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Christmas baking ideas

Christmas Baking Ideas Made Easy With These Supplies

Christmas baking ideas are never enough and we agree! Here is a list of products that might come in handy for Christmas baking ideas.

There are days when I think of baking something exotic and exquisite! I start with cake recipes then go on to checking cookie recipes and then would be following pie recipes and ultimately end up confused! I heard many friends say the same thing. If you are not a professional baker, it is likely that you do not have all kinds of baking supplies and equipment. However, we have curated this list of basic baking supplies some time back that is worth checking.

First things first!

If you love baking then it is worth considering to buy an OTG, than just a microwave or convection oven. For example, you could check this OTG that helps with many Christmas baking ideas. I have been using this OTG at my home and so far the results are good and predictable!

Cookies and decoration

For cookies, a tray like this works best to lay all your cookies. And if you are looking for innovative cookie cutter then this cookie cutters set might be the one you are looking for. I know that your kitchen counter becomes messy with the process of making cookies, so this cake mat will save you from the extra cleaning.

We all love decorating our cakes and cookies, isn’t it? How about using some tips/icing nozzles for the same? Although the age old polythene cover homemade cones serve the basic purpose, these icing nozzles will make your cake art better.

Coming to the favorite in baking

Do you plan to create different shaped cakes for variety? Then try this set of 3 different shaped cake tins set for all occasions. If you have difficulty in getting the fluffy butter-sugar mixture then try investing in a hand blender. Here is a hand blender and stand mixer suggestion for you based on your budget.

Cup cakes, anyone?

Cup cakes are never enough! Sometimes the same batter looks more lovely in the form of cup cakes than the regular cakes. Also cup cakes are a great way to save time while serving, are less messy and gives you a better idea on planning the number of servings. Try this 12 slot cup cake pan for maximizing the amount of batter that goes into your oven.

Serving suggestions

If you like to cut and serve the cake itself, try this cake cutter and slicer for those perfect shapes. Keeping your cakes fresh and inviting is one of the most important aspect of saving them till your guests arrive. Try this cake service stand along with dome for such cool decor and a great way to store your cupcakes and cakes.

Are you a no-bake person?

Well, if baking is not your interest we have you covered too! Just order this healthy & rich plum cake or a cake with assorted chocolates and enjoy!

Note: Please consider buying the baking supplies by clicking on the links listed in the article. This is part of affiliate marketing and When you do so, a share of that amount goes to Zayka Ka Tadka, which will help us sustain our operations in bringing the best food recipes and content to you. We do not endorse any particular brand here and these are just suggestions based on our personal experience or users review on Amazon!

Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas Cookie Recipes For This Festive Season

Christmas cookie recipes are a must addition to your baking list. These Christmas cookie recipes are easy to make and will be loved by your kids.

Christmas is an yearly festival which commemorates the birth of Lord Jesus Christ . It is observed on 25th Of December every year. Though it is a celebration Of the Christian community with time it has become a celebration which is not limited to any particular community. People across races and nationalities come together and celebrate it With great joy. When we were kids I remember faintly that our neighboring aunties used to send Christmas goodies in the form of cakes, cookies, chocolates and fruits. They used to erect a Christmas tree at home and have wonderful celebrations. Christmas cookie recipes have a special place in all of these.

My childhood and Christmas cookie recipes

The variety of cookies they used to distribute used to be homemade in most of the cases. They used to start baking them  a a few days before Christmas and it used to be fun watching the aunties bake them together . My favorite ones were Ajwain cookies. Whenever we had the option to buy biscuits I used to  buy them from the nearest shop . The sweet, salty and  buttery taste is so delicious that you can’t resist eating them.They are perfect with a cup of hot tea . Apart from the above, another favorite one was cardamom flavoured coconut cookies. The chewy grated coconut in those Christmas cookie recipes, was very delicious and we used to keep on chewing the coconut for quite sometime. Whenever there were guests at home, they were served along with tea . But as children, we used to gobble them up and Polish off the plates.

Christmas cookie recipes today!

With time, I think things have changed too. Today the kids are so demanding that you never know what they might end up asking for in snacks . Apart from other items I make sure to have Mixed dry fruits cookies in my pantry. As a rule kids, do not eat anything healthy if you serve them in a straight forward way. Incorporating dry fruits in the cookies makes them more nutritious and kids also love them. Apart from nutrition, they also keep the body warm which is specially good for the body during winters.

