Christmas time is here! Tis the season for baking pies, cookies, candies and so much more. We’re prepared to stuff our faces with festive sweets, but our pantry is not prepared to bake them. It’s time to make sure your kitchen is stocked up when the urge to bake sugar cookies hits you. Here’s the 10 most needed holiday baking pantry ingredients for the Christmas season!
10.Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Did you check that bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips you’ve had in your pantry? If they are older than a year or starting to get that white coating, it’s time to toss them and buy a new bag. Using expired chocolate chips will lead to gritty and just gross holiday sweets. And trust me, you’ll be needing a bag (or 3) for all the Crock Pot Candy, peanut butter balls and snowball cookies you’ll be making this holiday season.
From mom’s soft sugar cookies to grandma’s perfectly flaky pie crust, you’re going to need shortening this holiday season. Shortening has the shortest shelf life of this list. Unopened shortening, such as Crisco, can be stored at room temperature for 8 months. However; after opening, it can only safely be stored for 3 months (for best quality). So if you want your holiday treats to come out tender, light and perfect, you’ll need to add shortening to your shopping list.
8. Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is one of those items that lasts a long time in your pantry. This makes it an easy holiday baking ingredient to overlook. However; after 2 years it’s time to toss and buy new. After sitting this long in your pantry both the texture and taste will change. This will lead to failed molasses cookies, gingerbread houses, pumpkin pie and more Christmas favorites. So head into your pantry and check that brown sugar. Tip, if it feels like a rock, you need a new bag *wink*
7. Powdered Sugar
You cannot decorate Christmas cookies without powdered sugar. It’s impossible. Almost every single icing, glaze and frosting recipe calls for cups or pounds of powdered sugar. That means you need a lot on hand. From royal icing to buttercream frosting, your holiday treats need powdered sugar.
6. Baking Powder
Did you open your baking powder last Christmas? It’s time for a new container. While it technically has a very long shelf life, it tends to lose its power after 6 months. This will lead to flat cookies, cakes and breads. That means no light and fluffy holiday treats and Santa will not be impressed. Make sure to add baking powder to your holiday baking pantry ingredients list!
5. Baking Soda
Much like baking powder, if you opened your baking soda more than 6 months ago, time to buy a new one! While an unopened package of baking soda can last up to 2 years, an opened one only lasts around 6 months. While you may think using it past that date isn’t a big deal, it can impact how your baked goods rise and taste. Pro tip: don’t throw out your expired baking soda. Use it to clean your pots, pans and drains.
4. Vanilla Extract
When was the last time you purchased pure vanilla extract? You best check that expiration date because you’ll be needing it for baking all the things. From frostings to cookies to coffee cake to custard pie – vanilla extract is that je ne sais quoi in your heirloom recipe. One of our favorite tips? Find homemade pure vanilla extract for an even better flavor.
Do you know how many holiday baking recipes that call for salt? We don’t know the exact number, but it is A LOT! Pies, cookies, donuts, crusts, cakes, buttercream frosting…etc all need salt. While you may not think about needing just a pinch here and just a pinch there (hehe), next thing you know, you’re out of salt. Eek! Stock up on salt people.
2. All-Purpose Flour
Pie crusts, cookies, breads, cakes, rolls and more all require all-purpose flour. Most of these recipes require at least 1 cup of all-purpose flour to make, so make sure you have plenty on hand! Also, make sure that your flour is not expired. While it may not make you sick, it will leave you with baked goods that taste a bit off. Be sure to add a new bag of all-purpose flour to your list of holiday baking pantry ingredients to stock up on!
The holidays without sugar can’t happen. Imagine Christmas without sugar cookies for Santa! It’s just not right. And sugar is key in a wide variety of holiday recipes. Cookies, cheesecake, frosting, cinnamon rolls, bread pudding, fruitcake (yes fruitcake)…the list goes on and on! Make sure you have plenty of sugar (that isn’t expired) for all your holiday treats.
Bonus Holiday Ingredients: Don’t forget to stock up on molasses, butter (both salted and unsalted), festive sprinkles, eggs, milk and this list of 5 must-have spices for the holidays!