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Ahead Holiday Desserts

Ahead Holiday Desserts Ahead Holiday Desserts

Try the recipes below or use these tips to bake up your family favorites long before Santa comes barreling down the chimney.

Freezer, storage and thawing tips

Cool baked goods completely before wrapping them in airtight containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic freezer bags or vacuum-sealed plastic bags. Recycle old metal cookie tins by using them to freeze brownies and dessert bars.

Allow the frosting on frosted cakes to harden in the refrigerator or freezer before wrapping and freezing them. Note that buttercream frosting tends to freeze the best.

If freezing quick breads, bars or brownies, slice them first so you can just defrost the number of pieces you intend to serve, rather than the whole dessert.

Freeze cookies without frosting or decorations. Decorate them after thawing. If you do need to freeze them decorated or frosted, place wax paper between the cookies to preserve decorations.

Freeze raw, homemade cookie dough to lessen last-minute kitchen prep work.

Excess air in containers of frozen baked goods can reduce quality. Use appropriately sized containers and fill extra space around baked goods with crumbled wrapping.

Frosted cakes can be frozen for one to two months, and unfrosted ones should be good for four to six months. Most cookies and dessert bars should freeze well for up to six months.

Thaw cookies and bars on a wire rack to ensure proper air circulation.

Thaw unfrosted cakes, covered, at room temperature for three-plus hours. Thaw frosted cakes, loosely covered, for 12-plus hours in the refrigerator. Make sure to thaw perishable cakes, like cheesecake, in the fridge.

Many desserts can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for three days without affecting quality. Other baked items with the exception of dairy-based desserts like cheesecake can be stored in airtight wrapping or containers on your kitchen counter - away from heat - for several days.

Most fruit pies can be frozen either before or after baking. Pumpkin and pecan pies, however, must be cooked before freezing. Cooked pies should freeze well for up to 4 months. Uncooked pies, up to 3 months.

Note that custard-, cream-, chiffon- and meringue-topped pies do not freeze well.

Baked, frozen pies can be reheated in a 325oF oven for about 45 minutes, or until completely thawed and warmed through. Uncooked fruit pies should be baked at 425oF for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375oF and bake for 45 minutes more, or until the fruit filling bubbles in the middle.

Obtain that just-out-of-the-oven taste by microwaving cookies and brownies that have been in the freezer or fridge.

Although many desserts can be made in advance, frozen and thawed without a problem, some do not turn out well. If youre concerned, do a trial run before trying to impress company.

Aditya finish at top as India bagsGolds in badminton

Aditya finish at top as India bagsGolds in badminton Aditya finish at top as India bags 3 Golds in badminton

Pune, Oct 17 UNI Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal rallied back to brush aside a spirited challenge from her Indian rival Sikki Reddy to win the gold medal in the girls singles event, while top seed RMV Gurusaidutt clinched another gold for the country in the boys category as India made a clean sweep in the badminton competition of the Commonwealth Youth Games here today.

Trailing by a good 3-4-point margin in both the games, Saina battled her way into the match and secured a 2-0 23-21, 22-20 win over Sikki who grabbed the silver. Gurusaidutt also had to toil hard before he overpowered his Indian counterpart Aditya Prakash 2-1 21-18, 20-22, 21-18 in a 50 minute long tussle.

However, Sikki did get an opportunity to lay her hands on the gold medal when she partnered PC Thulasi to beat Mary Alexandra Bruce and Shan Michelle Li Man of Canada.

I think she played exceedingly well today. I expected a good fight and she really made me work hard, Saina told about Sikki after the match.

Sikki did show her potential and was very pretty close make an upset today, but Sainas experience and skills put paid to her dreams of securing a gold.

In the first game itself, Sikki had taken a handsome lead and was heading to win the first game, but Saina, with her sound technique coupled with some great judgements across the court, made a dramatic turaround to take the first game.

World number 11, Saina let go a few of Sikkis smashes which could have fetches points to any of those, but Saiana made some close calls to not to offer any shot and grabbed a few points in such a manner on more than a couple of occasions.

The script, in the second game, followed exactly the same way it did in the first and though, Sikki did fight till the end but a cool-headed Saina proved better than her on the day.

With Saina already a known face in the World Badminton arena, Sikkis performance here must have raised a lot of hopes in India and even the girl is also eyeing to make some great upsets in future.

Yes, definitely I have my future plans ready and with such kind of performances you get a lot of motivation, Sikki said.

In the boys section, Aditya Prakash did not surrender easily as he made his rival earn every point before he finally caved in to the exploits of Guru.

Trailing 0-1 after the first game, Aditya made a stunning come back as he grabbed eight points on a trot to take the match into the third game but in the final game Guru upped the tempo and sealed the match after a deperate fight from his rival.

The Indian shuttlers took away the majority of medals on offer as Pranav Chopra and Sai Praneeth bagged the bronze medal after they defeated the other losing semi-finalists pair of Gary Fox and Richard Morris of England in straight games 2-0 21-18, 23-21.