It is a secret to absolutely no one that we are a team of very passionate home-bakers (see Leslie's bagels, Jess's cookies, and Emily's scones). Baking has always been an important source of emotional release, escapism, and creative expression for so many of us, but has proven especially important during such a precarious, uncertain time. While the following list of pantry essentials is built with our increased time at home in mind, these are all great shelf-stable ingredients to grab on your next grocery run to be able to make almost anything, no matter the circumstances:
- Flour (All-Purpose, Bread, Almond)
- Sugar (Granulated, Brown, Confectioners')
- Baking Soda and Powder
- Nut Butter (Peanut, Almond, or Cashew—it's all good and largely interchangeable)
- Chocolate Chips
- Cocoa Powder
- Dry Milk Powder
- Dry Active Yeast
- Spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom)
- Vanilla Extract, or even Paste
- Honey (or Maple Syrup)
- Neutral Oil (Canola and/or Coconut)
Not necessary, but worth considering...
- Sprinkles (because they are happy, and sometimes that's all that matters!)
- Diastatic Malt Powder (primarily for bagels)
- Corn starch
- Gelatin (for jams and cream pies)
- Coconut sugar
- Sour dough starter
- Olive oil for some breads (which you probably already have!)
- Unsalted Butter
- Berries (freezing them is always a good option!)
- Nuts (Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios)
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Condensed Milk
- Whole Milk or non-dairy alternative
- Cream Cheese
There are few things that make us feel more at home than the olfactory sensation of banana bread baking. And if you thought throwing in chocolate chips was about as good as banana bread gets, consider this extra-chocolatey, marbled version. Your quarantine crew will love taking turns dolloping the different colored batters into the pan, and your Facetime friends will be drooling with envy. If you only make one of these recipes, let it be this one.
So technically, this recipe calls for a few other ingredients outside of the primarily list above to make it a bittttt healthier, but you can just as easily swap in the real stuff to make this gooey, melt in your mouth brookie pie. Every recipe Samah (aka @dadaeats) develops is almost entirely plant based, chocolate-filled, and insanely delicious. This one is certainly no exception. Can't decide whether to make brownies or chocolate chip cookies? Looking for something kid-friendly? Are you gluten-free or dairy free? Do you like happiness?! If the answer is yes to any of the above, make this and never look back. (P.S. You should probably also make Samah's Tahini Cake and "One Banana Only" Banana Bread Muffin Tops. Thank us later.)
It's a super-sized Pop Tart upgrade that can easily be adapted to utilize frozen fruit, jarred jam, or a different filling altogether if you're running low on fresh produce. Do we really need to say more?!
Last month at our "family recipes" potluck, Jess brought in her mom's six-ingredient version of a classic seven-layer bar and we truly haven't stopped talking about them since. They are an ultimate comfort food and taste simply magical alongside a cup of coffee to fulfill an afternoon sugar craving or maybe even as breakfast...? As our patron saint Sheryl Crow once said, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that baaaaad!"
With only seven ingredients (not counting the optional nuts because does anyone reallllly want those?), these brownies are impossibly simple and decadent. They come together in less than an hour from start to finish and remind us of those seriously fudgy, Ghirardelli box mix ones from childhood...only, way better.
We realize that up until this point, this list has been very chocolate-heavy, so this one is dedicated to our non-chocolate lovers out there. We don't understand you, but we do respect you. Tastes and preferences aside, these surprisingly simple cinnamon rolls will make your entire home smell like that heavenly corner of the mall with a Cinnabon. You know the one. They are the perfect treat to elevate your mundane morning routine, and, if you are somehow able to resist eating more than one per sitting, we salute you.
Ever since Samin Nosrat showed us the mesmerizing beauty of making focaccia (if you don't know what we are talking about, stop whatever it is you are doing and watch this instead), we haven't been able to think about making anything else. This recipe is designed to be absolutely foolproof, and will work just as well as sandwich bread as it does alongside a bowl of hearty soup.
Last week, Great Jones co-founder Sierra Tishgart posted a picture of homemade spinach ravioli, mentioning that it was possibly the first vegetable she'd consumed since going into quarantine and, ummm, same 🙋♀️. While you won't exactly see anything green here, we like to think that this recipe for a "healthified apple crisp" helps balance out our record-high sugar consumption without denying us the indulgence. That said, this vegan treat tastes anything but, and can be made without dirtying more than a single bowl! Win-win!
In 2020, you know it's important when your entire Instagram feed is making the same crinkly, chocolate puddle covered cookies. While many of you already know that Emily is partial to this chocolate chip cookie recipe, Sarah Kieffer's drool-worthy cookies promise to deliver perfectly crisp, butterscotch-y edges and a gooey, slightly under-baked center. Oh, and that's not even the best part: you are required to "pan bang" halfway through the cooking process. You heard that right! It is mandated by the cookie higher-ups that you get out that excess quarantine energy and bang. that. pan. Sorry, we can't argue with that.
Have you been excessively baking over the past week? Consider us open and ready for recipe recommendations in the comments.