The world doesn’t seem able to catch a break lately, and I know we’re all struggling with it. We’re on day 10 of the war in Ukraine and I still can’t quite believe that this is truly happening. It makes me feel helpless and angry to witness one man causing so much destruction and heartbreak. I also regularly feel guilty for feeling happy: the approach of spring has made such a difference for my energy levels and my mental state, but it feels almost distasteful to enjoy it, knowing that not that far away, people are going through hell. Thinking along those lines means you can never enjoy anything in life, though, so I’m trying to be grateful for the happy things, and to welcome distractions.
In that same vein, I decided that today I would share with you some of my favourite comfort baking recipes. Baking always cheers me up and makes me feel calm, and I know I’m not alone in that. So, if you’re looking for a distraction from everything going on in the world right now, maybe this will help you out. I’ve deliberately chosen simple recipes (with one exception), because whenever I’m stressed, I want to bake something easy – but delicious.
1. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
There’s something about oatmeal cookies that makes me feel safe and warm inside. The original recipe for these comes from my Friends cookbook (although I adapted it quite a bit) – and for me, Friends is the ultimate comfort show, which fits perfectly. These cookies are delicious, slightly cinnamon-y and a joy to bake. And if you’re not a fan of raisins, you can easily leave them out.
2. Lemon and Blueberry Muffins
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love a good muffin. There’s something about them that makes me so happy! I used to bake them all the time, and I’ve posted many different muffin recipes over the years, but I’ve gone for a lemon and blueberry muffin for this list. A blueberry muffin is an absolute classic for a reason (delicious!!) and lemon adds that extra bit of a tang, and with it a hint of Spring.
3. Carrot Cake (+ a gluten-free option)
It’s been a while since I made it, but I used to bake this carrot cake all the time. It’s easy to make, and it never fails to make people happy! The flavours are rich, the frosting is sweet but has just the right amount of tang, and there’s something strangely satisfying about grating carrots and adding them to the batter. I’ve also got a great gluten-free version of this cake, which you can find here.
4. Chocolate Oreo M&M Cookie Bars
A bit of a mouthful, but so so good – as the key ingredients already suggest. This one‘s for all the chocolate lovers out there! I love recipes like these: just creating a batter or a dough and adding stuff to it that’s delicious all on its own already. If you don’t like Oreos, you can easily replace it with another type of cookie, and you can also use any kind of M&M’s you want – the peanut ones are my favourites! Just mix it all together, put it in the oven and voilà! You’ve got some great comfort food.
5. Chelsea Buns (with a Dutch twist)
This is the only recipe that requires a bit more time and effort, but I figured that sometimes that’s exactly what you need, right? I haven’t made these buns in a while, but I remember feeling so happy and satisfied when I managed to pull off the recipe. They look so pretty and taste so so good, which gives me that proud feeling of “I made that!”. If you’re looking for a recipe that’s just a little bit more challenging, this is the one for you.
And that’s it! I hope you are all doing okay and taking good care of yourselves ❤ Until next time!