Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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December 9, 2013

Cooking from scratch a big part of holiday fun

Many of you don’t bake as often as you once did for a variety of reasons. This time of the year you are extra busy. I know you are busy with church, family and social events, but nothing says the holidays like made-from-scratch holiday baking. It could be cookies, some kind of pie, a flavorful tender fruit cake, and of course candy.

Nowadays there are some great packaged mixes that you can enhance with your own flavorings and additions like chopped nuts and dried fruits. I recently had some tasty tender cookies made this way, it was a time saver for the hostess and the cookies were great. But when it comes to Christmas cookies there is nothing like the real cookie-making process.

When it comes to cookies made from scratch you need to plan ahead and use these ideas so that you can make the baking experience a success. I suggest you just leave recipes alone and prepare them in their traditional way for the holidays; you don’t want to disappoint your family. With a positive attitude, just a few ingredients and your time, it is possible to create an array of cookies in different shapes, sizes, textures, and tastes.

Ingredients are what make for great tasting cookies. The main four ingredients are some kind of fat such as butter, margarine, solid shortening or oil, eggs, flour and sugar. Then you add other ingredients in various combinations including chocolate, cocoa powder, nuts, raisins, citrus zest, oatmeal, spices and extracts to create flavor and texture interest.

Most recipes call for a fat. The fat makes the flavor of the cookie, the color, and softness or tenderness. The fat also supplies the moisture that dissolves the sugar during the creaming process and this contributes to the overall smooth flavor of the cookie. I know that many of your cookies are eaten so fast that you or others have no idea what I am writing about.

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