Yesterday, while reading this post on Cupcakes and Cashmere, I got a craving for a chocolate chip blondie. Like, needed one ASAP. It was life or death. I did, thankfully, muster the willpower to wait until after dinner to make them. But barely.
As I was getting all the ingredients out for the blondies, I suddenly realized: I am so thankful that I always stock dessert ingredients in the house.
It's true. I ALWAYS have a stash of the main ingredients to make cookies/other desserts because I really just love baking (and dessert) that much. And I know my cravings will hit and I'll need a cookie ASAP.
I know that it saves me a lot of time and money in the long run, because when cravings hit, I don't have to get in the car and go to the store to get the ingredients I need... or even worse, hop in the car and grab an overpriced pre-made dessert from a restaurant or grocery store.
It really isn't even a lot of ingredients. There are just a few staples to have on hand and you'll be able to make all sorts of things!! Here are the main ones that you'll need for dessert baking.
Stuff you'll need to have in stock to be able to bake delicious desserts any time you want:
Not quite pantry items, but go with me here. Milk, butter, eggs. You probably use these for other things too. Mike and I go through 18 eggs a week. Is that weird or normal? Please say normal.
Flour, vegetable oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, CHOCOLATE CHIPS.
Sugar in every form. Brown sugar (I usually get dark) and white granulated sugar. I threw confectioners' sugar in the picture too, but on further contemplation, I don't use that often. In fact, I've been trying really hard to use up the 3 bags I already have but not many recipes I make use it. (my sister-in-law and I have evidently been cursed with forgetfulness when it comes to confectioners' sugar... every time we need it for a recipe we go out and buy a bag even though we already have multiple. I was living with her and my brother for awhile and we discovered like 6 bags of confectioners sugar between the two of us. It was insane. HIIII, J!)
Baking powder, baking soda (this stuff is like less than a dollar, did you know that? so cheap!), salt, and vanilla extract. I have a Costco bottle of vanilla and it's huge and I love it.
And the tools: big bowl, whisk, measuring cups and spoons, and spatulas (I have two sets of spatulas-- one for cooking and one for baking. I find that the ones we cook dinner with absorb weird food smells? I don't want to put a spatula that smells like tacos into chocolate chip cookie batter. just... no)
And three other notes:
1. Of course, adjust based on your preferences/needs. Gluten free? Have gluten free stuff. Like to be healthier? Keep your pantry full of apple sauce (to swap for the oil/butter), whole wheat flour (instead of regular flour), soy milk, etc.
2. This idea can apply to anything in life. Know you get cravings for coffee? Keep it in your house so you don't have to go to Starbucks every time you have a craving. Like ice cream? Keep some in the house! And count this as an exercise in willpower to not eat it all just because it's in your house. I'm still working on that one :)
3. Yes, I did eventually make the blondies; I didn't take all this stuff out of the cabinet just for a photo shoot. Well, okay, some of it I did :)
Even better eaten with ice cream. (while watching Real World... we're so classy)
What are YOUR pantry staples? (dessert related or just normal food related)
In addition to the things above, I always have a few kinds of tea (green, black, and camomile), oatmeal, peanut butter, and frozen vegetables (but I guess that doesn't really count as 'pantry,' huh?)