Baking has always been my favorite pastime. When I was little, I would stand in front of the oven, counting the seconds until the timer went off. Often times I was so eager to see the finished product that I would burn my hands trying to pull the pan out on my own – I have the scars to prove it. The only thing that has changed is that now I remember wearing oven mitts. Measure the perfect amounts of flour, feel the pulse of an electric mixer, smell an almost finished batch of blueberry muffins… It calms me down. Even if I cook for someone else, it’s the treat of the pastry that I like the most. Well that, and the stolen cookies of brownie dough and cookie dough. So naturally my baking tendencies mean I get a lot of friends who ask me what to cook when I’m bored.
I have found baking to be the answer to most of my moods. When I am stressed, I cook. When I’m excited, sad, or happy, I cook. But above all, when I’m bored… I cook… A LOT.
It’s amazing that my mouth isn’t filled with cavities because whenever I don’t know how to spend a spare hour, I’m going to preheat my oven, knowing that I will end up baking something. I would have liked to have had a current account of desserts I baked (and ate) bored in my forties, and feel like I’m not the only one. I must sincerely thank the creative bakers who have developed gluten-free and dairy-free desserts and bread, because now, when I eat a cookie, I can tell myself that I am still healthy. (What helps me sleep at night, right?)
My biggest problem, however, is deciding which recipe to prepare next. Should I go for a classic favorite? Try something new? Invent something? If you’re like me, this list could be your holy grail. From breads to brownies to cookies, these are all my favorites. So the next time you want to know what to cook when you’re bored, consider this your boring bucket list.
These brownies might be paleo, but you’d never know. Their secret ingredient? Half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. I serve them with vanilla ice cream and the combination of spice, chocolate and vanilla is to die for.
If the look of this dessert isn’t enough to sell you, maybe you probably already have all the ingredients. This cookie pan reminds me of BJ Chocolate chip pizookie, my friends and I would order in high school, only better. If you want the full effect of BJ, add a scoop of ice cream in the middle and eat it straight out of the pan.
This cookie combines all my favorite things for baking with: chocolate, peanut butter and oats. When I tell you this is one of my favorite cookies I’ve ever made, I mean it. Bonus points for being in good health. I posted a photo of the first batch of these I ever made on my Instagram Story, and never received more requests for a recipe. Run, don’t walk, to make them.
If I haven’t already made it clear, I’m a big fan of chocolate. My sister and I made this chocolate brownie pudding for my mom’s birthday last year and I swear I can still taste how good it was. It’s like a giant, gooey, underbaked brownie with a crispy top layer… AKA my version of heaven.
Normalize the consumption of gingerbread cookies all year round. If you put a plate of it in front of me in the middle of summer, I wouldn’t complain. These cookies are so chewy and warm, you won’t either. This recipe is a family favorite, but Suruchi avasthi also tried five more earlier this year, so read it to find out its winner.
While you might think I’m crazy for telling you to bake pumpkin bread in the middle of spring, trust me when I tell you that you need this recipe in your life. This bread will disappear so quickly because you will be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Don’t skip the cinnamon butter, either. It’s so easy and totally worth it.
I owe a big thank you to Camille for finding this recipe. I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie that I didn’t like, but this one is my best friend. One of my sisters is allergic to nuts, so I usually take them out and the recipe still stands.
Okay, so I know you don’t technically do them, but I couldn’t leave them off the list. My family found this recipe about two months ago and have made it over 10 times since. I like to use cashew butter instead of almond butter (any nut butter works) and add cinnamon to the nut-butter mixture. Store them in your freezer or refrigerator for the perfect cure for low-calorie gourmets.
I tend to always buy bananas, but never use them on time. It was frustrating, but this recipe is the perfect solution. These banana muffins are so easy to make and so filling. They are perfect for breakfast on the go.
I was anti-Apple Pie because something about the idea of a hot apple scared me. It wasn’t until I tried the crispy apple dessert from Oliver’s in Montecito that I realized how much I had missed. This Healthy Apple Crisp will be repeated this summer.
After too many sibling arguments, I learned that the way to my little sister’s heart is through churros. Specifically, these homemade churros from Just a Taste. She’s tested churros pretty much everywhere and gives them a 10/10.
Cook them on Sundays and thank me when you grab one when you walk out the door every day of the week… and another when you get home. These oatmeal cuts are so easy and delicious that you seriously have no excuse to try them now. If you’re more of a chocolate chip muffin girl, just swap it.
Half of you may have stopped reading after “lawyer”, but I invite you to read on. These fondant cookies are probably one of the best things I have ever made. Period. They take less than 20 minutes from start to finish and will make you think of them forever. My favorite part of this recipe is that I really can’t decide if I like them better when they are fresh out of the oven or the freezer 5 days later. Hot or cold, these cookies take the gold in my book.
One of my favorite things to do with my mom growing up was going to lunch at the Zodiac Coffee at Neiman Marcus for chicken broth and popovers. I was drinking the chicken broth with my pinky finger and applying way too much strawberry butter on my popovers. When I can’t get the real thing, these popovers cure my cravings and bring me back. To recreate the strawberry butter, which in my opinion is a must have, add either fresh strawberry puree or strawberry jam to softened butter, and voila.
I didn’t know homemade cookies were so easy to make until I tried these delicious Rosemary Goat Cheese Cookies. They are changing my life so much that I am mouth watering as I write this. If I could wake up to the smell of these in the oven every day, I would. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
While everyone was making banana bread in quarantine, my mom and I were making this focaccia bread. This was my first time making bread that was neither banana nor pumpkin, and this recipe was so easy to follow that I felt like a pro. It was so good the rest of our family thought we got it from the central market.
What are your favorite recipes to cook when you’re bored?