Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Top 100 Baking (and a few cooking) List

I do not bake nearly as much as I would like to. If I had it my way, every time my imagination is peaked by a dessert on the food network or I think “Can I make that into a cookie” I would head into the kitchen and whip it out. But, unfortunately, that is not life (though I am sure my waistline and my friend’s waistline thanks me). Though some procrastination comes down to ingredients and time, much more is due to the shear fact that I hate, I mean absolutely abhor, washing dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I will wash dishes, but I usually have to get over the hump of convincing myself that baking is worth the clean up. And sometimes, with the possibility of failure of a recipe, it just doesn’t seem like a risk I want to take.
But I have now decided that the above logic and reasoning just sounds plain lazy! I mean come on, did George Washington Carver stop making inventions out of peanut butter because he was tired of planting peanuts? No. Did the inventors of the chocolate bar stop just because it was difficult to make chocolate bars before the factories of the industrial revolution existed? Nope. So, I will no longer make excuses by not taking on new baking challenges just for fear of failure and no reward from dirty dishes!

Now I have to ensure that I practice this new attitude. To accomplish this task, I decided to do a “Top 100+” list of desserts, treats, and anything baked (and maybe even cooked) that I have always wanted to make, but have never tried or have never found a recipe that I like. As far as the parameters I am setting for myself, I am not sure. I do not want to not give an exact time period, but let’s face it, working by deadline ensures the tasks gets completed.

I think 100 items in one year is too much and here is why (and these are not excuses, I have really thought hard about this): 1) That would be nearly 2 recipes a week. I could commit to that number due to my work schedule. 2) I would have no out-let to get rid of that many desserts a week. You can only give away so many things to so few people before they and I both are saying enough! 3) Outside of the “Top 100” list I still have other baking to do and I could not pass up making just because chocolate chip cookies.

So, I am thinking 100 items in 2 years would be more doable. But I have concerns- namely that is still one recipe a week. So, my goal is to stick to this goal, but it does seem like an inordinate amount of time. I mean Julie Powell cooked every recipe (564) from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. I cannot bake 100 new and exciting items in 1 year? Also, some items do go together and should be prepared in tandem.

My plan is to complete this list in 1-2 years :-). Without further adieu, I present to you “My Top 100” list, which I affectionately call “100 Reasons to Get Dishpan Hands.” Last note- My list is not quite at 100 yet, so I will add more as I discover more recipes.

Cakes, Cupcakes, and Mini-cakes
Moist Yellow Cake
Red Velvet Cake (New Recipe)
Carrot Cake (New Recipe)
Rum Cake
Petit Fours
Confetti Cake
Crumb Cake
German Chocolate Cake
Jelly Roll
Multi-Tired and Decorated Cake
Boston Cream Pie
Marble Cake
Yule Log
A Birthday cake for Mommy
Cake by mail
Almond Cake
Fruit Flavored Cake

Icing, Frostings, Cake Coverings, and Fillings
Whipped Cream Frosting
Pour Fondant
Marshmallow Fondant (That actually makes it onto a cake)
Italian Style Buttercream
French Style Buttercream
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (New Recipe)
Chocolate Butter Cream
Chocolate Icing made with Melted Chocolate
Coconut Pecan Frosting (Icing for German Chocolate Cake)
7 minute Frosting
Fluffy Boiled Frosting
Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Fruit Puree Filling
Lemon Curd Filling

Pies, Pastries, and All Things Flaky or Fluffy
Peach Hand/Fry Pies
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Doughnuts (Baked)
Doughnuts (Fried)
Sticky Buns
Croquembouche-Cream Puffs
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Double Crusted Pie
Latticed Top Pie
Pecan Pie
Cream Pie
Funnel Cake

Cookies, Bars, and Brownies
White Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookie (New Recipe)
Traditional French Macrons
Lemon Bars
Graham Crackers
Short Bread
Waffle Cookies
Whoopie Pie
Checker Board Cookies
Stained-Glass Cookies
Tres Leches Cake
Coconut Cake (from “Good Eats”)

Yeast Breads, Quick Breads, and Muffins
Orange and Cranberry Muffins
Rosemary Bread
Hot Cross Buns
Potato Bread
Pumpernickel Bread
Monkey Bread
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Blueberry Muffins
Streusel Topped Muffin
Lemon Poppy Muffins
Bran Muffins

Desserts That Are Creamy and Ate With a Spoon
Banana Pudding (from scratch)
Chocolate Soufflé
Crème Brule
Bread Pudding
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
Chocolate Lava Cake
Fried Ice Cream

Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Browned Butter and Sage Sauce
Vegetarian Pot Pie
Spring Rolls
Veggie Corn Dogs

All Other Wonderful Things
Caramel Popcorn
Gingerbread House
Fruit Leather

1 comment:

  1. Would love to do the Gingerbread house with you and taste your butternut squash ravioli...yum!