5 better holiday baking tips to elevate your celebrations

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(BPT) - Baking during the holidays is a great way to bring family and friends together. Whether you're trying out a new recipe or following old traditions, there are plenty of ways to elevate your holiday baking! Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dalina Soto shares some better baking tips below that every host needs to know this holiday season.

1. Keep Your Workspace Clean and Organized

Before you begin baking your holiday creations, make sure to clean your workspace to avoid any cross-contamination. Having an organized workspace can also shorten your time spent baking, from prep to plating. By arranging all ingredients before you begin baking, everything will be within reach right when you need it.

2. Test Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Believe it or not, your baking powder and baking soda do have a shelf life! If they are expired, you won’t get the typical rise and lift on your baked goods. To test for freshness, pour a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup of hot water and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda into two tablespoons of vinegar. If both mixtures bubble, let the baking commence!

3. Reduce Oil Measurements

Oil is a common ingredient in baking as it ensures your baked goods will be moist, soft and delicious! However, there are ways to reduce the fat content without taking away from the integrity of your recipe. Soto recommends using plain yogurt or fruit purees such as applesauce and mashed bananas as a replacement. Making this simple change can lessen the amount of saturated fat in your recipes and will be just as delicious!

4. Practice a Healthy Balance

During the holidays, there’s an abundance of sweet treats and delicious foods. While you should enjoy these foods with friends and family, try to maintain balance by drinking enough water to stay hydrated and incorporate fiber and nutrition with fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.

5. Use High-Quality Ingredients

To elevate your holiday baking creations even more, Soto stresses the importance of using high-quality ingredients, like Eggland’s Best eggs, to ensure your meals are delicious and nutritious. Eggland’s Best eggs contain 25% less saturated fat compared to ordinary eggs, which helps to support a balanced diet even during the holidays. They also contain more than double the Vitamin B12 compared to ordinary eggs, to keep you feeling energized and satisfied throughout all your seasonal activities.

Try these Festive Vanilla Holiday Cupcakes if you're looking for a new recipe that will wow your guests during your holiday festivities. They're easy, delicious and even double as holiday décor!

Festive Vanilla Holiday Cupcakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

· 3 Eggland's Best eggs, large

· 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 teaspoon baking powder

· 1 1/2 cups sugar

· 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

· 3/4 cup milk

· 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Frosting:

· 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

· 16 ounces regular cream cheese, softened

· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

· 8 cups powdered sugar

· 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Decorating:

  • Snow globe:
    • Ornament
    • Gingerbread Cookie
  • Snowman:
    • Marshmallows
    • Pretzel Sticks
    • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Trees:
    • Pretzel Sticks
    • Green Frosting

PREPARATION
Cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Sift flour and baking powder and set aside. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy while adding eggs one at a time, add in vanilla extract.
3. Gradually add flour mixture and milk to mixer until well incorporated.
4. Divide batter evenly on cupcake liners. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before decorating.

Decorating/Frosting:
1. In a bowl, add the butter and cream cheese and whisk well until lump-free. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix some more. Mix in the powdered sugar until combined.
2. Using a regular icing tip, pipe the frosting onto the cupcake.
3. Decorate with optional toppings as pictured in image.

Recipe Tips:
For the frosting, make sure to remove the butter and cream cheese from the fridge so that it will be easier to mix and make the frosting.

If making the snowman, use icing to hold the pieces together.

You can find more holiday recipes to take your celebrations to the next level by visiting EgglandsBest.com.