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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

When thinking about the holiday season, some things that come to mind include fun, stress and food. Sometimes, holiday food, especially cookies or other treats, can be too much since so many are made around this time of year. These tips will improve the quality of your treats, making sure they are the first to go at your holiday gathering, leaving no crumbs.

  1. Butter the Best Way

Whenever a recipe calls for softened butter, I’m sure we’re all guilty of sticking it in the microwave and having it melting too much, which can lead to the recipe deteriorating in quality. My suggestion is as soon as you bring it back from the store, do not put it in the fridge. Leave it out at room temperature, as it will not go bad and will be the perfect amount of softened when you go to use it.

  1. Chill That Dough

If you are making chocolate chip or sugar cookies, the best outcome when it bakes is to chill the dough when you are done making it. Whether it is in the fridge for an hour or overnight in the freezer, there is a difference in texture and how much the cookie rises. If you are freezing it overnight, save yourself hard work by making balls of dough beforehand.

  1. Do NOT Cut Corners 

Inflation and holiday shopping may have money tight, but if you can, spend the money where it matters on holiday ingredients. Store brand sugar, flour, eggs, etc. are okay, but if your grandma’s cookie recipe calls for a specific type of name brand, your best bet is to use it because it’s probably suggested for a reason. For example, I only use Hershey’s Cocoa and Nestle chocolate chips because the store brand negatively affects the taste and quality of my cookies. Stick with what you know.

  1. Stick With the Classics

Speaking of sticking with what you know, the holidays are not the time to experiment with a recipe, especially if you’re on a time constraint and need it for a gathering on the same day. Wasting time and ingredients on something that would just sit there is not a risk to take this time of year.

  1. Be Conscious of Allergies

If you are baking for someone with a certain allergy (gluten, dairy, etc) and that ingredient is in most of your other treats, make the allergy free treats first. This eliminates a risk of cross contamination. If you are handwashing baking equipment when making several batches a day, you run the risk of not thoroughly washing off other ingredients that trigger the allergy.

Hopefully, you take these tips this holiday season and have the best dessert at your holiday gathering! These tips are so simple, but make a world of difference in taste.

Kate is a writer for Her Campus at Michigan State University. She is a neuroscience major on the pre-med track. She enjoys baking, reading, and volunteering in her free time. You can usually find her at her favorite study spots on campus with a coffee in her hand.