I've never spent a holiday in Boston. Ever since college, I've been flying somewhere for the holidays. For years I went straight home to Ohio every Christmas. More recently, Bryan and I shuttle between Ohio and California to visit the families on both sides.
This means that I have never been in my own kitchen during the holidays.
Could that explain why I hardly bake throughout the year?
OK, probably not. It could be a plethora of reasons. Maybe it's because Bryan doesn't really like sweets. Or perhaps it's because I don't have a stand mixer? Or . . .
Alright, enough with the excuses. There's really no excuse!
Nevertheless, despite the fact that I don't bake frequently, I do have a few favorites that I make over and over again. These recipes are tried and true, and the results are crowd favorites. You can easily make any of these without huge "non-tiny kitchen friendly" appliances (ahem stand mixer).
Rice Crispy Kitties and Totoros
I made these for my "nieces" (technically cousins, but they're like all under the age of 12) last Christmas and the entire family (not only the kids!) loved them! These are super easy to make and are a hit with any crowd, especially with kids! I've made a video tutorial on how to make these, as well as specific instructions for Totoro and Hello Kitty.
Hi Rise Vanilla Loaf
This is my favorite loaf of all times. It originally came from my favorite bakery in Cambridge, Hi Rise Bread Company. It's buttery, slightly crunchy on the outside, and has a deliciously rich vanilla aroma. After all, when you use three whole vanilla beans in the recipe, you figure it's bound to have an amazing aroma. You can also make this into a bundt cake, which is what I did last Thanksgiving.
This is one of the first things I started baking on a regular basis. I love it because it's crunchy, fragrant, and goes really really well with a nice, hot cappuccino. I'm personally not a big fan of biscotti filled with nuts and fruit, so this light and simple one is just perfect for me.
I inherently like mochi cakes because of their chewiness. However, they are also gluten-free, which is awesome for those who can't handle wheat products. My favorite is the classic red bean loaf, but more recently I tried making pumpkin mochi bundt cake, and it was delicious as well! You can probably flavor it with whatever you want, really. I think I even tried coffee once!
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