'Tis dessert season! 


Earlier this autumn, Ree Drummond announced she was partnering with Pillsbury for their 48th Pillsbury Bake-Off. Needless to say, the cookbook author and Food Network cooking show host knows a thing or two about buns, biscuits, and brownies.

Yesterday, in a new interview with the LA Times, The Pioneer Woman was kind enough to dole out some of her top baking tips, especially as the holiday season approaches. Her advice for novice bakers? It's surprisingly simple, and heartfelt, too.

"Baking, probably more so than cooking, can be a little intimidating and daunting. One piece of advice I give is just to keep in mind what the holidays are all about," Drummond shares in the LA Times story. When you remember that the spirit of the season revolves around spreading joy and love, it's easier to not lose your cool over a burnt brownie (or dozen).

With that in mind (followed by a perfunctory note to befriend prepared dough), Drummond stresses the importance of prep work. Just like successful cooking is all in the mise en place—getting ingredients chopped, blended, measured, or otherwise ready and lined up—so too is baking.

"On a practical note, my best advice for baking or cooking during a busy time like the holidays is to prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Don't save it for the big day," says Drummond. "Even if it's just chopping nuts and having a big baggie full of chopped nuts, that can save so much time when you're making a slew of baked goods." When reviewing a recipe, determine all the steps that can be done in advance, and carve out time to do that grunt work a few days before your buns hit the oven. Your world famous Christmas Morning Cinnamon Buns, of course.