The current coronavirus crisis has many of us stuck at home. The combination of school closures and many offices forcing people to work from home brings a lot of stress.
One way to cut the tension: cooking.
Over the weekend, many grocery stores reported strong sales of flour and other baking supplies. What better time to try out some new baking recipes. Here are 10 of our favorite recipes for homemade bread, cookies and desserts.
If you’ve never made homemade bread before, this no-knead recipe from Portland baker Joan Harvey is a great place to start. You won’t need a fancy stand mixer with a dough hook. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make your own “artisanal” bread.
Recipe: Sourdough no-knead bread.
If your cracker idea starts with saltines and ends with Wheat Thins, you have to try these Middle Eastern-style crackers from Portland cookbook author Ivy Manning. They contain the same basic ingredients as falafel, right down to the chickpea flour (Bob’s Red Mill makes a good one). They are excellent with hummus.
Recipe: Middle Eastern Falafel Chips.
BabyCakes NYC Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies from New York’s BabyCakes bakery blew our minds when we first tried them. When we baked them for coworkers, many tasters declared them the best chocolate chip cookies they’ve ever had. Then we told them the cookies were vegan and gluten free, and jaws dropped. They are so good.
Recipe: BabyCakes NYC Chocolate Chip Cookies.
(Almost) Packer Orchards Cowboy Cookie
One of the best things about Portland-area farmers markets is picking up the dynamite Cowboy Cookies that Packer Orchards and Bakery sells. But you can recreate a very close facsimile at home with our version. Although we couldn’t replicate the exact texture, the flavor of these cookies does come close.
Recipe: (Almost) Packer Orchards Cowboy Cookie.
Whole Wheat Muffins
These hearty and healthy muffins are quick to prepare, and since they’re not too sweet, they’re good any time of the day. They are made without oil or butter, so they are low in fat.
Recipe: Whole wheat oatmeal muffins.
Chocolate, pecan and cranberry cake
Baking genius Fran Costigan’s combination of chocolate and dried cranberries provides that perfect combination of sweet and tart. This vegan candy is one of those “If only I had the time” recipes. Well guess what? With so many canceled activities, you have time.
Recipe: Chocolate pecan and cranberry cake.
Maple Pumpkin Bread
Still have some canned pumpkin left over from the holidays? Here’s a great way to use it. It freezes well too. And because it’s dairy- and egg-free, it’s naturally vegan.
Recipe: Dairy-free maple pumpkin bread.
Brown sugar pound cake
This incredible pound cake comes from Mae’s restaurant in Portland. Chef Maya Lovelace gives this cake a nutty flavor with brown butter, pecan bitters and cocoa nibs for a sweet and sour crunch. If you can’t find cocoa nibs, she says it’s just as delicious with pecans.
Recipe: Mae’s Brown Sugar Cocoa Nib Pound Cake.
Edward’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pastry guru Dorie Greenspan got this recipe from Edouard Bobin, the co-owner of one of the Parisian bistros Le Pantruche. Although it looks like the type of recipe you might find on the back of a bag of chocolate chips, it has more flour and the nuts are ground, not chopped, resulting in a dense, chewier cookie.
Recipe: Edward’s chocolate chip cookies.
Baking guru Alice Medrich uses dried cranberries in these gluten-free scones. But raisins or other dried fruits, such as chopped dried apricots, would work just as well.
Recipe: Cornmeal and cranberry scones.
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