What better to share on my first post about baking than our go-to family bakes! These are the yummy treats we love most to bake, eat and share with our family and friends. If you know me, it’s likely that I’ve presented you with at least one of these over the course of our friendship.
Vanilla Cupcakes – this is the first sweet treat I remember baking with my mother, and the first treat I taught my own girls to bake. Mastering the simple cupcake means you’re always equipped with a home-made offering for most occasions. Simple, versatile and forgiving of the handiwork of little hands, I have made versions of these for Christmas, Easter, bake sales, baby showers, birthdays, and family events. Once you’ve got the basics right, your imagination is your limit as you experiment with flavours, colours and themes.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies – everyone needs a good cookie recipe, even if
it’s just for the pleasure of scoffing a bowl of dough!! The best I’ve found are courtesy of Nigella Kitchen and they’ve been baked so extensively, I can barely see the page in my recipe book. This recipe uses white chocolate buttons, but any chocolate related filling is heavenly -milk & dark chocolate, Smarties, chocolate orange, Minstrels, M&M’s… leftover Easter/Christmas/ Birthday chocolate also goes down well. They key is to include LOTS of chocolate morsels which guarantee a great flavour regardless of the success of your shaping and baking-to-chewy-perfection skills. These are also great as homemade gifts – watch out for some Christmas varieties coming soon!
The Ultimate Fudge Brownie – indulgent and gooey crowd pleasers, these are great for bake sales, informal desserts or just when you’re craving chocolately comfort food, eaten straight out of the oven with a dollop of ice cream and extra fudgy sauce. This recipe has evolved over time and is a hybrid of a recipe I first discovered in the kitchen of an American (they know their brownies!!) – and just about every other brownie recipe I’ve attempted. This version uses a mix of dark and milk chocolate and light brown sugar which means they’re very difficult to overbake and become disappointingly cake like rather than the stick-on-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture you anticipate from a brownie. I’m yet to meet a person who hasn’t reached for a second one of these!
What are your go-to bakes, and what occasions do you like to bake them for?