One cookie that has not changed till date is the nankhatai. They used to be available in the shops and these days, we can make them at home too. I made them too and will share the recipe here at ZKT. They instantly melt in the mouth and the crumbling taste is awesome . You can also make stuffed nankhatai  which is  a bit richer in taste and perfect for celebrations .

More suggestions on Christmas cookie recipes

Cornflakes cookiesWheat coconut cookies are worth trying as both of them do not have refined flour. These can be consumed by diabetic people as well as the white sugar can be lowered and substituted by other sugar substitutes. You can also mix various flours together for making Christmas cookie recipes. They can be consumed by people who are weight conscious too.

I hope you will bake some of the Christmas cookie recipes that I mentioned above and serve them to your guests. Do not bother if they lack professional touch. Remember that anything made at home is more healthy and nutritious than those available in the markets. Moreover you can control the amount of sugar and fat levels from your end and also use healthier options compared to the store bought ones. Please share your feedback with us and Happy cooking. Merry Christmas to you to your near and dear ones!

baking supplies

My Top 7 Baking Supplies – A Baker’s Friends

Baking supplies or baking tools are unlimited when you hit the market. Here is a list of top baking tools that are must haves which make every baker’s life hassle-free.

 

What could possibly make a baker’s life easier? Say, you made this amazing cake last week and want to replicate it the following week for an upcoming dinner. You would hope that it comes out equally ‘amazing’ if not better than last week, right? Consistency then, is what you are looking for? Whether you are baking professionally or at home for family, you would like it to turn out consistently WELL. The right tools/baking supplies will help you out here.

What are the right baking supplies, you ask? My list may not be exhaustive, but over the years, I have found that these tools have made mixing, incorporation and texture better and generally ensured consistency. They have also helped to avert many cake disasters that I featured in my last post. Thanks to these essential baking supplies, I have even been able to try out things I have never made before with almost a 90-95% satisfaction rate. 

Do you take way too much time and energy baking and are left with a load of utensils after? Check out these helpful baking supplies that could make your life easier!

Springform baking pan

These baking pans have a clip at the edge that allows you to remove the cake from the pan without much fuss and ensures it looks fabulous. Be careful, though – as with all cakes, especially in the springform pan, the cakes need to be cooled before you even disengage the clip otherwise you can be rest assured the cake will split in half or crack open at the edges ruining the entire look of the cake.

Weighing scale

I discovered this pretty late – but it is easier to weigh your ingredients than following the ‘cup’ system (measuring). Bakers vouch by their weighing scale. It also makes it easier when you are halving or doubling your recipe quantity. For example – if you want to halve a recipe that calls for ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Ahem, not too easy to measure out 1/8 of a cup, is it? Also, when you measure out 1 cup of flour it is pretty easy to pack in more than a cup without realizing, especially if you are the sort who packs it in the cup pretty tightly. You can’t do that when you weigh ingredients out. I use this extremely cheap and functional one on Amazon.

Having said all this, if you aren’t comfortable with the weighing method, the measurement system will still give you good results.

Oven Mitts

Yes, oven mitts. Whether you are using a full blown oven, convection microwave or an OTG, buy a pair. You wouldn’t want to burn your extremely useful hands every time you get the pan into or out of the oven, do you?

Baking Supplies

Spatula

Spatulas are a wonderful, wonderful way of maximising the use of every last drop of your batter and ensuring it gets into the oven. These silicone spatulas are easy to clean, thoroughly collects the batter from the sides of your mixing bowl and it’s also very satisfying to watch it do its job.

Baking Supplies

Whisk

 

The balloon whisk is a very useful contraption especially to beat some sense into the initial few ingredients. Once you add the flour, it does get a bit difficult to use, but I have used it successfully to whisk batter for smaller quantity cakes. Large quantities will need the spatula for folding the flour in.

Baking Supplies

Measuring Cup

Especially useful if you are not weighing your ingredients, this is one of the must have baking supplies. Follow your recipe using this and my tips in my last post and your cake will not disappoint you!

Butter paper/Baking Paper/Wax paper

You can never have too many sheets of butter paper in your pantry. I have lost track of the number of times this unassuming sheet of paper has saved me. Ensure a smooth removal of your cake from the pan with this additional layer at the base of the pan. Use it over your oven tray to bake your cookies to avoid repeated cleaning of the tray itself and also for hygiene reasons. Use it to line the air-tight container in which you will refrigerate your baked goods if you plan to use it only the next day.

