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Baking is a fun activity to try, especially now during the quarantine when everyone has more time at home. It has been proven that baking helps relieve stress. This is due to the fact that when you are baking, you have total control of the end product and have the freedom to add any extra flavors or toppings. A lot of people have been experiencing a feeling of a lack of control during this time. Baking can give them the opportunity to have control, even if it is over such a small aspect of their life. Also, baking for others can provide you with a feeling of accomplishment and something to be proud of. Since you can’t visit friends or family right now, why don’t you bring them some homemade bread or cookies to show you’re thinking of them? 

Jason Briscoe
Jason Briscoe / Unsplash

The first recipe I am going to share with you is for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. I made this bread about a month ago and brought it to my friends to try. We were all big fans and I even ended up sending the recipe to one of my friends so she could make it herself. This recipe was very easy to follow and only took 15 minutes for prep time, so it would be no problem for beginners to try. I highly recommend making this bread for yourself, it has the perfect blend of peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas.  

Banana Bread
Helena Lin / Spoon

The second recipe I recommend you try is for Oatm​eal Cream Pies. This recipe is supposed to be a replica of Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies which, if you have ever tried them, are absolutely delicious. The Oatmeal Cream Pies are like a deluxe version of Little Debbie’s. It bring you right back to your childhood. The cookie is about double the size in thickness and the homemade cream is so fluffy and sweet. The oatmeal cookie is soft with a slight crunch on the golden brown outside, and the frosting is the perfect creamy layer to complete this sandwich. While this recipe takes longer because there are two components to make, approximately 30 minutes for prep time and 10 minutes for each batch to cook, but it is worth the extra time. Both my boyfriend and I made these together and we agreed it was a pretty simple recipe to follow for amateur and advanced bakers alike. 

Spoon Csu-Mixing Bowls Whisk Egg
Brooke Buchan / Spoon

Who doesn’t love Oreos? The final recipe I have for you is Oreo Balls and it is the easiest one to make out of the three. You only need three ingredients; Oreos, cream cheese, and melting chocolate (you can choose white, dark, or milk chocolate, depending on your preference). The prep time is only 15 minutes and the freezing time is an additional 30 minutes. My mom made these cookies all the time for parties and they were always a big hit. You can decorate them with chocolate drizzle or sprinkles to make them look classier. The thin layer of chocolate on the outside and the rich, velvety cooking filling on the inside is an ideal combination. The Oreo Ball practically melts in your mouth, it’s that good.

Torey Walsh / Spoon

Now that you have some easy and sweet recipes to bake, definitely give one a try. Whether you leave the baked goods on a neighbor’s doorstep or eat every last cookie yourself, I hope you enjoy!

Katie is a psych major and a junior at Siena College.
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