Cakes, muffins and other sweet pastries and drinks you get at the bakery or supermarket all hit your sweet tooth just right. In my not so many years of baking, I've discovered that the time you put in will come with a reward. In my early days, I relied on boxed cake mix because it was quick, easy and did the job. Now, I’ve come to realize it all tastes better from scratch. I think my first homemade cake was chocolate and it was amazing. Even though it was my first try it worked out. The feeling that you hand-mixed the batter from scratch and incorporated it with your own tips is great because it truly felt like I put my blood, sweat and tears in it. Again no hate toward the boxed mix — it walked so that homemade baked goods could run.
When we look for a recipe, we tend to see the three main options and click the one with the highest rating. In reality, research makes the dream work. When looking for recipes for whatever your craving, you should check several and see what you do and don't have available. Most recipes use most of the same ingredients, but use different ratios so how much flour or sugar you have on hand is important.
Since we all have time on our hands, here are my recommendations for things to make during your probably uneventful quarantine:
- Mug cakes can fill in for a quick and sweet treat made in less than five minutes. The cake consists of the main ingredients found in a regular cake, but in smaller amounts at the same ratios, except for baking soda and/or baking powder, which are lessened because it’s made in a microwave. Check out the recipes from Land O’Lakes, which is my favorite for when I feel extra enough to add some sprinkles, and AllRecipes, which is a trusted site used for most of my baking. The site also offers a video version to help guide you.
- Dalgona coffee, though I have not actually made it, has made its way into my family’s cups every now and then. If you use TikTok or any social media platform, you’ve seen this whipped coffee everywhere. The whipped mixture uses an equivalent ratio of 1:1:1 instant coffee to sugar to hot water, but this treat will give you a workout as you have to whip the mixture too. My recipes tend to come from TikTok, but here is one on a website instead of a 15-second video. The site also lists ways to modify the recipe and answers to frequently asked questions. You may see it as a reversed cappuccino. Before mixing the whipped coffee is quite bitter, and it’s extremely important to use instant coffee too. Though I don't drink coffee much there are many things you can whip, such as strawberry and chocolate powder in heavy cream.
- Cookies, though they may look easy, all taste different. Cookies come in many varieties like the classic chocolate chip, double chocolate, and oatmeal raisin, which does not deserve the hate it gets. Most cookies start with the basics of making a dough. My go-to is an oatmeal-raisin recipe from a blog called Sally’s Baking Addiction. This is a stellar recipe that can be made in under an hour. She also provides a guide, and many reasons why they're just AMAZING. A close second is Bon Appétit’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. We’ve all seen a BA video on YouTube, and we all want to eat and display something that looks so aesthetic. These crispy cookies hit just right when you're craving the OG cookie.
I give these recipes a great review and hope that these three sweets will fill your time during quarantine. Though you might not have kneaded it (haha get it “kneaded it” :) you can always fall back to these whether you're still in quarantine or not.