Thursday, January 23, 2014

52 weeks of baking: a summary

A month late, but whatever. Let's talk about that time I baked something weekly for an entire year!

The first week of January last year I saw a couple bloggers starting "a year of cakes" or "a treat a day". I'm a lover of sweet things and of challenges, so I came up with "52 weeks of baking". I wanted to be cool too. So I did it. Baked something once a week for a whole year. And it wasn't that hard. I love baking and was doing it a lot anyway as it was, this just took it to the next level. There were some close calls when things were especially busy, some OMG I HAVE TO BAKE SOMETHING RIGHT NOW THE WEEK'S ALMOST OVERRRR, but I made it. I didn't repeat a recipe once, although there were some doubles, like multiple chocolate cakes and quite a few chocolate chip cookie variations, but never the same recipe twice. It was FUN. And yummy. I ended up making some truly wonderful things and am a significantly better baker this January than I was last January. I mean, I'd hope so, right?

So to toot my own horn, because it's oh so satisfying to see it in list form, here are the 52 things I baked:

1. Banana bread
2. Betty Crocker fudge brownies
3. Mini-morsel shortbread squares
4. Everyday chocolate cake
5. Lime and blackberry cake
6. Yellow cake
7. Oatmeal cream pies
8. Zucchini carrot cake
9. Pumpkin cupcakes
10. Honey chocolate chip cookies
11. Coconut shortbread
12. Chocolate cake
13. Strawberry cream cheese cobbler
14. Coconut bread
15. Chocolate zucchini cake
16. Banana chocolate chip cupcakes
17. Simple white cake
18. Chocolate chip cookies
19. Grapefruit yogurt cake
20. Maple cream pie
21. Apple crumble
22. Snickerdoodle cookies
23. Peach hand pies
24. Quick breads
25. Molasses cookies
26. Chocolate caramel brownies
27. Fourth of July cake
28. Peach galette
29. Lemon cheesecake
30. Rosemary chocolate cake
31. Chocolate cake #2
32. Lemon cake with black tea icing
33. Chocolate chip pretzels
34. Coconut chocolate chip cookies
35. Salted caramel brownies
36. Flourless chocolate cake
37. Donuts
38. Lemon cupcakes
39. Salted caramel dark chocolate chip cookies
40. Pumpkin bread
41. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
42. Pumpkin coffee cake
43. Pumpkin swirl brownies
44. Lemon gingerbread cupcakes
45. Apple slab pie
46. Snickerdoodle cookies #2
47. Cream cheese pound cake
48. Black bottom oatmeal pie
49. Spice cake
50. Chocolate lava cake
51. Gingerbread men
52. Double chocolate torte

They are here, just in reverse order, newest first. There were some minor fails thrown in there, but nothing inedible. For the most part it was all yummy. We were stocked up on dessert for a year! And now after dinner we're kind of like, awww, there's no dessert. Although I have baked chocolate chip cookies. And Brendon made banana bread. So the baking continues, just not as structured. Or frequent.


The most successful recipes in my opinion (in chronological order, not by preference, and pictured in the same order above) were the oatmeal cream pies, zucchini carrot cake, peach hand pies, rosemary chocolate cake, lemon cupcakes, pumpkin coffee cake, apple slab pie, and chocolate lava cake. Brendon's favorite were the lemon cupcakes, and they were without a doubt the best cupcakes I've ever made. The rosemary chocolate cake miiiiiight be my favorite, just because it was so different. And delicious.

It was really fun experience. I loved the challenge and the accountability. I also loved feeding all our friends. Thank you for helping eat all the baked goodies folks! I've got to give a special shout out to the future pharmacists though, you guys ate so much and sent Brendon home with the sweetest compliments. Thank you! And thanks to everyone who suggested recipes! And everyone who followed along with this nonsense throughout the year!

Thanks for tagging along. It was a good year of baking. And I'm not diabetic, so that's a bonus. 

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