Lauren Chattman, author of Mom’s Big Book of Baking and a mom of two, offers sanity-saving tips
Pare it down. “Baking is a great way to give my daughters a sense of tradition,” says Chattman, who makes the same treats every season. “But you don’t need to go crazy; just a half dozen recipes can get you through every holiday of the year.” (For the recipes for some of her faves, click here.)
Become BFF with your freezer. “I’m a big fan of freezing cookie dough,” Chattman says. “You’re always prepared for anything.” She makes enough dough for 30 to 40 cookies over the weekend, freezes it in small batches, then takes out what she needs.
Accept the mess. You will sweep up sprinkles. But you can minimize the drips and spills by putting cookies on rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper before your kids decorate them, says Chattman.