Introduction to Baking for Joy

Baking for Joy

Hey, what can I say? I love to bake. Do you want to prepare wonderful desserts for your family and guest? When you walk down the cookie aisle in the supermarket, do you just not find what you want? Usually, it seems the cookies in the store are either too hard or soft with an extra crispy edge. When you do find some that are reminiscent of homemade, they usually cost a fortune. Here I hope to share with you some of my favorite recipes while passing on tips and techniques I’ve learned or read about. I hope this will appeal to anyone who simply loves to bake anything from cookies to bread. For those just beginning, may you soon discover your own joy for baking!

If you are a little anxious like me you probably are just ready to jump in and start baking. Right? Well, that is certainly understandable! So below I have included a very simple yet delicious basic cookie recipe although you do have to be patient a little since you’ll have to refrigerate the dough for about four hours but if you simply can’t wait, I would suggest putting the dough into the refrigerator for an hour. For those of you who can’t even wait the hour put the dough (well wrapped) into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. Have fun and happy baking!

I specifically chose this one because of the ingredients. Usually all or most of these items will already be in your cupboard. Also, if you make a minor measuring error it will not ruin the result.

Helpful information: Always read through all of the recipes thoroughly before you start. Also, keep in mind that oven temperatures vary and you should adjust the temperature as such.

Remember you can also add variations of your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Refrigerator Cookies

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt, baking soda. Divide dough into 3 parts. Shape each part into a roll 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 7 inches long. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cut dough into 1/8-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until light brown, about 7-9 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute then remove from baking sheet. Cool on Racks Variations: Omit the granulated sugar, increase brown sugar to 1 cup; add nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
Tip: If you are not sure whether or not the cookies are done, use the edges as your guide. If they are brown the cookies are usually ready to be taken from the oven.

Here is a list containing some basic baking equipment to begin:

  • Baking sheets
  • Various sized mixing bowls
    Note:These can usually be obtained from a discount store for less than $3 for a set of small, medium and large.
  • Mixing spoons
  • Measuring cups and spoons
    Note:You may want to look for these at the discount store also. I usually find really nice ones at the dollar stores for a buck!
  • Rubber spatulas/scrapers

Staples for Your Pantry

Here are some main ingredients you may want to stock since they are the norm in most baking recipes. Even though I have not added Spices, you may want to pick up various types (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and any others you find to your liking)

* Baking soda
* Baking powder
* Eggs
* Vanilla extract (other flavors are good to have also)
* Flour: All purpose, cake and bread
* Milk: Powdered and evaporated
* Sugar: Granulated, light and dark brown and confectioner’s
* Yeast dry active (be sure to check the expiration date!)

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!