5 Spices to Jumpstart Your Holiday Baking

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Now that you have the 16 Must-Have Tools to Cook the Perfect Turkey, it’s time to do a little holiday baking. These spices will bring fond memories of sitting at your mom’s or grandmother’s kitchen table, eagerly waiting for cooled cookies, cakes and pies that are so popular every Christmas and holiday season.

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Do you want to create similar memories for your kids this holiday? These are the spices that should be in your pantry. Also, if your spice bottles are dusty, have expired or you’ve had them since last Christmas, this is the time to toss those out. The shell life of ground spice is about 6 months. If you’ve had it any longer than that, you’ve had it too long.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the quintessential holiday spice isn’t it? Almost every holiday baking recipe asks for it so, buy some before the next holiday cookie exchange.

Quick tip: Buy ground cinnamon for holiday baking and morning oatmeal but, use cinnamon sticks as a stirring stick for hot cocoa, to make cinnamon maple syrup or as a festive garnish.

Allspice

Allspice is a something special. Although it comes from a single plant, many people think it smells like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Cloves

Whether ground or whole, cloves are not a spice that everyone can appreciate. While that’s true, granulated cloves are still a holiday baking must. From ginger snaps to gingerbread men, ground cloves should not be missed.

Quick tip: Stud holiday ham with whole cloves for great flavor and use ground cloves in the glaze.

Ginger

What are gingerbread men without the ginger? Put it on the holiday grocery list.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg are already in the perfect ratios in just one shake of a bottle. Not only is pumpkin pie spice good for pie, use it to add seasonal pumpkin flavor to coffee, breads, french toast, tea, spreads…just let your imagination go wild. Arguably, you could just skip all the other spices above and just buy a bottle of pumpkin pie spice instead. But the flavor profile of each spice is so unique, that you would be missing out on a ton of flavor.

And who would want to do that?

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