The weather outside has been horrible. Lockdown still looms over our heads and vaccines are still out of reach for normal folks. So since we’re stuck at home, I’ve taking up baking again! I’ve had such a huge craving for sweets and I gave into it. For the past month I’ve baked a batch of cookies to last the week and they’ve all been amazing. So let me share with you how I’m improving my baking skills.
Pick your favorites
They say that anyone can cook, and that means that anyone can bake. But don’t pile on the pressure too high! Start simple and start with something you’d die to eat again. For me, I miss American cookies. Cookies are easier for me to make because there’s less clean up. So my first step was to find a cookie recipe that I loved. The perfect texture, the perfect taste… All of these and more contribute to a delicious cookie. I hunted for a few months, trying out several recipes before I found a great one on Joy Food Sunshine.
Note how this recipe is for chocolate chip cookies. But I love how moist and rich these cookies are. And they stay moist for a long time if you keep them covered. So all I did was swap out the ingredients. The cookie base is tasty enough you can eat it on it’s own too. These were the simple things I wanted in the prefect cookies base. It took some effort to discover but it was worth it! The important part of baking is the base, so make sure you can perfect that as you go along. Of course different types of cookies call for different types of things but experimenting can help you develop something unique!
Mix things up
I’ve made several types of cookies with this base to keep things interesting. One week I used chocolate bar chunks which was out of this world. Trust me, if you love sea salt caramel, this recipe is perfect for it. This week I went with white chocolate because I had some left over. If you make the same recipe over and over, you’ll get sick of it. But how else can you practice? If you keep things fresh as you go, it will be easier for you to level up your baking skills and still remain interested. It’s also fun to see how different ingredients change the recipe. My batch of chocolate chip cookies came out so gooey and amazing but a batch of M&M’s cookies ended up super dry!
Keep and open mind
Have you ever had a time when you wanted to make something but you didn’t have all the ingredients? Or maybe you didn’t have enough? Make sure you’re open to improvising! I’ve accidently made some delicious white chocolate and cashew cookies because I bought the wrong type of nuts. Or what if you found a great cookie and just want to bring the flavor to a whole new level? I plan on adding a bit of coffee to my batch the next time I make chocolate chip cookies. I’ve read that coffee brings out the deepness in the flavor of chocolate and I want to try it out! Improving your baking skills can take more than just practicing the same recipe over again. It can also take simple knowledge and experimentation too!
Don’t be scared to move on
As of this week, I’m taking a break from cookies. I made so many and honestly the sugar is no good for me. I’m planning on trying out banana bread this week. I’ve been craving it a lot and I think now is the perfect time to move on to something new! The best way to figure out what you love, is to try a lot of things. But don’t focus on being a jack of all trades. Figure out what works for you and do your best to make it better!