Quarantivities & Stories #9: Baking while in lockdown

Aditi Lappathi, Assistant News Editor

Being at home all day has given us all more free time on our hands. Over these past weeks, I’ve been able to spend more time baking, something that I didn’t have time for before. As the school year wraps to a close, and as everyone finishes testing, maybe you’ll have more free time to try doing something new. Baking is one of the only activities where you can actually eat the fruits of your labor. 

 

Brownies

Most people have a preference: cakey, chewy, or fudgy. I prefer fudgy and chewy brownies. The first ones I baked were the chewy, fudgy brownies by Binging with Babish. They were a little bit cakey on top and more fudgy in the center. They reminded me of the individually wrapped Sugar Bowl Bakery brownies that you can buy at the store. I definitely recommend this if you love everything chocolate.  

 

Due to the recent surge of home bakers, all-purpose flour can be hard to come by. Other less popular flours, like bread flour and almond flour have been easier to find (at least since the last time I went to the grocery store). Luckily, if you like brownies that are extra chocolatey and gooey, bread flour is the flour to use in this melty brownie recipe also by Binging with Babish. These brownies almost melt in your mouth and are melty like the name suggests, while avoiding being half-baked. I can’t choose a favorite between the chewy brownie and this one, but they are both great simple brownie recipes that are worth it to try. 

 

Churros 

When I missed buying churros at Costco, I turned to a homemade alternative. I tried this baked churro recipe by Gemma Stafford. When I made this, I thought that the churro pastry dough was going to be the harder part of the recipe. I wasn’t completely wrong. The dough needs to be cooked before the eggs are added, and I had a hard time figuring out when the dough was cooked enough. I got there eventually. This recipe makes a lot of dough, so you can choose to store it in the fridge and then bake a batch of churros whenever you want to. 

 

When baking the churros, it’s easy to over bake them; that happened with my first batch. When they’re over baked they don’t taste bad, but they’re crunchy and more cookie-like. I had to adjust the time and keep an eye on it to get a more churro-like texture. The work paid off. I thought they tasted amazing when I got the time right, and they were gone quickly. This is a good recipe if you are patient and willing to spend a little more time on them. 

 

Cookies

They’re almost foolproof. Out of everything, I’ve baked cookies the most so far. Chocolate chip cookies are classic and versatile. You can add in M&Ms, sprinkles, or nuts if you like them. The Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe is one that I like because of its simplicity. There isn’t much that can go wrong with this type of cookie. They’re simple and delicious.

Another popular cookie is the sugar cookie. Like the chocolate chip cookie, they’re versatile. You can add in multitudes of things, they’re like chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips. I like Emma Fontanella’s chewy vanilla sugar cookies. I made snicker doodle cookies with these by sprinkling cinnamon sugar onto the cookie dough rounds before I put them on the baking tray to go into the oven. These are a staple and taste good when eaten with coffee and tea.