I Have a Baking Problem

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The first step is to admit you have a problem. Deep breath.

I’m sure I’ve made this clear already but I really love baking. Something about the process is very satisfying for me. I like to please people, and making delicious treats is a good way to do so. I like work that has a clear and tangible result at the end. So much of parenting consists of never-ending tasks that are undone the second you think you are finished (E.g. laundry!) I’m also a bit of a praise junkie, so that must be part of it.

Regardless, this has to stop. Or, at least, I need to figure out a way to get my fix while making healthier treats. You see, I’m good about staying out of my baked goods. I’m able to bake cupcakes or cookies and then not eat them.* But Pete gets into them, and although he is very lean and athletic and in good health, I want everyone in this house to stay healthy. I want my kids to grow up with wholesome, homemade food in the house. I think that’s the best example to set and I want to do it early.

So I’ve decided to start baking healthier. I’ll try to document my adventures here, along with Pete’s reactions. You see, he is a bit of a sugar addict at the moment. When I told him that I wanted to start baking with less sugar and white flour, he seemed supportive but said “can you just try to wean me off slowly?”

So that’s what I’m going to try to do. Wish me luck, it’s going to be a tough habit to break!

*Exception to this rule: homemade Crunch N’ Munch. I can’t not eat homemade Crunch N’ Munch.

Here is the recipe, for old times’ sake:

Crunch N’ Munch

1 cup pecan halves
8 cups popped corn
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup blanched almonds
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Spread almonds and pecans on cookie sheet and toast lightly. Cool and mix with popcorn in large buttered bowl.

Combine sugar, butter, syrup, and cream of tartar in small, heavy saucepan. Cook until it forms a hard ball in cold water (I use a candy thermometer for this).

Remove from heat.

Stir in soda and add vanilla.

Pour over popcorn and nuts and mix with 2 buttered forks until all are well-coated. Turn into large buttered cookie sheet and press into an even layer.

Chill until hard and break into pieces.

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