Our holidays look different this year – and so do our place settings, ingredient quantities, and levels of patience. Enter Erin Gardner, former pastry chef, baking and cake design instructor, and author of Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible (March 2020, Atria Books). Erin has created several low-stress and absolutely delicious ways to approach baking in this new holiday landscape:

· If you’re celebrating the holidays alone or in a smaller group than you’re used to, she’s downsized some of her most popular recipes including her Olive Oil Apple Snack Cake, Double Chocolate Mint Cookies, a Giant (Mini) Cinnamon Roll Scone, Gingersnaps, and more.

· If you’re far away from family members and want to send them a sweet treat, she’s compiled recipes that store and travel well. Recipes include Granola Bars, Almond Biscotti, Neapolitan Marshmallows, and Sunflower Toffee.

· For a unique gift idea for local friends and family, she suggests you drop off festive containers with balls of frozen cookie or scone dough. Recipes perfect for freezing include Cinnamon Roll Scones, Roasted Tomato Scones, Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double-Chocolate Mint Cookies, and Ginger Sandies.

And, from now until Christmas, she’s running the Procrastibakers Super Snuggly Socially Isolated Holiday Baking Club, which will be a community gathered around her Instagram account, @erin.bakes. Every Wednesday, she’ll feature reduced-size recipes from Procrastibaking and more pandemic isolation-friendly baking ideas. Users who post pictures of their baked goods with the hashtag #procrastibakersclub are automatically entered to win weekly book giveaways and other prizes.

Erin was named one of the best wedding cake makers by both Martha Stewart Weddings and Brides; she’s competed and won the Food Network show Sweet Genius. Now, she’s here to guide us through the far less glamorous task of enjoying the holidays in the home kitchens we haven’t really left in months: She really does it all. In March, The New York Times called Procrastibaking “The delicious distraction we need these days,” and that still couldn’t be truer.

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