We went from almost 80 degrees last Sunday to snow flurries this morning! The day was cold and windy, and I have the weekend all to myself, so I decided to get my Betty Crocker on today. Before having my daughter, I used to bake a lot, and today made me realize how much I really do enjoy baking. I don’t know if it’s the creation of something new (and usually something sweet!), the smells emanating from the kitchen, the warmth from the stove. Maybe it’s all those things. But I find myself very relaxed and contented when I’m baking. It brings me so much pure joy!
This morning, I craved something warm and nourishing with the cold weather, so I found a recipe to make Blueberry Breakfast Oat Bars. I don’t have a gluten allergy but they looked and sounded good. I threw in some protein powder with it, because I didn’t have flax, and then dolloped the mixture on top. I assumed the dollops would melt down and cover the rest of the fruit in the bars, but nope! My dollops just sat there like lazy ass lumps. Needless to say, these tasted way better than they looked. Because from a presentation perspective, they pretty much looked like shit. LOL But, they were damn delicious. I enjoyed these with some mixed berry yogurt for my breakfast.
The second recipe I tried today I saw on Tiktok. It was an Irish Soda bread, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this week and it just looked so tasty. Off I went to the store to get the ingredients I didn’t already have at home. I was on the fence about the raisins, even though I got some from the store. Raisins are ok, but not my favorite. Plus I worry about dropping them, the dog eating them, and dying (just a smidge dramatic I know). After seeing someone comment about using chocolate chips instead, that’s what I went with. And I was not disappointed one iota.
First of all, let me say, make sure you have a big enough bowl for this mixture! It is a one-bowl mixture, but you do need a big bowl. Second, get ready for an arm workout because this dough is D-E-N-S-E. Between the weight of the dough itself and the cast iron pan, I got a mini-arm workout in.
It took an hour for this to bake, and it was well worth it! The outside texture is crunchy without being too tough, and the inside is soft and cake-like. I cut down the sugar from 1-1/4 cups to just a 3/4 cup and used only about 1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips. The bread has enough sweetness to be satisfying without being overindulgent. I absolutely loved the Irish Soda bread recipe and plan to make it again.
Ahhhh, baking my old friend. It’s nice to see you again. We have to get together more often.