I'm obsessed with baking. Just a little.
Some of my earliest memories involve helping my sister in the kitchen. Sometimes our creations turned out well, we made cookies, cupcakes, even Boston cream pie. Sometimes we weren't so successful, just ask anyone in our family about the chocolate souffle, or the chocolate scrambled eggs as that infamous dessert became known.
Since then I've learned to make all kinds of cookies, cakes, cupcakes and more. Baking has become my favorite hobby, and I think it could just become yours too.
1. You learn to be creative
I don't just mean creativity in the artistic sense, although that's coming up. I'm talking about ingenuity, working around obstacles. Baking can throw some interesting challenges at you. Missing ingredients, missing tools, inconvenient conditions. The other day I stuck my bread dough in the car because I needed somewhere warm to let it rise. I've had to substitute for ingredients that I didn't have or didn't really want. I've learned that pureed tofu can replace eggs in mousse or no bake pies. I've learned to make my own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice or vinegar. Learning to work around obstacles helps with more than just baking too.
If you bake often enough you are eventually going to bump into a hot pan or grab a pan you forgot was hot. My worst burn came from grabbing a pan using an oven mitt that had a hole in it. I was very proud of myself for not throwing the entire pan of cookies across the kitchen.
3. It's fairly inexpensive
Now, this depends on the kind of baking you do. If you buy every single fancy gadget and all kinds of specialty ingredients it's going to add up quick. But you can make great stuff without any of that. A mixing bowl, some measuring cups and spoons, a wooden spoon, a wire whisk, and a few pans are enough for most projects. You don't have to be fancy with your ingredients either. In almost every case you can use generic ingredients and nobody will be able to tell the difference (the biggest exception to this is chocolate, you need good quality chocolate).
4. It's delicious
How many other hobbies produce something both beautiful and delectable?
Baking may not be a traditional form of art, but I believe it is an art nonetheless. You can make things that are elegant, whimsical, and just plain incredible. People have made life sized cars out of cake, and have you seen the way that melted chocolate flows down the side of a cake? Or the way buttercream swirls to form a rose? Beautiful.
6. It's relaxing
I don't think there's any better way to work out frustrations than by kneading out dough or mixing up batter. When I'm stressed out or anxious whipping up a batch of cupcakes or some cookies is the perfect remedy. It gets my mind off of whatever's bothering me and provides comfort food at the same time. I tend to bake a lot more during finals week...just ask my neighbors.
7. You can make other people happy
I think this is my favorite part of baking. I like it when people like the things I make. I like it when my mom brags about how my chocolate cupcakes are the best. Or how my dad asks for homemade pizza every week or tells me that this is my best creation yet. Particularly right after I moved into the dorm baking also helped me make new friends. I wandered up and down the halls handing out cookies and cupcakes. Without that tray of goodies in front of me I never would have had the guts to knock on the doors of total strangers, which is exactly what I did.