Baking soda and baking powder are both key ingredients for leavening, helping you get that perfect rise. So are they different? Keep this handy infographic around to help you remember!
As another year wraps up, so does another year of dinner menus, sweet desserts, holiday parties and kitchen memories. At Clabber Girl, we like to offer you as many recipes as we possibly can to make your baking experiences memorable and delicious. Here are the top 10 viewed recipes from 2015:
10. Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies: These cookies are perfect for any holiday occasion. If you dress them up in festive icing and sprinkles, they’re a little sweeter!
9. Caramel Cheesecake Brownies: Caramel, Cheesecake, and Chocolate, do we even need to say anymore? These decadent brownies are perfect for sweet tooths and chocoholics.
8. Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies: Cut these pumpkin cookies into pumpkin shapes for double the Halloween fun!
7. Corn Bread: Whether it’s a side dish for chili or a staple in the bread basket during Thanksgiving dinner, it’s no secret that corn bread is a favorite for all!
6. Chocolate Chip Banana Cupcakes: Not only are these cupcakes sweet, but they’re beautiful!
5. Snowball Cookies: A favorite from Mexico, these cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and perfect for holiday cookie exchanges.
4. Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins: Breakfast just got a little better with these blueberry muffins topped with a cinnamony, nutty streusel.
3. Baking Powder Biscuits: These biscuits, topped with butter, smothered in jam or drenched in gravy, are versatile and yummy however you choose to serve them up!
2. Belgian Waffles Made with Clabber Girl Pancake Mix: Who doesn’t love waffles on a Saturday morning? Create a big batch of pancake mix to last you a while. You’ll be whipping out waffles before the coffee is brewed!
1. Old-Fashioned Biscuits (as shown on Clabber Girl can): Of course biscuits are our number one searched recipe! We pride ourself on our famous biscuit recipe and are honored that year after year you choose to put our biscuits on your table.
We look forward to meeting with you in the kitchen again in 2016! Here’s to another year of delicious baking!
We Are Resolved
We are resolved to love more fully. To love ourselves, body, mind, and heart. To love our family with time and our patience. To love our friends with compassion and joy. To love our neighbors with mercy and understanding. We will strengthen our resolve with warm whole-grain bread, fresh from the oven. Our muscles will burn as we knead, our minds will puzzle as we mix, our hearts will warm as we create. Age-worn hands will guide small, clumsy hands over bowls of batter and frosting. Stories will be shared with laughter over treasured bites. Spirits will be lifted from the work of our souls and our kitchens.
We are resolved to seek adventure. To take with us the wisdom of our roots and the curiosity of our childhood. New things will be created from old, and we will taste more of life as we push beyond the constraints of what is comfortable and into the big, beautiful world. Putting aside our anxieties, we will delve into flavors and places entirely new to us and discover parts of ourselves we’ve never met before.
We are resolved to make the world better for us being in it. What gifts we have been given, we will share. It may sting, but our vulnerability will create lasting connections as we share our favorite recipes…and our mistakes. When we can, we will right wrongs. When we cannot, we will learn.
We are resolved to cultivate health. To use our ovens for good, and not evil. The nourishment of carefully-chosen grains and the enjoyment of nature’s candies will fill our lives with pinker cheeks and surprising endurance. Our options for delicious and wholesome foods will grow, and so will we.
We are resolved to acquire new skills. To try and fail until we’ve gotten it right. To giggle hysterically when we look silly, but to not stop working, not stop dancing, not stop stirring. We will reach a potential we could only guess that we had.
We are resolved to laugh more at ourselves. To laugh until our ribs hurt and we struggle to catch our breaths. At our flat singing voices, our flat tires, and our flat cakes.
We are resolved to take nothing for granted, especially when a teaspoon of vanilla goes so far.
We are resolved rise above where we were before, like popovers in a hot oven.
We are resolved to be tough when needed, and tender when it counts the most.
We are resolved…to bake.
It’s easy to let the stress of creating a ‘Pinterest perfect’ holiday overshadow the simple pleasures and traditions that the holiday season can bring. We get so busy decorating, planning menus, attending parties and shopping, that many of us wake up on December 26th feeling glad that it is over. By working to impress and perfect, we miss opportunities to be ‘in-the-moment’ along the way.
Most of our special holiday memories aren’t wrapped in Martha Stewart perfection. They are normal moments spent with special people. I can still feel the child-like excitement of being with my mom in the kitchen. I would hover close by, offering to measure baking powder or crack an egg, but always hoping she would give me a spoon or beater to enjoy as payment for my ‘help.’
