There's nothing like treating the family to homemade sweets, but finding time to bake from scratch seems nearly impossible sometimes—even for special occasions. Especially for a special occasion when there are so many other celebration details to take care of! Whenever I want—or need—a special home-baked treat, but just don't have the time to make it from scratch, I reach for one of these three life-saving recipes from Cool Mom Eats: Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls, Shortcut Sandwich Cookies, or Wonton Crackers.
Each of these recipes uses a store-bought shortcut to make home baking fast and easy. They are also almost endlessly useful: The cinnamon rolls are great for a brunch (even a holiday meal when you're short on time); the cookies are perfect for a classroom treat, party, or bake sale; and the crackers are a super quick school lunch ingredient, wholesome snack, or cocktail party bite.
With these recipes in your back pocket, you'll be able to put out at least one home-baked treat for every occasion, even if it's just to surprise the kids on a rainy day.
Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls
These are as straightforward as they sound! Use store-bought pizza dough in place of homemade sweet roll dough and proceed as usual. Pizza dough is more dense than homemade, but if you carefully undercook these, the inside will deliver that soft, sweet, gooey cinnamon-roll texture you crave. Get the recipe.
Shortcut Sandwich Cookies
With so many all-natural cookie dough options in the refrigerator section of the market these days, it's easier than ever to feel good about using them as a shortcut. For a homemade touch, make a quick and easy homemade cream filling and turn plain cookies into sandwich cookies. Extra large cookies make this treat extra fun. Get the recipe.
My kids go through boxes of store-bought crackers like there is no tomorrow. Using wontons allows me to keep the ingredients list simple and, even better, allows my kids to customize the flavor of their crackers. My older son loves Parmesan and fennel seeds, while the little one (who loves hummus) adds a sprinkle of the Middle Eastern spice blend, Za'atar. Borrow these ideas or go with your own: Nearly anything works! Get the recipe.
Stacie Billis is the managing editor of Cool Mom Eats, a food and recipe site from the publishers of Cool Mom Picks with recipes, tips, and products that help make life as the family cook a little easier. The Cool Mom Eats philosophy: Parenting can be noisy, messy, crazy, adventurous, imperfect and fun; we guess we see food a lot like that too. Stacie is also the founder of One Hungry Mama and the author of the upcoming cookbook Make It Easy.