A Welcome Home Baking Spree

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This is terribly exciting. I am home for the summer (^_^) and I am so excited to be able to bake, even though it’s terribly hot and the oven is only going to make that worse. On the plus side, when I go outside, it isn’t as unbearably hot as I expect.

I have a bunch of friends who are graduating in a week, and instead of buying material things that will just add to the pile of stuff they will need to move, I have decided to send goodie bags full of homemade snacks and treats! So, to kick off this wonderful and adventureful summer, I start with some things old and some things new. Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Almond-Anise Biscotti, and Fudgy Brownies!

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I think I spent a good two hours looking for a gluten free cookie recipe that didn’t require the purchasing of a billion ingredients, mostly because I rarely bake gluten free, and I will potentially continue that trend. I have a friend who is gluten free, and since he’s one of the graduating bunch, there was absolutely no excuse to not include a treat for him in my baking festivities! I went to Pinterest and came across these Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from the blog Love from the Oven. These cookies are incredible. They’re a little bit chewy, but that’s how oatmeal cookies are. Not too sweet and chock-full of flavor. I’m definitely keeping this recipe in my back pocket!

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Super delicious and fudgy brownies?? Sign me up! Seriously though, these are delicious. I’ve made them a couple times before, but that was before this blog was created which makes them something in between some things old and some things new. Any way, I used this recipe from Martha Stewart and boy is it spot on! I have long lamented my inability to bake a good brownie, but that’s just because I had only ever tried making caky brownies. But, because I had a jar of Mindo Chocolate‘s cocoa powder, which is not dutch process, I needed to find a brownie recipe that used non-dutch process cocoa powder and this recipe was the ticket! I was, at long last, able to say that I can make brownies. But only the fudgy kind–lucky for me, that’s what my friends wanted.

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BISCOTTI! Epicurious: home to a delicious variety of incredible recipes. This Almond-Aniseed Biscotti recipe was Google-hunted and the result is pretty good! Truth be told, they’re a little less flavorful than I thought they would be. I was sure that the aniseed would be overpowering and make the biscotti taste like black licorice or Jägermeister in a gluten-heavy form, so I only ground enough to make 1.5 tsp rather than 2. I can’t definitively say that that 0.5 tsp was missed, we’ll leave that for everyone else to decide, but I can say that I liked the instructions for this one the most, of the other biscotti recipes I have used. Clear and containing answers to every question I had, e.g. how long do I let the biscotti logs cool before cutting?, or how long do the cut biscotti bake?, or do I flip the biscotti over mid-bake?

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Last but not least, the classic chocolate chip cookie. I use a modified Nestle Tollhouse Recipe: just over 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 cup of dark brown sugar, and 1 tsp plus a splash of vanilla extract. And I refrigerate the dough overnight before baking (I wrote a paper on this for a class this semester–refrigeration means denser/moister cookies). SO YUMMY. Lots of dark brown sugar–how could anybody refuse?

Boys and girls, it’s looking to be an awesome summer!

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