I have always believed there is nothing more therapeutic than baking, and the current circumstances have helped confirm that. I find comfort in following precise steps to see a guaranteed result. Of course, the best part is always seeing how the finished product brings others joy.

I want to share a few of the recipes I have gotten around to baking while in quarantine. Between Pinterest and my mom’s cookbook, it really does seem as though there are endless recipes out there. 

Magnolia Bakery Classic Banana Pudding

Most recently, I made Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding. They have been releasing recipes on their Instagram stories for their followers to make at home. The best part about this one is you don’t even have to bake it.  I followed the recipe as the story instructed (except for adding chocolate chips, since my grandma insisted), and it came out great. This recipe's yield is large, so make sure you are ready to eat. It tastes just like the real thing. It's simultaneously light in consistency but rich in flavor, making it an incredible, sweet, comforting treat. This recipe will transport you to Magnolia Bakery from your own kitchen.

Cake Batter Monster Cookies

These cookies have a little bit of everything, and they are definitely a crowd–pleaser. For these, I followed this recipe, but made them without the frosting inside. The oatmeal, chocolate chips, M&Ms, sprinkles, and cake batter come together to make your taste buds celebrate. They freeze well, so why not give it a shot? A few little adjustments I made were that I used mini M&Ms instead of normal-sized, and I couldn't find butter extract, so I just used an extra tsp of vanilla extract. Oh, and always refrigerate your dough before you bake! 


Cannoli Cupcakes

This is a recipe I made a while back, but it is so awesome that I had to share. Being Italian, my family loves all things cannoli—so, I made them for a family dinner, and they were a big hit. A little tip: instead of following the cupcake box instructions completely... try this. Do follow the instructions for eggs and oil. Instead of using all water, use half the amount of water, and the other half milk—it makes it richer! Add in some pudding mix also (I usually just eyeball this and use about half the package). This adds great flavor. These are an awesome twist on a favorite treat. 

Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies 

I found this recipe in my mom’s cookbook, and I was not disappointed. They came out thicker than the actual Little Debbie ones, but the taste was remarkably similar and did just the trick if you're looking for a nostalgic dessert. This sweet treat is sure to remind your of childhood. These are defintely belly-bombers. 

M&M Easter Cookies

For Easter, I thought we needed a festive dessert, and I found this great recipe for Soft & Chewy M&M Easter Cookies. I followed this recipe almost exactly, except I refrigerated the dough before baking and replaced the white chocolate chips with more M&Ms. These cookies are thick, soft, and chewy!

These are a few recipes to add a little something to your new normal. It's fun to bake them, and they are sure to make anyone who tries them a little happier.