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14 Tips That Will Make Baking For The Holidays So Much Easier

Not only will you save time, money, and lots of effort with these tips but also your baked goods will be tastier and more beautiful than ever! And by switching to GEICO, you could save even more money on car insurance.

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1. Make icing beautiful cakes less of a struggle by starting with a crumb coat.

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A crumb coat is a thin base layer of icing that seals in crumbs and fills in spots where your cake isn't totally even. Chill the cake after applying this layer and before applying your thicker layer for perfect iced cakes.

3. Don't waste time cutting up butter with a pastry blender when you can grate it.

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Just use a cheese grater to shred very cold butter. You'll be able to blend it into your flour much faster. Pop the shredded butter back in the freezer if you're not quite ready for it, so it doesn't soften too much.

4. Remove a small piece of eggshell from a broken egg more quickly by dipping your finger in water first.


The tiny piece of shell will gravitate toward your finger, saving you the frustration of digging around in a gooey bowl.

5. Cut brownies with a plastic knife instead of a metal one if you don't have time to allow warm brownies to cool completely first.


The brownies will stick less to plastic, and you'll get nice, clean slices (instead of a mess).

6. Don't buy brown sugar you won't use again when you can make it yourself (or replace it altogether!).

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Just add molasses to regular granulated sugar — use one tablespoon of molasses for every one cup of granulated sugar, and combine with a fork. Or replace the brown sugar altogether by using honey. Substitute ½–⅔ cup honey for every cup of brown sugar.

7. Use a clean, empty water bottle to separate eggs faster.

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Just use the bottle to suction out the yolk. It's less messy than using the eggshell or your hands to separate the yolk from the white!

8. Slash down the time you spend icing cupcakes by using marshmallows instead of frosting.


When the cupcakes have just five minutes left to bake, pull them out of the oven, and stick a jumbo marshmallow — or a few mini marshmallows — on top. It helps if you slightly dampen the bottoms of the marshmallows, so they don't slide. Then pop the cupcakes back in.

9. Bake flatter-layer cakes that you won't have to trim to ice by lowering the oven temperature and increasing the baking time.

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If the recipes require you to bake the cake at 350°F, reduce the temperature to 325 and increase baking time by half (e.g., 45 minutes instead of 30). It will also help if you're super precise, so weigh the ingredients instead of measuring, and invest in an oven thermometer.

10. Save money and cut down on kitchen waste by freezing leftover eggs.

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Instead of pitching the yolks the next time you make a meringue or tossing out the white when you make a custard, freeze them! You can freeze just the yolks, just the whites, or whole eggs!

11. Prevent mess when piping icing by using plastic wrap inside of your pastry bag.

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Just spread the icing on a sheet of plastic wrap, and use both edges of the wrap to roll the frosting into a log. Twist it closed, tying one end and using scissors to cut off the tip of the other. Place the whole log into a piping bag.

Bonus: You can layer the frosting colors for fancy designs!

12. Shop the bulk section of your grocery store to save money when baking.

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Staples like flour and sugar tend to be cheaper here. And don't let the word "bulk" deter you; you can buy exactly how much you need, which means you won't pay for anything you won't need.

13. Bring eggs to room temperature super fast by submerging them in a water bath.

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Put the eggs in a bowl and cover them with slightly warm water for five to 10 minutes. Just make sure the water isn't too hot or the eggs will begin to cook. Aim to get the water the same temperature as water you'd take a bath in.

14. Soften butter in just five minutes without the risk of melting it by covering it with a hot glass.

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Fill a heat-safe glass with boiling water (or microwave a glass of water for about three minutes). Wait a moment for the glass to heat up and pour out the water. Invert the hot glass over your wrapped stick of butter and watch five minutes. When you unwrap the butter, it should be perfectly soft.

It's never been easier to save time and money during the holidays. Switch to GEICO to see if you could save even more money on car insurance.