Baking For Two.
No, not eating for two. I know that is what some of you were thinking when you saw the title. Right? No how sweet spawns anytime soon.
That I know of, at least.
This most asked question on this site? How can you bake so much and not eat it all?
Well, it’s not rocket science. I’m here to share some tips with you.
It is no secret that I love sweets. In fact, I must have something sweet everyday after lunch and dinner. Sometimes this is as simple as some fruit with nut butter, but more often it’s a small piece of chocolate or a few tablespoons of chocolate chips.
But I do have to laugh when I see someone say that my blog is all about sweets. I do not consider smoothies (made with fruit or nut butter or dairy), muffins made with whole wheat flour, granolas made with whole grains and dried fruits, or whole wheat pancakes to be “sweets.” I consider these snack foods that are healthier, and I find a way to fit them in. It may not be daily, but if I make a batch of whole wheat muffins, I will be having one with some greek yogurt. Same with granolas. But that is just me.
Also, you can bet you bottom dollar that I am not baking something everyday. I do have a job! And I kinda have a life, but not really.
If you see more than one super-indulgent recipe on this blog per week, I probably had a party or event to go to the weekend before. It is as simple as that. As much as I want you all to believe that I lay around eating bon-bons, it’s just not true. At least not every day.
So here are my thoughts on baking for 2. These come from my own experiences, as I moved out of a house of 5 and into a house of 2. And while Mr. How Sweet has more of an appetite than the 5 of us did growing up combined, he doesn’t use that appetite up on sweets. Unless they taste like chicken.
1. 1/2 (or even 1/4) the ingredients! This is my #1 tip. Almost everything you see on this blog is 1/2 of a recipe, though I will post the full recipe. There are only 2 of us, after all. The only exception is when I make treats on the weekend or am baking for a party/family gathering/entertaining purposes, etc. If it is just for the 2 of us, I always cut the recipe in half, if not more.
I made a half batch of these cookies:
2. Choose wisely. If you are going to bake and 1/2 a recipe, choose an easy one. I have had many mishaps with recipes that I’ve attempted to cut in half, most often in recipes that call for odd buttermilk/vinegar/baking soda combos like red velvet. If you have successfully cut a red velvet cake recipe in half, please come make it for me. Today.
In my opinion, the easiest recipes to cut in half are cookies and muffins.
3. Always measure. This is true for any baking venture, but if you plan on cutting a recipe in half, you must measure (weighing would even be better) all ingredients. If not, expect a screw up. If it works, you are lucky and I need you to do my baking from now on.
4. Determine the “why.” Why do you want to bake? More often than not, I just love to bake because it is relaxing, comforting, reminds me of my grandmother, and fun. I love having my hands in dough and being covered in flour. If you want to bake just for the sake of baking, make a healthier recipe. You still get the same feeling of comfort, without all the calories!
5. Find a substitute. Not a substitute for ingredients, but a substitute for the flavors you are craving. If you haven’t been able to stop thinking about a peanut butter and chocolate combo and are dying to make better-than-crack brownies, but aren’t sure if cutting the recipe in half will work, look elsewhere. Try to find another recipe (like peanut butter and chocolate muffins) that can easily be cut in half. Save the calorie-laden recipe for the weekend when you can share more of it with friends and family. Trust me, being alone in a house with better-than-crack brownies will widen your waistline fast.
6. Check your schedule. If you have a party or gathering coming up on the weekend, save the recipe you really want for that day. In the meantime, bake something that only yields half a dozen cookies, or have fruit for dessert. I won’t lie. I never consider fruit dessert. But if I know I’m going to make something really sinful on Saturday, I can live with fruit for a few days. But I may complain.
7. Make a list. Make a list of the baked goods you really want to try. Determine which recipes can easily be cut in half, and which must be made in full. I have many recipes listed in my favorites, but if I want to bake during the week, I may choose something that is easy (don’t want to have lots of clean up time, even though I always make Mr. How Sweet do it), on the healthier side, and can be cut in half.
8. Pick one a week. I tend to choose one healthier baked good and one indulgent baked good a week. I may bake the healthier one during the week, and save the indulgent one for the weekend. Or I will bake only half of the indulgent one if possible, so we aren’t swimming in chocolate all week. Though that would be dreamy.
So those are my rambling thoughts. Do you ever bake for 2? Have any secret tips you’d like to share?