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Baking: A Hobby

Since I already wrote about my views on the election last week, today I’m going to focus solely on my chosen topic: baking. Now any hobby you put effort into, in my humble opinion, can be a form of self care regardless of whether or not you’re any good. What matters is that you’re doing something you enjoy for the purpose of your own happiness.

For me making pancakes, cupcakes, and cookies is one of those things that allows me to completely focus on the task at hand. The end result being something I can eat doesn’t hurt things one bit. Since there isn’t much more I can tell you about the enjoyment this brings me for the remainder of this post I’m going to share some recipes*.

Pancakes:

  • 1 Cup of flour
  • 1 egg (will look up vegan substitute for egg)
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (or imitation vanilla)
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of milk (can substitute for almond milk/coconut milk)

For pancakes separating the ‘wet’ ingredients from the ‘dry’ ones isn’t that important and I’ve been told it’s better to mix things together as soon as possible. I wrote it in the order I mix it in. For cooking you need some kind of skillet. To test to see if it’s hot enough I sprinkle some water on it with my hand and see how fast it disappears. For best results if you’re making multiple batches lower the stove a little after the first is finished.

Sugar Cookies: 

  • 2 cups of flour (all purpose is best not self rising)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening- butter flavored or plain vegetable
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon syrup (it makes a difference trust me)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or imitation vanilla)
  • Colored sugar (optional for the top)

Everyones oven is different so it’s hard to say how long these will take (I know I never follow the recipes instructions in that regard), but preheating to 350 degrees is a good start/standard baking temperature. Unlike the pancakes put the dry ingredients (flour- salt) together in a bowl and then the wet ones (butter- vanilla) in a separate dish. Once the wet one’s are thoroughly mixed together add the dry mixture gradually to make stirring it easier. I don’t have a machine but if you do this will be a little easier for you. Depending on your cookie sheet you may want to use parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.

Chocolate Cake:

  • Shortening (to grease the pan/pans)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk (any kind but I use almond or 2%)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of butter softened
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour (all purpose is best not self rising)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons of instant coffee (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 container of you preferred frosting (I enjoy the double chocolate effect)

Use the shortening to grease your pan, or if you want two layers 2 nine inch pans. Like with the pancakes I put this in the order I usually put the ingredients in, and I’ve found it’s not very important to separate the wets from the drys. For the best results and electric mixer is best to combine the ingredients and prevent a lumpy unblended textures. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake until you can successfully put a toothpick in the center of the cake and pull it out without runny/liquidy batter. Wait until it cools to add frosting.

 

*Recipes came from a book and have been modified by me after years of making these things and adjusting/ figuring out what works best for me. Cinnamon is a preferred add on of my sister. Feel free to use these as a start/ spring board.

 

 

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