Batter with baking

Beches shares three easy recipes to bake during shelter-in-place order

As the days slowly blend into one another, it can be hard to figure out new and exciting activities that hold your attention span. Speaking from personal experience, if another influencer tells me to “go out and exercise!” or “learn a new language!” I might just throw my phone out the window and hope the neighbors don’t think I’ve finally gone ballistic. Not to say that we shouldn’t be staying fit and having a jolly old time in quarantine, but I have found that advice to be inherently unhelpful and in no way a good way to pass time. However, I come to you with the all-knowing solution: baking! 

I know, I know, you have probably already baked banana bread (who hasn’t?) and now you think you have been there and done that. But, I’m here (metaphorically, of course) to burst your isolated bubble and say that there is much more to the baking world than banana bread and choco-chip cookies! Sometimes, classic sweets are what we need, but why not take advantage of this time and learn to bake something new? I’m talking about getting out of your comfort zone! Who knows? You may come out of this mess with split ends and an affinity for making meringue.

I have compiled a short bucket list of sorts of goods to bake that contain ingredients you probably have in your pantry—right now! So when Netflix just isn’t doing it for you anymore, I would highly recommend giving one of these a shot. Enjoy! 

First up: brownies! This one is a classic and the best part is that you can add any spice or nut to make it your own. In these times, when our lives are lived in small spaces with minimal choices besides what show to binge or book to start, this is pretty fantastic! 


1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter – 2 cups white sugar – ½ cup cocoa powder – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – 4 eggs – 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour – ½ teaspoon baking powder – ½ teaspoon salt – ½ cup of nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) or chocolate chips


First and foremost, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, in a large bowl, combine all ingredients. This recipe is a one-bowl-wonder! Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until you can successfully perform the toothpick test. 

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Next up: Oatmeal Cookies (with the option of chocolate and/or raisins!) This recipe is one I have adapted from many years of baking cookies. It is basically the base for all of my cookies, which means that you can add anything you want (within reason; please do not add hot sauce to your cookies, no matter how tempting that might be0. These cookies are chewy and utterly divine. They won’t last long if you have them out on the counter!


1 cup butter – 1 cup  sugar – 1 cup brown sugar – 2 eggs – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – 2 cups all-purpose – flour – 1 teaspoon baking soda – 1 teaspoon baking powder  – 1/4 teaspoon salt – 1 ½ cup old fashioned oats (I recommend quaker oats) – Optional: 1 cup shredded coconut, chocolate chips/chunks, nuts, raisins, m and m’s, etc.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until blended. Then, add eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the contents of the small bowl to the larger one slowly, stopping to stir. Add in oats and/or your choice of anything else.

Shape dough into small balls and set on a baking sheet (with Silpat or parchment paper) approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-12 minutes, letting the cookies sit on the sheet for five additional minutes to “set.” 


One more recipe that you will love: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups. This recipe tastes even better than Reese’s and takes at maximum 20 minutes, with some freezer time to let you catch up on homework or have a mini dance party. Also, the only odd ingredient is almond flour (which you can substitute easily for blended oats if necessary).  

Ingredients: for the filling

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey 

2 tbsp melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil) 

1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

11 tbsp almond flour (can substitute oat flour. To do so, blend oats in a food processor) 

Ingredients: for the chocolate outer layer 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 chocolate bar (3/4 cup chocolate chips)


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk honey/maple syrup, creamy peanut butter,  coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add in almond/oat flour. Form dough into 1.5 to 2-inch circles (or any shape you want!) and lay flat on parchment paper. Once all dough has been shaped, place in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill/harden. To make the outer chocolate layer, melt coconut oil and chocolate to a bowl by microwaving in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. After the PB cups have hardened, remove from the freezer and dip them in melted chocolate. Place back in the freezer to harden for 15 minutes. 

Recipe Source: