This guest post comes to you from our friends at Colorado Egg Producers.
Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us! For many, this time of year means festive family gatherings, unique traditions and of course, all types of holiday treats. Holiday baking is a favorite tradition for many families and the incredible, edible egg is a central ingredient in nearly every dessert recipe. The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association would like to share some helpful tips for baking at high altitude, a problem many Coloradans face during the holiday season.
“Locally produced eggs from Colorado can be used in holiday baking recipes,” said Chef Jason Morse, CEP partner and owner of 5280 Culinary, LLC. “From gingerbread cookies to eggnog to Christmas morning casseroles, eggs are very versatile and contain almost every essential vitamin and mineral the body needs. Including eggs in your holiday baking means your family is eating healthy, nutritional ingredients.”
Baking in high altitudes here in Colorado can make a big impact on the end result of your dish. Why? Higher altitudes often have lower pressure, which 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. Here are a few tips:
• Reduce the amount of baking powder the recipe calls for. For each teaspoon, decrease by 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon.
• Reduce the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. For each cup, decrease by 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.
• For hard-boiled eggs, higher altitudes have a lower boiling point so eggs will need to cook longer in order to achieve desired doneness. Hard-boiling at 9,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation may never fully cook through so you may want to hard-boil your eggs before traveling to the high country.
Use these tips, along with locally produced eggs, will ensure your dish will be the hit of the holiday party. CEP suggests trying out these high altitude baking tips on this recipe for cranberry white chocolate cookies, with a bonus gift idea courtesy of the American Egg Board.
Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies*
Total time: 25 minutes
Serving size: 40 cookies
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup white chocolate chips
• 1 package (6 ounces) dried sweetened cranberries
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup butter, softened
• 2 large EGGS
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Dry Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Mix, combine all dry ingredients in a clear 2-quart container with a tight fitting lid. Cover with lid. Store in a cool, dry place until ready to give as a gift.
To make the cookies right away, preheat oven to 350° F. Combine your container of dry cookie mix with butter in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla until blended. Drop dough using a tablespoonful for each cookie onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack for 1 minute. Remove, cool completely and enjoy!
To make a personalized gift, attach a hand-written recipe card with the ingredients and directions. The dry mix can be prepared and held in a container for up to two weeks before giving.
*Note: The measurements in this recipe are for an altitude of 5,280 feet. As you increase in altitude, please make the necessary adjustments to measurements and cooking times.
Are you inspired to learn more about the fascinating world of Colorado agriculture? Visit CEP at the National Western Stock Show January 7th through 22nd. Our interactive barn is fun for the whole family with videos and slide shows, a conveyor belt for kids to operate, informational egg brochures and recipes. CEP will also have a kid-friendly display showing how eggs get from the farm to the kitchen table! You can even find out where you can buy high quality, safe and nutritious Colorado produced eggs. Find us on the 3rd floor in the Hall of Education in the CSU Ag Adventure display.
Pick up a carton of eggs to get started baking delicious holiday recipes! Now through the end of 2016 you can save $0.55 when you purchase two dozen eggs at your local grocery story. Visit www.coloradoeggproducers.com/eggcoupon to download a coupon today.