How to: Host a Holiday Baking Party

I have mentioned already a couple times this holiday season how many memories I have of baking holiday treats and holiday cookies and sharing them with friends and family.  It’s a day that I look forward to nearly every year.  This year, I started getting a little worried that it wouldn’t get fit in.

And then Imperial Sugar/Dixie Crystals came to me with a great idea: a holiday baking party with friends.  They provided the sugar and the goodies, I invite a few friends over and we created some fun treats to share.  I had five friends over, we made five recipes, we ate, laughed and then all took some goodies home.

Imperial Sugar Baking Party with Friends

A holiday baking party is a new tradition that I will decidedly host every year.  But it does take some preparation so I want to share some Holiday Baking Party tips that I noted:

1. have all of the ingredients you’ll need set out before your friends arrive, especially eggs & butter, so that everything is ready to use in the recipes & easy to find.

2. make sure all of your measuring cups, spoons, bowls, spatulas, etc. are cleaned and easy to find.

Imperial Sugar Baking Party

3. stock up on parchment paper!

4. purchase boxes, cellophane, ribbon and print cute printable tags; Dixie Crystals has some cute ones and my amazing friend Victoria made some gingerbread printables for our party.

Victoria posted an awesome post on Packing Cookies as Gifts. Check it out! 

Baking Party Printables

5. Aside from the goodies you make, have a fun “takeaway” for your guests.  Imperial sent some of their Bake It Forward tins that had an oven mit and some goodies inside, in addition to some tumblers!

How to: Host a Holiday Baking Party

6. Have your recipes picked out and printed out before-hand; print coupons for your Imperial/Dixie Crystals Sugar; purchase all of the ingredients you’ll need.  I also asked my friends for their favorite recipes and purchased the ingredients for those as well.

7. Bake, eat and repeat.  And then give some away too!

salted nut bars

We made many amazing recipes that I will be sharing over the next couple of weeks.  I posted the first last Friday: Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls (don’t miss these!)  And today, the second: The first is Salted Nut Bars.  This is a recipe that Victoria shared from her mom.  This recipe appeared in the 4-H cookbook and it is award-worthy!  Salted nuts, a brown sugar-y shortbread crust and a buttery butterscotch topping…I was in heaven!   These salted nut bars are easy for gifting too: they are stackable, the recipe makes a large pan and they soooo easy to eat!

PrintPrint Recipe

Salted Nut Bars Recipe

Yield: 24-36 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Sweet & salty holiday recipe for Salted Nut Bars. Brown sugar-y shortbread crust, salted mixed nuts and a buttery butterscotch topping.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 (14.75 ounce) can salted, mixed nuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. butter
1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10x15 rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and 1 cup of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined. Press into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. After it reaches a golden brown color, remove from the oven and sprinkle the nuts on top in an even layer.

While the bottom layer cools, combine the corn syrup, water, 2 tablespoons butter and butterscotch chips in a small sauce pot. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the butterscotch mixture over the layer of nuts, quickly spreading evenly. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes until the butterscotch layer is set.

Cool completely before cutting.

Salted Nut Bars

Disclaimer: My baking party was sponsored by Imperial sugar.  All opinions are my own as always.