Baking season!

It’s a strange thing that happens inside my brain. I go into baking mode from November 1st, through Christmas. I dig out old recipes and find new ones on Pinterest. It is something about the weather and the ability to make so many different treats from breads to candies all in the spirit of the seasons.

This year a friend of mine gave my five pumpkins. Three of them went to the kids for Jack o’ Lanterns but the other two, they were made into pumpkin muffins, breads and rolls all with a touch of cheesecake or frosting on them to help add to the appeal. I love putting together fun treats and sharing them with those around me. Now if only I could get my family to jump on board and let me spend the whole weekend baking while they clean the dishes for a part of the baked goods.

When I was younger it was a treat to bake. We would usually pull out a recipe or two from our Great Aunt Lila’s stash and try and re-create what she probably could make blindfolded. One such recipe was for cinnamon rolls. Through the eyes of a young child all the steps that were needed to make the rolls seemed daunting. From getting the dough ready to having to wait the hour plus to let it rise. Then making sure to get the proper amount of filling made so that when the rolls are finally done the are oozing with cinnamon sugar goodness. Then when the task of making the rolls was done preparing the frosting that is smeared on top of each roll, oh man, it seemed so hard back then, but now it’s a way to spend time doing something you love.

Cookies were another treat we would make but honestly half that batter would end up in our bellies before getting baked into cookies. Whoever said don’t eat cookie batter probably just wanted to keep all the batter to themselves. As a grown up I am so much more responsible when it comes to raw eggs and batter, if the kids don’t see me eating it, all the better, then I don’t have to explain why they can’t =).

Speaking of the kids, you know what brings a family together when it’s cold outside? The smell of cookies in the oven and the invitation to help make Oreo bark, chocolate truffles, and pudding. It’s true what “they” say if you work for it you will appreciate it better. I usually let the kids pick one thing they want to make and then let them at it. One of my daughters loves making Oreo bark. When I asked if she wanted help crushing the Oreos she said no with a twinkle in her eye as she grabs the rolling pin and a gallon bag. The rule is: you make it you have to share but you get the first and last bite.

My son is at the stage where if it looks like it will taste good he wants to try it. Once he asked to have us buy him some orange marmalade because of a video he watched. Needless to say we still have that jar, and it is missing one spoonful from it. What does one do with marmalade anyways? His latest thing he wanted to try was pumpkin bread. Great! As I said earlier I have pumpkin. So I thought, why not do muffins instead and swirl in some cheesecake? He helped me make them, but then refused to try them because of the cheesecake and the fact that they were not “bread” sigh….

Did you know that pumpkin bread had pumpkin in it? I did in fact have to inform my son that it did, so when I did make the bread I made him try it. When he stated he didn’t like it, I suggested trying it with the pumpkin frosting I made, guess what? He loves pumpkin bread now, with a hefty dose of frosting on top of course.

My oldest is too cool for school so when it comes to baking with her, well I have to convince her that she should help out. I also have to convince her that exact measurements are always needed. I mean when a cup of chocolate chips is called for, it really is ok to add more than that. Same idea when it comes to cinnamon and sugar, frosting, or cheesecake. If you ever want to annoy her just start eating the batter before she is ready to cook it. I still have a lot to train her on I know. Baking is all about the process, the taste testing (to make sure the product is not poisoned of course ;)), the baking, the eating of the final product.

What better way to warm up the house than using the oven. What better way to spread joy than to share what you have made with others. I know my brain is probably remembering back to when I was a kid and the joy that came from baking. I love that I get to bake now and share the joy with my kids, share the goodies with others and create editable joy. I am excited for Thanksgiving to come, I will get to finally use up all my pumpkin. What are some of your favorite baking past times? What are some of your favorite recipes? Until next time:

Homemade with love, in other words I liked the spoon and kept using it.

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