When the weather outside is frightful, we often look to our ovens for entertainment. Winter baking is one of the season's best pastimes — especially when the snow outside prevents you from leaving the house. Michelle Apiar, the artist at Haute So Sweet creations and a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, where she specialized in pastry, knows a thing or two about successful baking. To make sure your winter is a successfully sweet one, we asked her to give us her top three tips on baking.
1. Freezer-Friendly Doughs
Shortbread doughs hold very well in the freezer, so you can make a big batch, shape it into logs, wrap well, and freeze. When you are ready to bake, thaw them in the fridge overnight, take them out and lightly coat with an egg wash, roll in colored sanding sugar, slice, and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets to bake. Simple, festive, and delicious!
2. Don’t Overwork It
The biggest mistake home bakers make when making cookies is overworking the dough. To maintain the tender and buttery nature of shortbread cookies, you want to mix the dough until just combined and only roll out the scraps once. It is also important to let the dough rest between mixing and rolling.
3. Use Festive Flavors
Creative flavors to work with are pomegranate, cardamom, and cranberry with Grand Marnier.