A good time baking

February 9th, 2012

I recently discovered a new love: baking.

For the longest time, I thought I just couldn’t do it. I figured I would burn cupcakes, disgust people with my cookies and actually make them sick with my brownies.  I thought it would be too hard. Plus, I was a little worried I would start a kitchen fire.

I grew up watching my mom bake. She would make delicious-smelling treats for family parties, friends at work, birthdays, etc.

For family members’ birthdays, she would make them whatever they requested. (For me, it was and still is a Boston cream pie, which my brother now also annually requests.)

Although she made all kinds of different desserts – pineapple upside down cake, caramel brownies and pumpkin roll, just to name a few – I never really got into baking with her. It just wasn’t something I was interested in and I thought it took a skill I didn’t have.

It became even more difficult to try baking once I got to college.Living in the residence halls, even though there was a kitchen in the basement, made baking inconvenient. I also didn’t really have the time to try.

However, while perusing Pinterest last fall, I stumbled upon a recipe for peppermint mocha cupcakes and I simply could not resist. This cupcake recipe combined all of my favorite things: sugar, chocolate and coffee. So, I finally decided to give baking a go while I was home one weekend.

The recipe was a disaster in the making. I probably should’ve started with something easier. It was a complicated recipe and it was messy – very, very messy. Chocolate ended up everywhere. My mom is still finding chocolate in various nooks and crannies in the kitchen.

I must say, though, that despite the mess, the cupcakes turned out pretty well. Granted, they didn’t look good, but they were tasty.

I even made my own homemade peppermint icing.

Also, I had a good time making them – playing Christmas music, while trying to figure out this recipe was fun. It was a lot of work, but getting to taste the finished product made the work worthwhile.

I’ve since tried making a pumpkin oatmeal cookie recipe, but I tried to improvise when I couldn’t find one ingredient and it didn’t turn out too well. So I think I will try this recipe again before unleashing it on other people.

I now love when I get the chance to turn on some music and just bake. I don’t have an extensive recipe book yet, but I’m working on it. I’d like to try something red velvet next, and maybe my mom’s Boston cream pie at some point.

Baking is a work in progress for me. My desserts may not be as beautiful as a professional’s, but I’m hoping if I keep trying, they will be pretty someday. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to trying out new recipes. If you have suggestions, send them my way.