Winter holidays often call for festive baked goods. As families continue to look for ways to safely entertain, Long Island businesses are offering kits for baking at home.
"As I have always said, ‘the best place to learn is right in your own kitchen,’" explains Bellerose resident Lisa Basini, a Food Stylist and Recipe Developer who also founded The Baking Coach, a baking instruction company with locations in Amityville and Huntington. Basini's business is among those offering kits that allow Long Islanders to "complete super fun baking and cake decorating workshops right in your own home."
Basini says there's a demand for personal baking kits. "You gain something super yummy to eat for one," she says, adding that baking "teaches you so many new skills and helps you use some old ones as well, such as, math, science and thinking ahead … it’s the gift that keeps on giving!"
Here’s a breakdown (call it a "bake-down") of businesses that are selling home baking kits for the holidays:
The Baking Coach
Not only can you buy a DIY kit to make apple pie (with instructional video: $35.95) and pretzels with toppings ($22.95), Basini’s business offers private Zoom sessions that can go with or without a designated kit. Private workshops (for up to two people) are open to all ages and are $150 for the first hour, $95 for any additional hours (small group sessions are also available; reach out for rates). Check the Baking Coach website for Zoom workshops in December, including "Holiday Cupcakes," gingerbread houses and "New Year’s Eve Cupcake Decorating." INFO 213 Broadway, Amityville and 320 Broadway-Greenlawn Rd., Huntington; 631-543-8608, bakingcoach.com
The Chocolate Duck
This shop is well-known for its classes for making sweet treats. People can also purchase do-it-yourself cookie decorating kits for $24.99 a set. Each kit includes six to eight cookies plus icing and sprinkles, with the cookies available in either gingerbread or sugar flavors. INFO 310 Main St., Farmingdale; 516-249-0887, chocolateduck.com
Celebrations In The Kitchen
After more than 30 years of offering in-store baking birthday bashes, the owners of Hicksville-based Celebrations in the Kitchen say COVID-19 forced them to morph into a strictly online baking and decorating kit business. However, they are more than ready for the season with home kits to make holiday cupcakes ($49.99) or decorate cookies ($49.99), doughnuts ($49.95) and complete cakes (starting at $79.95). The cookie kits come with 12-15 cookies, icing bags, sprinkles and other decorative confections, while cupcake kits come with flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil and vanilla plus aluminum pans, paper liners and buttercream icing, as well as sugar holiday decorations (as do the doughnuts). Decorative cake kits come with cake layers, gold cake board, a four-sided spatula, icing, a center candy fill and decorations. INFO 63 E. Old Country Rd.; 516-396-2193, celebrationsinthekitchen.com
This cooking school, based in Oyster Bay, is offering holiday cupcake and cookie decorating kits; both $29.99. Cupcake kits include six baked cupcakes with bags of festively hued icing and sprinkles, while cookie kits feature a pound of homemade sugar cookies, holiday icing and sprinkles. Private or family holiday sessions to bake, cook and decorate are also available. INFO 30 E. Main St., Oyster Bay; 516-922-2665, whatscookingny.com
Even though on-site decorating is currently not available, the spot is offering several gingerbread house kits, all featuring gingerbread made from what is described as "Old World-recipe gingerbread dough." Kits for houses come in different sizes with icing and candy decoration, while 12-inch cookies kits (available in holiday themes) come with dough and children’s books; prices range between $12.50 and $42.50. INFO 3225 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow; 631-727-7309, gingerbreaduniversity.com