If you know me, you know I love to bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Kind of my go-to when I’m in the mood to bake, but these winter days have seen me branching out and trying all …
If you know me, you know I love to bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Kind of my go-to when I’m in the mood to bake, but these winter days have seen me branching out and trying all kinds of new recipes.
For starters, last week I made my first from-scratch-honest-to-goodness layer cake. I would happily have reached for the box of Betty Crocker, but my granddaughter Adeline insisted that we make a “real” cake.
So we looked up some recipes, found a great one from Ina Garten for Beatty’s Chocolate Layer Cake, and we were off. Well, first I had to go off to the store to buy some cocoa powder and some buttermilk, but after that, we were off to the races.
We mixed the wet ingredients and sifted the dry ingredients into the bowl. Next we poured the batter into our two cake tins and popped them into the oven.
They baked and as they cooled, we made chocolate buttercream frosting. Both the cake and the frosting had a bit of coffee in them which enhances the chocolate flavor. Adeline did a masterful job frosting her first cake.
The result, with a huge assist from Adeline, who has some awesome baking skills, was truly delectable. It was the best homemade chocolate cake I’ve had since my Mom’s famous chocolate cake (which contained vinegar, by the way).
We all blithely spent the weekend eating chocolate cake. Then on Tuesday evening I decided to make a chicken pot pie topped with buttermilk biscuits. And I must say that my biscuits had a lovely lamination and were tender as butter. Do you think I was wrong to eat 3 of those biscuits?
Today I culminated my baking frenzy by baking a big loaf of banana bread. I had to use up five ripe bananas so what could I do? I found a few recipes, adapted them a bit, and a lovely banana bread with chopped pecans was the result. I have repeatedly taste tested this bread and it seems pretty good.
All this baking seems a perfect occupation on these wintery days. How lovely to brew a nice pot of tea, lightly toast a slice of banana bread with the slightest dab of melted butter, find a good book and a cozy nook, and settle in to enjoy a winter’s afternoon.
But I must stop all this baking. I find myself surrounded by temptation. A quarter pan of brownies, a dozen chocolate chip cookies, some leftover chicken pot pie with biscuits, and a fresh loaf of banana bread. And as Oscar Wilde once said, “I can resist everything except temptation.”
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