Joy of Things Baked

“The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.” – Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
 
The opening line of the Cat in the Hat describes just about this entire winter so far. It’s been a little chilly in the apartment, especially on those negative degree days. That’s when I turn on the oven and bake up a batch of something delicious. I mean, who doesn’t love a batch of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies? I guess maybe people who don’t like chocolate… or cookies… but do those people actually exist?!?
 
 
I love baked goods. Cookies, cupcakes, bread, you bake it, I’ll eat it. So I guess it’s good that I like to bake and that I’m a way better baker than I am cook. Even though I’m a decent baker, I’m not the type who comes up with my own original recipes. I am however, an excellent instruction follower. For you other folks who are good at following directions, I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipe finds in this post. Before I do, though, I’d like to share a little story:
 
 
One morning, my son was up in the wee hours, as usual. He was a little grumpy (I think he’s not a morning person, even though he consistently gets up before dark), and asked for cake. I told him we didn’t have any. He insisted he needed cake. I repeated that we didn’t have any. He started whining. I told him we’d make cupcakes. He was happy again. I wanted him to be involved a) because it’s fun and b) so that I could avoid putting on an episode of Blippi that early in the morning. He had the job of putting cupcake liners in the cupcake pan, which he took very seriously. He also was in charge of holding my hand and “helping” me pour the ingredients into the bowl. Not long after the dry ingredients went in, did he proceed to stick his index finger in the flour, pull it out, lick it and exclaim “Baby Powda!” (For those of you who haven’t seen the movie Storks, he’s imitating Pigeon Toady, and you should see the movie, it’s hysterical). 
 
This process happens every time I bake something for us now. He also asks me, almost every morning, to make cupcakes. He’s no longer interested in actually helping me, he just wants to stick his fingers in whatever dry ingredients we’re using and re-enact the movie. 
 
With that, here are some of my favorite baked recipes for your enjoyment:
 
Pumpkin Cupcakes: This recipe is actually for pumpkin bars, but I’ve only ever put the mix in cupcake liners. I’ve used fresh pumpkin for this and only made frosting once, they are delicious with or without it. I’ve made half of what the recipe calls for and gotten about 14 cupcakes out of it. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11646/pauls-pumpkin-bars/
 
“The Best” Chocolate Chip Cookies: This recipe actually lives up to it’s name. They are crunchy and chewy at the same time, and they came out looking like packaged cookies. They did not last long in our house.
 
Vanilla Cupcakes: These are sooo good. I’ve never made the frosting, they really don’t need it. Sometimes I just spray some canned whipped cream on top. http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/amy-sedariss-vanilla-cupcakes-181181
 
Vegan Brownies: You won’t miss the eggs etc. in this recipe, just be sure to use really good cocoa powder!  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/68436/vegan-brownies/
 
If you try these recipes, or have a recipe to share leave it in the comments below or on Facebook!

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