What could be more heartwarming than tossing a bowl of brown, beige and white ingredients together, slip it into the oven and watch it transform into something golden and spectacular?
For some, baking is an ordinary business, while for others, it is a big project. With that in mind, we’ve put together a collection of 21 recipes and organized them by skill level. Each group – beginner, intermediate, advanced – contains seven types of recipes: bread, cookies, bars, brownies, cake, buns or cookies and pie. Do not hesitate to switch from one category to another depending on ambition and taste. Just be sure to read the recipe before you start to make sure you have everything you need.
Ready in two hours or less, these recipes don’t require an electric mixer or specialty ingredients.
Bread: Beer bread
This super easy (yeast-free!) Savory quick bread is quick to prepare and goes great with soups and stews. Use the lightest beer you have.
Bars: Sugar Shortbread
It’s the easiest and fastest single bowl shortbread on the market. If you don’t have rice flour, use cornstarch or more all-purpose flour.
Brownies: Katharine Hepburn’s brownies
With a name like that, how could they be bad? You can make these rich, densely chocolatey brownies with or without nuts.
Cake: Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake
This one bowl cake is anything but elaborate – it only looks that way. If you have some turmeric powder in your cupboard and two lemons, you’re almost there.
Rolls or cookies: Place cookies
Intimidated by all the rolling and cutting involved in most cookie recipes? This version is here for you. Add crushed black pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely chopped tender herbs or chocolate chips for a little complexity.
Tart: Atlantic Beach Pie
This citrus pie is so easy it feels like you’re cheating. The crust is made from savory crackers (Ritz work too), sugar, and butter, and the topping is just egg yolks, condensed milk, and lemon or lime juice.
You will need a little more time, special ingredients, and more specialized equipment (an electric mixer or food processor) for most of these recipes.
Bread: Bread without kneading
It’s one of The Times’ most popular recipes, and for good reason: the payoff is bakery-quality bread with very little effort, at a fraction of the cost.
Biscuits: Cakes with chocolate chips
This recipe is adapted from Jacques Torres, the chef and chocolatier. For cookies with the ideal soft-to-crisp ratio, refrigerate the dough for 36 hours before baking. (Pro tip: The dough freezes well. When cool, roll it into balls and freeze in an airtight container.)
Bars: Blueberry Pie Bars
These dream bars have four layers: shortbread, a sweet cream cheese filling, blueberries, and a breadcrumb filling. But, as special as they may be, don’t waste your fresh blueberries on them. Frozen wild blueberries are perfect.
Brownies: Supernatural Brownies
These complex, sweet and sour brownies are extra creamy and rich, thanks to real chocolate (no cocoa powder) and dark brown sugar.
Cake: Pantry Crumb Cake
This adaptable cake from Melissa Clark is particularly suitable for the 40s. You can add any fruit, spice or nut you like.
Rolls or cookies: Cinnamon brioches
We love a refrigerated Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll, but why not try the homemade version?
Tart: Apple pie
No, it’s not apple season, but it’s a classic recipe, and Sam Sifton’s is perfect. Serve with vanilla ice cream, of course.
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You will need some cooking experience, as well as a few special tools or ingredients, for these projects. Reserve plenty of time.
Bread: Sourdough bread
Everyone and their mother (you get it?) Seem to be making sourdough at the moment. Our step-by-step guide by Claire Saffitz walks you through the reward process.
You bought them. Now, it’s time to make them yourself. Melissa Clark’s classic recipe is easy to follow and very customizable. (Nutella or dulce de leche make great, simple toppings.)
Bars: Lemon bars with olive oil and sea salt
At this point in your cooking journey, you may already have a tried and true lemon bar recipe, but this one takes its sophisticated advantage from a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a generous pinch. sea ââsalt.
Brownies: Purple baked rye brownies
These aren’t more difficult than any other brownie recipe, but they do require a bit of whole rye flour, which gives them an adult earthy look.
Cake: Russian honey cake
This 12-tier cake takes a lot of time and patience, so clear your schedule (and maybe meditate?) Before you tackle this beauty.
Tart: Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie
If you can get your hands on sour cherries – NYT Cooking Editor-in-Chief Sara Bonisteel orders hers from Orchard Friske in Ellsworth, Michigan – this pie, with its exceptionally crispy crust, is the best way to highlight them. One reader said it was “hands down the best cherry pie recipe.”