I was her little baking assistant until Santa brought me a gift that would move me from tag-along treat maker to head baker… the Easy Bake Oven. My first creations were miniature size cookies baked to perfection in a waffle size round baking pan. I don’t remember much about the cookies, but I remember the smiles and the praise from my family as we enjoyed the treats together. Many of today’s toys are fads that last only as long the popularity of a television show or animated character. There are just a few that stand the test of time. The Easy Bake Oven is one of those toys! Why does it continue to show up at the top of so many Christmas wish lists, you may ask? Because it brings generations together to create yummy goodies and a special memory.
Imagine my delight when my five year old announced this year that the toy at the top of her list (with no pressure from Mom) is the Easy Bake Oven. I have a special feeling Santa will come through for her since she is on the ‘Nice List’ this year. I am already imagining the fun times spent together over warm cookies and a glass of milk. Our time in the kitchen won’t be a chore, but a fun experience with many little messes, but even more little smiles. We will savor the simple pleasures and share the true meaning of the season.
I hope that you take the time to create some fun for your family as well. Check out our Clabber Girl Perfectly Easy Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, specially formulated for the Easy Bake oven or try our full size Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe for the regular oven. Get started baking memories!
Creating moments that last a life time doesn’t have to mean perfection and exhaustion. We at Clabber Girl believe that it can be as simple as baking memories together. Baking brings joy to the young and young-at-heart. We were in the kitchen with you, your mother and your grandmother, and we are ready to help your sons and daughters begin baking family traditions as well.
Find more recipes for your holiday menu at www.clabbergirl.com and be sure to visit the Clabbergirl Museum and Bakeshop in Terre Haute, Indiana for a unique and memorable culinary experience.
The holidays are my favorite baking time of year. I enjoy going through old family cookbooks and then looking online for new holiday cookie recipes that sound good. I remember baking with my mom in our kitchen every year. We made several different kinds of muffins and cookies to give out, and it is a tradition that we carry on with the little ones in our family now. Every year I usually end up making about 12 kinds of cookies, and it’s never the same each year. If you are searching for some classic holiday cookie recipes, I have a great mix from the Clabber Girl database right here.
Molasses drop cookies are my favorite cookie of all time, not just the holidays. They are sweet and dark and just right for me. Since these call for Rumford Baking Powder instead of baking soda, they will be super soft and chewy – just the perfect texture you want in a molasses cookie. I usually shape mine by rolling into 1 or 2 inch spheres, then use my palm to flatten them down a bit. They won’t spread like a traditional cookie so you have to flatten them yourself.
To me, sugar cookies represent the classic cookie that everyone thinks of at Christmas time. I have a few tips for you to get the perfect sugar cookie every time. First, use cold pans every time. Since it is usually cold out when I make these, I just set the cookie sheets in my garage for a couple of minutes to instantly cool them off in between batches. If your cookie sheets aren’t cold, your cookies will spread more and get crunchier. My second holiday cookie recipe tip is to add a teaspoon of fresh orange zest to your cookie dough (use 1 tsp for every 3 dozen cookies your recipe yields). There is something magical that happens when you add orange zest to sugar cookies; it really helps enhance the vanilla flavor. Last tip for the perfect sugar cookie is to watch how long you bake them. Sugar cookies don’t have to be brown to be done. If you let them bake just until the bottoms are starting to brown, they are so much better. I usually flip up a cookie with a spatula to monitor how done they are and yank them out as soon as the bottoms start to brown.
These holiday cookies are a family favorite of ours. Snickerdoodles are rolled in a cinnamon sugar blend (usually 1:2 or 1:4 ratio). I love making these with my nephews! I usually prepare the dough and let them roll the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture. It’s one holiday cookie recipe that even the youngest helpers can have fun making. Once they are big enough to hold the mixer on their own, kids can help make the dough too.
I love the way snowball cookies or Mexican wedding cakes just melt in your mouth. They are a pretty cookie that look so different in a tin next to these other classic holiday cookie recipes. This is one holiday cookie recipe that doesn’t call for a lot of flour. It is mostly made up of corn starch and butter. I like adding in a half cup of almond pieces for an extra crunch. Don’t worry if you can’t get your dough into perfect ball shapes. I have made mine into fingers instead, just rolling them into a log about 3 inches long by half an inch wide.
