3 THINGS TO BAKE IN ISOLATION

It’s no secret that the entire world is in a really weird time right now. There is not a single person whose life has not been affected in some way in the U.S. Whether your schedule has changed to working from home, your kids are home, you’re out of work, or someone you love is sick… we’ve all had to change our lives. I’m not going to go on a long rant this week, I promise. But I couldn’t just jump into this post without first providing some of my thoughts. This is a super weird time that has left us all with a whole lot more free time or ability to focus on our families. Because of that, I decided to put together three delicious things to bake to occupy your time and fill that waistline! 🙂

LEMON POPPY SEED BREAD

This one will make you so happy that it’s finally spring, despite what’s going on in the world right now. The icing crust around the top is like straight-up candy. This is a delicious way to start your morning or an amazing little snack break.

Bread ingredients:

  • 3 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 1/8 C vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract

“Icing” ingredients:

  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract

Follow these steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (this made 2 HUGE loaves for me, but I’d recommend making 3-4 out of this). Grease pans.
  • In large mixing bowl, beat together flour, salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, and white sugar (for bread). Then add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and lemon extract (for bread). Mix until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Pour batter into pans. Fill up either 1/2 or 3/4, depending on the size of your pan.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool loaves in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove onto a wire rack (put paper towel or parchment paper underneath rack to catch the mess).
  • Combine orange juice with sugar and lemon extract (for “icing”), stir well. Pour mixture over the loaves while they are still hot. Allow loaves to cool and “icing” to harden.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Okay, so this is a pretty simple staple recipe. But there’s a reason why it’s a staple and why you sometimes dream of cookies and milk (I can’t be alone here). This one is easy enough for everyone!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk chocolate chips
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate (I use all semisweet, personally, but that’s up to you)

Follow these steps:

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy (about 4-6 minutes). Reduce speed to medium-low and beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Mix in flour mixture and then chocolate chips.
  • Use a scoop or large spoon (roll into balls) and drop dough onto a lined cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350. Cook until golden brown, about 9-14 minutes, depending on your oven (I have a brand-new oven and do about 10 minutes).

NO-BAKE COOKIES

Sometimes I dream about no-bake cookies… is that wrong? These are like chunky Reese’s cups and I could seriously eat 5 of them in one sitting. Be warned… you might want to eat them all as soon as they solidify.

Recipe inspiration from Just so Tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of butter (or 1 stick)
  • 2 cups sugar (white)
  • 4 oz of chocolate chips (or however much you want, honestly)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick oats

Follow these steps:

  • Put sugar, butter, chocolate chips, and milk into a relatively large saucepan on medium heat.
  • Melt the ingredients together while stirring.
  • Once everything is fully melted together, bring the pan to boil for 3 minutes while whisking.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract.
  • Stir in the oats.
  • Drop tablespoon-sized mixture onto lined cookie sheets to cool.
  • Place in the fridge or cool place to harden for half an hour. Enjoy!

I hope you all spend some time baking by yourself or with your family and enjoying some of these sweet treats. Despite the uncertainty, I really think we could all use some pause and focusing on the things that are important that we may have all forgotten. I hope you all are staying in (please, everyone) and safe. Talk to you next week! x

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