Simple Holiday Baking Tips

holiday baking tips

Follow our tips below to help you with all of your holiday baking this season!

Holiday baking is the perfect gateway to working with healthy ingredients. You can make cookies and cakes crave-able for even the most discerning palate. Here are a few of our favorite tricks:

Holiday Baking Tips: Play with Whole Grains

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  • Swap whole-wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour. Regular whole-wheat flour is made from hard winter wheat and should not be swapped in completely for white flour because the final product will be dense. You can usually swap 1/3 to 1/2 without sacrificing texture.
  • Use whole-wheat pastry flour 100% for all-purpose flour. Whole-wheat pastry flour comes from soft winter wheat and is ground more finely than regular whole wheat flour. We have used Arrowhead Farms and Bob’s Red Mill brand of WW pastry flour with great success in our cookies, cakes and soufflés.

Holiday Baking Tips: Our Favorite Applications for WW Pastry Flour

  • Shortbread cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Pate brisee or pate sucre (aka pie dough)

Note: WW pastry flour is great for sweet quick breads (think muffins, banana/zucchini bread, coffeecake) but it is not intended for slow breads that need gluten (yeast breads, cinnamon buns, pizza crusts).

Holiday Baking Tips: Play with Fats

  • Olive oil is great in cakes, especially paired with chocolate, almond, and/or citrus.
  • Irish butter (like Kerrygold) is higher in butterfat/omega 3s and therefore has lower moisture content. It is valued for its richer taste and is best as a spread for toast.
  • Canola oil is highly versatile, finding its way into savory sautés.
  • Nut butters are full of healthy fats and can really amp up flavor.
  • Flax seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids AND fiber! Flaxseed meal can be transformed into an egg replacer by combing 1 tablespoon with 3 tablespoons water.

About Loni & Leah:

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Loni has a culinary certificate from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, as well as a B.S. in Nutrition from Boston University. When she isn’t cooking with Leah, she is changing the lives of young cooks at Future Chefs and Beaver Country Day Camp.

Leah is a graduate student of Boston University, working on her M.S. in Dietetics with the Dietetic Internship. In addition to training for the Boston Marathon, she is also teaching fitness classes at the Cambridge Athletic Club.

holiday baking tips

How did Loni and Leah meet?  Loni and Leah volunteered together in a six-week Cooking Matters class. They connected right away over delicious food and pink wine. They currently teach a series of healthy cooking classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education, which have been featured in the Boston Globe’s “Weekend to Do List.” You can find their recipes on the Boston Center for Adult Education’s blog and in the American Dietetic Association’s Eat Right Newsletter.

Want more in Cambridge? You can catch us at the Boston Center for Adult Education all year long!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter:
Leah @leahelspeth
Loni @lalaloni