Why Baking is Good For the Soul and 3 Easy Holiday Treats the Whole Family will love!
Imagine walking into a home that smells like homemade bread, cookies or cinnamon rolls. The scent envelopes you and makes you feel like a child again. Baking, it is said, is good for the soul. Not only because the aromas and flavors can take you back to childhood, but also because it can help you find focus and joy. This holiday season, consider taking time to bake and experience the great pleasures this simple act can provide.
Baking as Meditation
Being able to single-mindedly focus on a task is meditative. Baking allows you to be in the moment and to focus only on what you’re doing. One of the most meditative types of baking you can do is to bake bread. The kneading by hand is perhaps the most meditative aspect of the bread-baking process. You can bake bread as gifts or simply as something to enjoy with friends and family. Imagine a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread coming out of your oven.
Baking as a Family Tradition
Children love to bake. They love to eat too! Baking cookies and holiday treats is a tradition in many families. You can set aside an entire day or weekend to bake with your family. Make a list and create a plan. Who is going to bake what? Who gets to decorate the cookies? What kind of cookies and treats will you make? Get everyone involved in the baking decisions and process. Even the youngest children can contribute. They certainly have a favorite cookie and their decorating skills are unmatched!
Baking as a Way to Unwind
There’s something simple and joyful about baking. It cannot be hurried. You must follow directions. Everything is laid out for you, yet there’s a creative element to it as well. Baking for loved ones, for pleasure, and for family doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It can be a real pleasure. During the holidays in particular, baking is a fantastic way to unwind. You can spend an afternoon or an entire weekend filling your home with the delicious aromas of fresh-baked goods.
Remember when you’re baking that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the best recipes are also the easiest. Bake a loaf of white bread. Make sugar cookies. Enjoy the holidays and all the simple pleasures that come with it. Bake to find focus, bake for pleasure, bake to de-stress and bake to connect with your loved ones.
Quick and Easy Holiday Baking Treats the Kids Will Love
Are you looking for a way to keep your children busy during holiday break? One great way to have them contribute to the holiday festivities is to have them help make holiday treats. In many families cookies are an important part of the holiday tradition. Even if your children aren’t able to bake yet, they can help decorate. Here are a few quick and easy holiday treats your kids will love.
#1 Rice Crispy Treats
Rice Crispy treats are no-bake snacks that can be ready in a matter of minutes. You can find the recipe on the side of any rice cereal box. You need a box of rice crispy cereal, a bag of marshmallows and butter. Once the treats are made, you can use cookie cutters to shape them into holiday decorations.
One easy shape for younger children is to cut the treats into circles and decorate them to resemble tree ornaments. You can use basic colored gel frosting found at the supermarket, or make your own butter cream frosting and color it with food coloring to match your desired decorating style. Let your little ones express their creativity by decorating the treats.
#2 Sugar cookies
Round sugar cookies can be made and decorated like holiday ornaments. Or you can roll them out and use various holiday cookie cutter shapes to get more creative. This is particularly fun for older children who may enjoy more complicated decorating tasks. Additionally, older children can bake the cookies.
#3 Peanut butter balls
Another no-bake cookie that’s fun to make are peanut butter balls. They’re also called buckeyes. Basically, you blend peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar into a gooey mess. You then roll the peanut butter mix into melted chocolate, let cool and enjoy. Here’s a quick and easy recipe.
* 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed, paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for thirty minutes in your freezer. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in your microwave. Stir frequently until smooth. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top. Place back on wax paper and store in refrigerator.
If you have family recipes, invite your children to help bake. Getting your children involved in the holiday preparations accomplishes many beneficial things. It helps them feel valuable. They learn new skills. Additionally, it helps them stay busy during time off of school. They’ll be able to grow up and share their joy of holiday baking with their own family.