Someone asked me last week how, when baking, I avoid going crazy, licking the spoon, and eating all my treats, so I thought this is a perfect time to talk about it! I’ve been baking quite a bit lately and it’s only going to get more intense as the holidays approach. The fact is, it’s taken some effort on my part to keep things under control! But here are my tips.
- You know how they say don’t go to the grocery store hungry? Well, don’t bake treats hungry either! It’s a lot easier to resist temptation when you’re already full.
- Plan your pre-bake meal accordingly. Spicy food, salty food, and Diet Coke all make me crave sweets; if I had pizza, fries, and a soda for dinner and then made a cheesecake, there would be no cheesecake the next day! But I’m pretty sensitive to sweet food, and a little goes a long way! That’s why I usually have oatmeal with dark chocolate or butterscotch chips before I cook…it’s a healthy meal, but it’s very sweet, so it kills my appetite and my cravings for more sweet stuff. This has truly been the number one thing that helped me quit overindulging.
- Classic tip for a reason: put gum in your mouth! At the very least, you’ll have to stop and think about it before you just start dipping into the bowl while cooking.
- Remember that if you’re baking with raw eggs, you should not be eating that dough. I love the taste of cupcake batter too, but Salmonella ain’t my thing.
- Bake only as much as you need! There is really no reason that one person needs 24 times a treat. Cut recipes in half or quarter them, especially if you live alone. Freeze extra dough for a later date. If you can’t freeze it, it’s OK to toss it. Seriously. Half a batch of raw eggs, milk, and sugar is not something to feel guilty about tossing.
- Share the love! If you like to bake, share your goodies with coworkers, friends, family, neighbors.
- Determine ahead of time how much you want to eat of your treat and stick with it! It’s totally OK to indulge, and I love indulging in stuff I made myself. Then I know that there’s no fake foods or trans fat in it, and, well, it’s always baked with love! So say, “OK, I’m going to have one cookie when they are done baking,” and have your cookie. And if you want to take one for dessert after lunch the next day, do it! I just really believe you should plan your splurges, account for them, and thoroughly enjoy them.
- Practice out of sight, out of mind: once the treat is done, pack it up in something opaque/cover it with foil, and put it on top of the fridge. Seriously, we had a huge-ass amazing chocolate cake sit in our house untouched for three days because I moved it to our downstairs fridge and everyone forgot about it. If you leave it right in front of you, you’ll do that, “I’m just going to break off one bite,” thing every time you walk into the kitchen. Guaranteed.
Any other good tips to share? It’s November…about the time for mad amounts of baking!