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At the holidays, the kitchen can feel like it’s all sugar and spice . . . but everything is only nice if your baking skills are up to par. If too-crunchy cookies or burnt pies don’t do it for you and your loved ones this time of year, you’re not alone. So for advice, we reached out to food writer Allyson Reedy, author of the new book 50 Things to Bake Before You Die (Ulysses Press, 2022). The book features recipes such as chocolate cheesecake mochi muffins, peach cobbler scones and chocolate babka, and includes gems by everyone from Christina Tosi (the James Beard award-winning CEO of Milk Bar) to French pastry chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the Cronut. And yes, Reedy tirelessly tested each and every one in her own Colorado kitchen . . . learning plenty of baking tips in the process. Here, she reveals her three best pieces of advice for the novice baker who is hungry for wisdom.