Stand Mixer

According to me, this is definitely not a must-have. I did just fine with my trusty Philips hand mixer for years. But a stand mixer is an extremely good-to-have product if you bake frequently. I bought my Oster a couple of years ago and I haven’t regretted it one bit. While the batter is mixing, your hands are free to do other things. I recently used The KitchenAid one and I was floored! Definitely features very high on my lust-list.

There you go, friends! My top pals in the kitchen. They have definitely cut down on time and frustration levels. Hope these baking supplies help you too. Leave me a comment to let me know. Until next post, toodles!

Cake Disasters | 4 Most Common Baking Mistakes

Cake Disasters | 4 Most Common Baking Mistakes

Are cake disasters bothering you?  After all the effort you put in, do your cakes have no wow factor? Our baking expert is here to help you avoid cake disasters.

Who doesn’t enjoy peering into the oven, looking through the warm lights inside and watching the ‘deliciousness-to-be’? As a child, I remember breaking into song and dance when I smelled that indescribable aroma of Mom’s baking; I also remember being told off for standing too close to that ‘hot oven door!’ waiting for it to be done.

To date, the most difficult part of baking for me has been dealing with impatience. From the minute the tray goes into the oven, I am trying to look inside. Has it risen yet? Is it done? Are the tops too brown? Should I remove the tray and check just for one teeny-tiny minute?
NO!

Enjoy baking but dislike the end result? You are in the right place because here I am now going to list down most commonly encountered lamentations I have heard from new bakers:
1. My cake rose so beautifully but the next thing I know, it sank. Now my cake has a crater the size of the Grand Canyon.
2. My cake tastes fine, but it’s not as soft and springy as it’s supposed to be.
3. I followed the instructions to the T. Why didn’t my cake turn out like the recipe said it would?
4. I followed the instructions here and there and did my own thing at some parts.

Read on to find out in detail on what you could be doing wrong!

Cake rose? Then sank?

Cake Disasters

Do not, I mean DO NOT open the oven door until more than 70% of baking time is done. If you have followed the temperature in the recipe instructions, a cake that will take one hour to bake will not be magically done in 20 minutes. So friends, hold your horses and resist the urge to pull down that oven door. According to the experts, the temperature of an oven drops by 10 degrees every second or so that it is open. By opening that door early on, you have invited a giant valley onto your cake. No amount of frosting will cover that up. Trust me – been there. Done that. Didn’t work.

Cake not soft or airy?

cake disasters

Couple of things – I remember thinking as kid while I was mixing batter – “Lump! I SEEEE YOU! I KEEELLL YOU!” Leave those lumps alone! Do not overthink things and do not keep mixing the batter until kingdom come. Just be sure, the ingredients are well incorporated – in the sense, there are no white flour streaks or unmixed cocoa powder hiding in the batter. Ideally a good recipe will ensure you have minimal lumps. Trust your recipe.

Another reason cakes do not reach their full potential of airiness and softness is because your ingredients are not brought to room temperature before you begin. Butter and Egg – I am primarily looking at you. (Melted butter also will not help). When at room temperature, butter and eggs mixed together with the other (room temperature!) dairy ingredients captures air. In the oven, this captured air, escapes and while it does, your baked product rises beautifully creating that soft and airy texture that you desire in your cake.

Followed your baking recipe? Still stuck with a dud cake?

cake disasters

You may have followed them, however shortcuts involving the steps mentioned above, will still hold you back from achieving the ultimate result. If you haven’t chosen shortcuts and you still end up with a mediocre product, you may want to check the temperature of your oven. Sometimes a re-calibration could be called for.

Did not follow your baking recipe?

cake disasters

At the risk of sounding like a school teacher, “Why, child?” Like I said before. Trust your recipe. It always pays to follow the exact measurements that your recipe calls for, because there is a science involved in coming up with those numbers. Dunking some extra baking soda in there in the hopes of achieving a super fluffy cake or reducing the number of eggs because you hate eggs or or or…turning up the oven temperature to be done sooner – ahem! Don’t.

I am a self-taught baker. Whatever I have learnt through the over-cooked, dry, underdone, ugly-looking cakes/cookies/rolls I have made, is that when it comes to baking, patience is truly a virtue. So, grit your teeth, hold on and resist that urge to be done with it all. Because in the end, it is your work of art coming out of that oven door.