Do you ever wonder what makes this season the most wonderful time of the year? The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association suspects the delectable sweets we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by play a role. Sugar cookies, gingerbread, cheesecake – take your pick or eat them all! Preparing and eating holiday desserts is an enjoyable activity for many each holiday season, including this one. However, baking in the high altitude that most Coloradans love can be a challenge for your cookies and cakes. CEP understands this dilemma, and is here to help with some high-altitude baking tips. Don’t forget to stock up on locally produced Colorado eggs, as they’re typically a crucial part of the baking process.
CEP, a membership organization representing seven farms, wants everyone to get the most out of the holiday baking season. In Colorado it’s especially important to keep our high altitude in mind. Here are a few tips courtesy of joyofbaking.com, baking911.com and ochef.com:
High altitude baking tips
The main factor affecting baked items in high altitudes is lower pressure. This leads to lower boiling points, faster evaporation of liquids and more rapid rising of batters when baked. Basic adjustments and a little experimentation can compensate for higher altitudes.
• Reduce the amount of baking powder the recipe calls for. For each teaspoon decrease 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon.
• Reduce the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. For each cup decrease 2-3 tablespoons.
• Increase the amount of liquid the recipe calls for. For each cup add 3-4 tablespoons. Eggs and butter are considered liquids.
• Fill baking pans half-full, not the usual two-thirds, as high altitude cakes may overflow.
• Increase the baking temperature 15-20 degrees, unless using a glass pan, and reduce the baking time by up to 20 percent.
Use these tips, along with locally produced eggs, while baking in Colorado and your holiday treats will turn out as delicious as ever. Try out this recipe for sugar cookies at high altitude courtesy of a Colorado blog, High Altitude Cooking (www.highaltitudecooking.blogspot.com):
Simple Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
1. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla.
2. Add flour and baking powder in intervals. (Dough will seem too dry but it will improve when chilled.)
3. Divide dough into four equal parts and refrigerate about an hour.
4. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, 1/4 inch thick for crisp cookies or 1/3 inch thick for soft cookies.
5. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and bake for 7-8 minutes @ 375 F.
“Incorporating locally produced eggs into your holiday baking makes for healthy and delicious treats,” said Derek Yancey, a Colorado egg farmer and CEP member. “Colorado egg farmers appreciate the art of baking and work hard to ensure Coloradans have safe and wholesome eggs that anyone would be proud to serve to loved ones in any sweet confection that is baked up.”
Do you have your own favorite holiday recipe? Share it with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/coeggproducers.com, where you’ll also find other tasty recipes, articles and interesting egg facts!
CEP is an organization that is committed to doing what’s right for its community, as illustrated by the regular donation of thousands of eggs to food banks throughout the state. Egg farmers throughout Colorado pride themselves on providing eggs to Coloradans. We are also proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced, brown and white eggs. You can find locally produced, fresh, wholesome and safe eggs in the dairy case of your favorite Colorado supermarkets. To find a list of where to buy Colorado eggs visit coloradoeggproducers.com