I have a confession. Most of my closest friends know this already. So does my mother. Now you will know too. Here goes.
I can’t cook.
Seriously, I am really a terrible cook. Not only am I naturally lousy at it, but I also have very little interest in getting better at it. Sure, I can heat things up and make enough to get by, but the art of cooking is entirely lost on me.
Baking, however, has become a passion lately. Baking is not a science. It is not serious. For me, baking is creative. It is therapeutic. And it smells wonderful!
Lately I have become quite adept at hacking store bought baking mixes too. In our home, the delicious baked goods are also gluten-free and nut-free. Rather than recreating the perfect flour mix, I simply start with readymade mixes from Betty Crocker, Glutino, or The Cravings Place. Here are a few of my favorite easy gluten-free baking hacks:
1. Prepare Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix according to the directions on the box, then add 1/4 cup of cinnamon for snickerdoodles.
2. Prepare Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix according to the directions on the box, then add 1/3 cup of sprinkles for sprinkle cookies.
3. Add 1/4 cup of cinnamon, 1/3 cup of chocolate chips, and an extra egg (optional) to Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix. Fill half a large cupcake tin to make chocolate chip muffins. (Side note: If you add the extra egg, these will rise quite a bit.)
4. When preparing Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix, instead of using 2 teaspoons of vanilla, use 1 teaspoon of vanilla plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of coffee extract. Add 1/4 cup of cinnamon to the picture. Put in a loaf pan for amazing cinnamon coffee cake.
5. Prepare Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix in a round aluminum cake tin and bake. Let cool. When ready to serve, fill with ice cream and any preferred toppings. You can also fill with ice cream and place in the freezer to serve later.
6. When preparing Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix, use 1/3 of a cup of water instead of 2/3 cup as directed. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Add 2 mashed bananas (very ripe, if possible) to the mixture. Beat well. Pour into mini loaf pans to make banana chocolate chip mini loafs (aka tea cakes).
7. Last week I found myself with half a batch of prepared Betty Crocker vanilla gluten-free cake mix. In the pantry I had half a batch of Glutino chocolate cake mix. So what did I do? I added the dry chocolate cake mix to the prepared vanilla cake mix, threw in an extra egg and poured the mixture into donut pans. What did I get? Only the most delicious chocolate donuts EVER.
Now tell me. Do you have any go-to gluten-free baking hacks (or even non gluten-free)? What are your favorite items to bake?