Kristen Bell’s Top 5 Tips for Holiday Baking
By Kristen Bell
Baking around the holidays goes way beyond making delicious sweet things. The whole act of it — gathering in a warm kitchen, the smells wafting through the house — feels so comforting and familiar. I think everyone grows up with memories of their mom cooking, and I want my kids to have that, too.
My favorite holiday baking tricks:
1. Honor traditions.
For us, it’s making Ohio Buckeyes — chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. My parents are from Ohio and making Buckeyes with my mom was really special as I was growing up, and it’s what I want my kids to remember us doing together.
2. Get creative with sweeteners.
I typically stay away from sugar during the year, but that goes out the window during the holidays. Sometimes though, I bake with applesauce, agave, maple syrup or other alternative sweeteners.
3. Be open to gluten-free.
People are trying to make the best decisions about what they put in their bodies. And if they feel bad when they have gluten, then we should be respectful of that. My husband is gluten-free, which inspires me to get experimental with dessert recipes. I use coconut flour and other flour alternatives when I can.
4. Don't knock premade desserts.
Look, I know other people are better at baking than me, and I’m okay with that. Whole Foods Market has great pies all ready to go, and I have no shame in baking some Immaculate Baking Company Gluten Free Cookie Dough. Both taste like you made them from scratch.
5. Baking is also for breakfast.
After a big holiday meal, I grab all the leftover bread to make a simple French toast casserole for my family the next morning. You slice the bread and put it in a baking dish and put a little pat of butter on each piece. Then, in a bowl, mix eight eggs, a cup of milk and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and leave it in the fridge overnight. Then, in the morning, just bake it for 20 minutes and you have an easy, delicious meal!