I think this is probably the second most well known holiday cookie recipe: gingerbread. If you are making gingerbread for a younger audience, scale back the spices. Gingerbread can be too spicy for younger pallets. If you are making these for children, try cutting the ginger, nutmeg and cloves in half. Gingerbread is a very old recipe that has been passed down for centuries, if not millenia. Decorate your gingerbread with our Royal Icing recipe.
Every time I make oatmeal raisin cookies, they are a crowd pleaser, and everyone’s favorite. I like to make the basic recipe, then make a batch with just walnuts and another batch with both raisins and walnuts. If anyone I am baking for has a nut allergy, I tend to make cookies with nuts last. I don’t even bring out the nuts until I have made all the nut-free cookies. I thoroughly wash all my pans and tools to make sure there isn’t any unintentional residue. This way people can enjoy the other cookies I’ve made and those who aren’t allergic to nuts can have these cookies too.
If you have anyone who is gluten intolerant or adhere to a gluten free diet, these gluten free peanut butter and jelly cookies are so tasty! Unlike some gluten free baked goods that can taste tough, these are softer due to the peanut butter. I prefer strawberry preserves but any jelly could be used.
These are all of our classic holiday cookie recipes. I plan on making these and more in the coming weeks. Did I leave out any of your favorite classics out? Let me know in the comments section. The picture below is from a baking marathon in 2012. Cookies pictured from left to right: holiday wreaths, snickerdoodles, gingerbread, shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, raisin oatmeal cookies, walnut oatmeal cookies, molasses cookies, snowball cookies, butter cookies and peanut butter cookies.
The Cookie Exchange: A Great Holiday Tradition
Hosting a cookie exchange can be daunting as you think about what’s needed to prepare. Holidays can be fast-paced and stressful. It’s easy to wonder – can you slow down enough to stay in touch with those you care for most? Even a cookie exchange can generate stress with its various components. Far outweighing the difficulty, though, are all the good feelings such an event brings to your home.
In this regard, the holiday cookie exchange has a “triple action.” It connects us with family and friends in a festive atmosphere, it saves a little time in creating a variety platter of cookies for our holiday enjoyment, and it allows us to seek out new varieties of cookies. And we get to eat them. Well… maybe that’s four things, but this won’t be the first time where counting is optional.
Here are a few ideas from Clabber Girl if your cookie exchange needs planning or if you’re hosting for the first time.
Consider your “audience.” What do they like? Consider tailoring the mood – music, theme, decor – in a way that feels comfortable for your guests. This may be as simple as setting the audio on a Christmas-themed station and lighting a few candles. Or it may involve setting aside a kids arts-and-crafts (cookie decorating?) area if families or mothers with kids will be in attendance. Note from Mom: Since it is the cold and flu season, consider hand-sanitizer, tongs and other accommodations to ensure everyone gets home healthy.
Prior to your event, if your guests are able, ask them to provide you with the name of the cookie they’ll bring. This ensures that you will have a variety of cookies without duplicates and will offer you a chance to set out platters with tags in anticipation of their arrival. Note from Mom: You can also use this correspondence to provide a list of things participants need to bring (containers, etc.) and set down any ground rules.
Speaking of ground rules – you may have some unique to your group. You might ask for everyone to bring recipe cards for sharing. If it’s a reading club or group of girlfriends, perhaps those interests get folded into the cookie exchange. It could be as simple as making each other laugh with a white elephant gift or ugly Christmas sweater contest. Note from Mom: Or it could be a little more genteel, like asking everyone to bring a gift tin or a bottle of wine for trading. The pre-exchange communication is crucial to the end result of having a good event and an amazing and varied landscape of cookies spread across your tables.
And finally, don’t be afraid to try something new. Perhaps add some savory to your sweet. There will be plenty of sugar at your party. Adding a few savory cookies or appetizers would be a great way to offset some of the sweetness. Need some new, fun cookie or app ideas? Check out our Pinterest board! Brownie drop cookies, chocolate peppermint cookies, gingersnaps, spiced pecan oatmeal cookies, or almond biscotti would all make delicious choices for a cookie exchange! Note from Mom: Finally, don’t forget the drinks– milk would be an obvious choice, but you could also provide things such as coffee, cider, tea or hot chocolate.
Don’t forget that it’s OK to enjoy a cookie. Giving is so much fun, it can be easy to forget the enjoyment that can come from savoring the results of our own creativity and delicious ingredients. Note from Mom: Enjoy yourself and each other. Here’s to a wonderful holiday season and a successful cookie exchange!