Baking Show Inspiration.

baking inspiration at www.thesoutherninstitute.com
It is rare for our family to find a T.V. show that we all enjoy watching together. With one daughter who is about to turn twelve and two sons ages six and nearly eight, their interests can be widely varied, so imagine my surprise when all six of their eyes were glued to the screen with intrigue when they found me watching the Great British Baking Show on PBS a few weeks ago.

British-Baking-Show-Header-2
If you’ve never seen this show, it’s just like any other competition where there is a group of people who are competing against each other by completing a series of challenges, with judges voting one person off each week until there is one winner left. Unlike American versions of this type of show, the contestants are so kind to each other! They are helpful and encouraging to one another, and they genuinely care about each other, which is so refreshing. The judges are not jerks either, offering constructive criticism when warranted and encouragement when deserved. It’s a great show for the whole family to watch and the kids just love it!

The Great British Baking Show
Last Sunday’s episode was Advanced Dough, and one of the challenges was for the contestants to make donuts. Our mouths watered as we watched each of the remaining five contestants bake up their amazing donuts, some of them looking like they just came fresh from some of the best bakeries in New York. We were inspired! After the show was over we pulled out one of our favorite recipes, Apple Cider Donuts, from my good friend Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots.
Baking inspiration at www.thesoutherninstitute.com
apple cider donuts at www.thesoutherninstitute.com

Luke was my assistant and we whipped up a batch of donuts, just like they did in The Great British Baking Show, well almost just like them. We did our very best and had a wonderful time together. We measured and mixed, tasted batter, and watched our donuts bake to perfection. Then we ate them for dessert!

Boy Eating a Donut www.thesoutherninstitute.com
What inspires you to create? Is it something that you’ve seen, felt, heard? Is it a favorite show or a photograph you’ve seen? I’d love to hear what inspires you!

DIY Holiday Gift: Cookies in a Jar

If you are anything like me, the holiday season also means a little bit of scrambling at the last minute! I’m always a fan of easy, fun, unexpected last minute ideas for a holiday gift. And guess what? Today I have the perfect one just for you.

I give you:

Cookies in a Jar!

Here’s how you can put this simple holiday gift together in no-time.

You Will Need:

  • A large Mason Jar and lid
  • Brown Kraft Paper
  • Scissors (I used some scalloped craft paper shears)
  • Yarn
  • Cookies
Step 1

Once you bake your cookies, prep your “cookie workshop” area with jars and paper.

Step 2

Once your cookies have completely cooled, stack them in a jar until they reach the rim. Cut out a square of paper to tie around your jar lid.

Step 3

Tie the paper around the lid with your yarn. Add a fun ornament if you wish!

See how easy that is? And they look great! Not too fussy, but unexpected and thoughtful.

These also make great teacher’s gifts. Happy Holidays friends and enjoy the season!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free!)

Cookies, who loves cookies? (Insert wild cheers here) We all love cookies!  Some of us love chocolate chip cookies.  Some of us love peanut butter cookies.  Some of us love oatmeal cookies.  Some of us love all of those rolled up into one delicious cookie.  That’s me!

I have to tell you that I have tried quite a few gluten-free cookies, because we try to reduce the gluten in our diets due to allergies, asthma, and a little bit of eczema in our family.  It really makes a difference.  Well, I have encountered some good gluten-free cookie recipes and some that are not so good.

THESE ARE AMAZING!  

 

So amazing, in fact, that my husband says that they are quite possibly the best cookies I have ever made.  And they are super easy!  If you have a peanut allergy or a family member with a peanut allergy then this is not the recipe for you… I am so sorry.  I don’t know if it can be made without the PB.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 
(recipe adapted from Trader Joe’s rolled oats bag)1/4 cup butter (I use sweet cream organic)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar (I use organic sugar too)
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar (organic again)
6 oz chocolate chips
2 eggs (not organic, ha ha)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter (Yep, you guessed it… organic)
1/2 cup chopped pecans walnutsPreheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl.  Beat until creamy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda: mix well.  Add peanut butter and mix.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts.  Place dough by heaping teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until light gold on the edges.Makes approximately 48 cookies.  Try not to eat them all in one day.