February Bake-off

I’m writing this from the floor in my kitchen with music blasting and a glass of wine next to me. I took a break from dancing around my apartment to tell you about my half-assed baking attempts this month. Buckle up, kids. I know you’re on the edge of your seats.

I’ve gotta say, baking just doesn’t excite me the way that cooking does. I’m not a precise person. Nor am I one to follow directions closely. That being said, I do enjoy getting my hands in some dough. I don’t know what it is, but getting messy is therapeutic for me whether it’s playing in the dirt or in the kitchen.

Anywho, let’s get into it! I didn’t bake as much as I would have liked for a month I intended to be devoted to such things, but I learned some shit which is kind of the whole point of this year of the unicorn ordeal. Here’s what I have.

Best thing I made: Lime Sugar Cookies
I followed the recipe linked above, mostly. A quick Google search gave me permission to replace the baking soda and cream of tartar with a teaspoon of baking powder. For as often as cream of tartar is called for in something I want to make (read: basically never) I didn’t want to run to the store for it if I didn’t have to. Fortunately in baking, according to the Google gods, when a recipe calls for baking soda and cream of tartar to be used together baking powder is a viable substitute, and is conveniently a more common substance in my cupboard. I also skipped the coconut and cream cheese in the frosting and added fresh lime juice instead. In hindsight I would have also added some zest to the frosting to really add that POW in-your-face lime factor. These turned out really well. I probably ate 5 or 6 or 8, ya know…to make sure they were good and test out the cookie to frosting ratio, then brought the rest in for coworkers. They seemed to go over well. They’re best chilled in my opinion.

Worst thing I made: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Honestly, I had high hopes for these cookies and was wildly disappointed. I made these the day of the Superbowl to bring to a party and the guys seemed to like them, but I was expecting and hoping for a soft chewy awesome cookie and ended up with an overly thick, somewhat crunchy cookie. Not ideal, especially since the whole reason to bother with an oatmeal cookie is for the chew factor. I will say the flavor was good, but the texture didn’t work for me. I’m assuming I made an error somewhere and the recipe may be worth trying again…but my personal quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie will continue…and the giant container of oatmeal I’ve had on my counter since the fall will have to prove itself useful in some other way.

Cheated with this: Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche
I don’t have a link for this and I feel like including this is kind of cheating because it’s a hybrid cooking/baking meal, but it went in the oven TWICE so I’m including it. Plus, it was delicious. I got a mandolin for Christmas so any excuse to break it out is cause for excitement and this is a bit healthier than always making potato chips :) It starts with a sweet potato crust that par-bakes at 350 for 15 minutes and while that’s going down you saute some onion and garlic and spinach until thoroughly wilted. In hindsight I would have tried to squeeze out some moisture here, but it still turned out fine. This mixture gets dumped into the crust and then you beat 4 eggs together, pour that over the top, then top the whole thing with a mess of any kind of shredded cheese that makes your heart happy and throw it back in the oven for 30 minutes until it gets a bit crusty on top and the egg mixture is set. I liked this a lot. The sweet potato crust holds up surprisingly well and it even reheated nicely a few days later.

Second shoutout to these bomb blueberry muffins. Planning on making these again this week because blueberries were on sale and they’re amazing. I’m a sucker for anything with a crumble topping and the blueberry swirl is just killer.

Lastly, here’s a cake I’d like to make eventually. Maybe for my cinco de mayo birthday momma.

Also, these nutella swirl banana muffins are on my list to try.

With a day to spare, that brings us to March. I think this may be the month I do some research about the history of the US mail system. We’ll find out how riveting of a topic that is together.



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