yesterday, I found my freezer shelf of baked goods empty! I was thinking that I needed to get on the stick and get it filled back up! Later in the day after getting NO baking accomplished, I was reading thru Tammy's Recipes and saw that she had posted a question from a reader looking for input on baking routines, I just had to laugh at myself because I was thinking, "boy, can I identify!". There are so many times when I think that just buying the already done baked goods would be so much easier but then I thought about how much I love to bake and how much healthier my baking is for my family! I decided to just stick with doing my own baking!
At the end of Tammy's response to the reader, Tammy also asked a few questions to her readers about how does one decide what baking items to have on hand; whether to put the baked goods in the freezer; and when to fit in "extra" baking time that isn't part of a meal into the daily schedule. Instead of taking the time to comment about my baking habits over at Tammy's, I thought I would make it my kitchen tip for today!
I love to bake! However, like many others, I find it difficult to do though because of having five kids, homeschooling them, and trying to keep the house from looking like it is a pig sty! I found trying to aim for and do a "baking day" was just too exhausting or something more urgent would come up on the day that I planned that the baking would get put to the back burner, so to speak. So I decided that if I was going to do any kind of baking I had to schedule time in my weekly routine for a couple of times a week during baby's naptime that I would do at least one baking item.
I made a list of all the baked goods that we enjoy on a regular basis. This list has helped me know what items I need to have on hand along with finding that sometimes I can do a couple of different baking items that use the same ingredients. You can make the same dough base(cookie or muffin) and just change the fruit or the baking chips that you use and have yourself two different baked goods.
I have made the habit of making goodies that I can do into individual servings. Like quick breads instead of being made into a loaf the batter is made into muffins. Then I just adjust the baking time, instead of it having to bake for a hour it usually only has to bake 30 minutes. I find this is so helpful when having to squeeze in baking time during my daily routine. I still make "one pan wonders" like coffee cakes but I save those for a time when I am not squeezing in time to bake.
As for knowing what items to have on hand, I always keep my pantry stocked with baking supplies. For the most part, I get them in bulk at Sam's Club. For those baking items that I do not need in bulk, like baking chips, honey, molasses, etc, those are items that I watch the sales for and when they are on sale I use my "stock up money" from my budget and I stock up!!! I think at last count I had over 2 dozen bags of baking chips!! LOL We love our chocolate chip cookies! I also keep store bought mixes that I have bought for pennies, like brownie and cake, on hand for those times when I just can't squeeze extra baking time in the schedule. I can do the mixes up while I work on dinner and let it cook at the same time dinner is cooking.
I usually will do a double batch of whatever it is that I baking, unless it is something I have never tried before. Once the goodies are cooled, I divide them up into several freezer bags and mark the bags! All but one bag ends up in the freezer! This way I have some to enjoy now and some that I can pull out later for lunches or needing to take baked goods to a church gathering.
There are my tips for baking goodies for your family to enjoy! For other kitchen tips, head over to Kitchen Tip Tuesday at Tammy's Recipes.