Monday, January 19, 2009

A love/hate relationship with baking

I've never really been into baking--I hate the mess, the flour everywhere, stirring till your arm feels like it's going to fall off. But I am a lover of baked goods, and while I can't say I've made the full conversion over to lover of baking, I have lately been indulging in this practice more often than I usually do. It started with some holiday cookies (chocolate chip and ginger crinkle), then I tried this chocolate swirl gingerbread that I found on design*sponge (it did not come out so great, although I did eat most of it anyway), and then I came across this muffin recipe (delicious). This weekend I went back to the chocolate chip cookies, the recipe for which can be found here.

Just look at this heaping mountain of deliciousness:

A little closer...

I decided that hot cocoa seemed like a nice accompaniment. I'd bought some Crate and Barrel hot cocoa mix as a stocking stuffer for my boyfriend but we both agree that it's just not quite up to snuff. I've instead been following the instructions printed on a container of cocoa powder I had in my cupboard, with the addition of some spices. It's much richer and more flavorful this way (I guess it's to be expected that making it from scratch would be better than from a mix).

First stir together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and a few dashes of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Add 1/4 cup of water, heat, and stir until combined.

Add two cups of milk (or, in my case, vanilla soy milk). Now tonight's movie viewing (The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) will be even more enjoyable.

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