Baking Desserts Like a Boss for Guests

In addition to the millions of things keeping you busy, guests planning to come over are wondering if any home-baked goodies will be served.
While you enjoy baking cookies and cakes and the like, your time is pretty short right now and you are tempted to buy trays of cookies from a local bakery and claim them as your own.
Actually, with some pre-planning and key tips, you can entertain with ease — and without shelling out big bucks for fancy bakery goods. Check out the following ideas:

Invest in a mixer

Standing at the counter holding a hand mixer can be hard on your shoulder and arm. Plus, hand mixers don’t typically have the oomph to handle heavy doughs like gingerbread and the like. Consider treating yourself to a new KitchenAid stand mixer. If you are not wild about braving the mall crowds to find your perfect mixer and carry the heavy machine back to your car, there's a great selection online in a variety of lovely colors. The Artisan 10 Speed 5 Quart Stand Mixer includes a large mixing bowl with plenty of room for double batches of cookie dough, and since it’s a stand mixer, you won’t have to hold onto the mixer while it does the work.

Try a no-fail sugar cookie recipe

There is something about sugar cookies cut in festive shapes and covered with sprinkles that really put a smile on your guest's faces. ~~ Fortunately, it is super easy to make them with a classic recipe from the cookie queen herself, Mrs. Fields. Using your new KitchenAid mixer, whip up a batch of the simple and tasty dough in a matter of minutes — you probably have all of the ingredients like butter, vanilla, sugar and flour on hand. After chilling the dough for a while, roll it out and then use two or three fave cookie cutters to create dozens of festive cookies in no time flat. If you have kids, they will enjoy helping you decorate the cookies with sprinkles before they go in the oven. If you prefer, you can check your local grocery store for icing “pens” that will allow you to decorate the sugar cookies with colorful icing that will dry quickly, making it super easy to stack the cookies in a tin.

If time is really tight, use store-bought dough

You may have already tried those Pillsbury “chubs” of cookie dough to make slice and bake sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies. If you have a hankering for gingerbread cookies, save yourself a ton of time by buying up a couple of the refrigerated, ready-to-go gingerbread varieties. Simply roll them out like you would homemade dough, cut out the gingerbread people and no one will be the wiser. You can also use the sugar cookie variety for your cut-out cookies, give the festive peppermint dough a try and/or use the peanut butter dough to make the classic Peanut Butter Blossom cookies in a fraction of the time.
Like many things in life, entertaining guests with wonderful baked goods comes down to having the right tools. By investing in a KitchenAid mixer, you will have an incredible baking tool that will last for generations. Add in a no-fail simple recipe and a supermarket shortcut as a backup, and you'll be sure to create a memorable visit for your wonderful guests.

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