Monday, March 18, 2013


I haven't been on Instagram long but it's becoming quickly apparent that the most photo-worthy moments in my life currently center around food. Specifically baking which is something I'm teaching myself to do! I decided one day that I wanted to learn how to bake so I thought I'd start simple with cookies, brownies, breads and bars. B and I made a trip to our local restaurant supply store and bought the necessary baking supplies and off I went with absolutely ZERO experience baking. Here's what I've made so far in the order in which they were baked (I did not take pictures of the savory beer and cheese bread or the cream cheese chive biscuits because sometimes I get lazy):
Cranberry crumb bars with mulling spices. Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. These are the perfect spiced bar, warming and not too sweet. I plan on making the blueberry version of these bars as soon as I can get my hands on some local, fresh blueberries.

Classic chocolate chunk cookies. My first attempt at chocolate chunk cookies was kind of a let down. I used a recipe from How To Cook Everything and although the cookies tasted fine, I like my cookies thicker and a bit chewier. These spread way too much for my liking.

Salted Caramel Brownies (recipe from A Cup of Jo). I've made these twice now because B adores them. These are totally decadent and if you're not afraid of a sugar overload, serve one with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I dare you.

Super-soft Snickerdoodle Cookies (recipe from the Kitchn). Some of you snickerdoodle purists may not appreciate a snickerdoodle recipe that doesn't call for cream of tartar but I was happy to try this recipe with the promise of the cookies being "super soft." I made a mistake though and forgot to add vanilla so although the cookies were soft and edible, they weren't quite right. I was able to pawn them off on some unsuspecting people and, thankfully, they didn't complain.

Whole Lemon Bars. Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. While B is a sucker for brownies, I'm a fan of all things citrus, especially lemons. These lemon bars are super easy to make and they call for using the whole lemon (everything put the pits).

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (recipe from Not Without Salt). I LOVE banana bread but I have an allergy to nuts so classic banana bread isn't an option. I decided to give it a go with chocolate chips and let me tell you, this bread is out of this world yummy. The recipe makes for two loaves so there's plenty to share. I'm going to make muffins with this batter next time.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies. Recipe from The Family Baking Book. These are just plain fun to make! B requested them after I bought some from Trader Joe's a while back. I used a blackberry jam for the filling. These are buttery and crunchy and not too sweet. Perfect with a cup of coffee.

Grapefruit olive oil pound cake. Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Think lemon pound cake with a twist. This recipe has three parts- the cake, syrup and glaze. I never though a pound cake could be refreshing but I daresay, this one comes pretty darn close. 
Chocolate Chip Cookies with sea salt (recipe from Not Without Salt). Oh lookie here! It's a chocolate chip cookie that isn't flat! I'm in love. I made these cookies this past weekend and I'm honestly not sure I'll ever want to try another chocolate chip cookie recipe. Ever. These are just that good.
So there you have it. These are about 7 weeks of sweet treats (don't worry, we haven't eaten all of this as we're trying to give away most of it which is easier said than done surprisingly. Apparently, people actually care about the amount of sugar and fat and in their food. Since when???) and up next I plan on tackling cupcakes, pies and cakes. And maybe scones and tarts too. There's so much to learn but I'm enjoying my new hobby and would love to hear from any of you seasoned bakers on tips, tools, or resources you might recommend to a novice like me! 
You can follow my baking experiments and other daily adventures right here
If you're looking for recipe ideas, you might find something here


Melanie said...

My mouth is watering...I think I'll have to try the cranberry crumb bars and the Lemon Bars!! They seem perfect for Spring!! =)

Virginia J Bailey said...

Very Impressive. I admire your choices and they all look completely edible to me. Love your blog.

Fathima said...

I love lemon bars! The only problem is no one else in my house likes citrussy stuff, so I end up eating the whole batch :P Will try this recipe next time :)

Fathima said...

I love lemon bars! The only problem is no one else in my house likes citrussy stuff, so I end up eating the whole batch :P Will try this recipe next time :)

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