5 Cozy Recipes to Make Self-Isolating Sweet

Food is comforting to the soul — I learned this best from peering up at my Nana on my highest of tippy-toes as a young girl to watch her bake pies and cook countless dinners for those around her. During this time of social distancing, it can be hard to keep yourself occupied and in good spirits. Already bingeing the show Big Little Lies and several seasons of Gilmore Girls with a little too much takeout food, I decided to fill my time with baking and cooking. I have found myself to be more motivated throughout my day and having a more optimistic outlook on staying home. From my kitchen to yours, I hope these cozy (and mouthwateringly yummy) recipes make your quarantine a little more comforting and delicious. 

  1. 1. Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal Topped with Fruit

    This oatmeal is what saves my stamina — and growling stomach — before I join my early morning Zoom sessions. It is warm and filling and feels like a hug in a bowl; it is also super quick to make! This recipe is something both me and my mom enjoy, so it does not last long in my household. You can follow this recipe to a tee, or play around with your favorite fruits and spices. Enjoy!

    Ingredients:

    1 cup oats

    1 cup of your preferred choice of milk

    1 cup water

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon chia seeds

    3 teaspoons light brown sugar

    1 cup frozen berries

    maple syrup (to drizzle on top)

    Instructions:

    1. Place a small pan on a stove top burner, and set the temperature to low/medium.

    2. Place your frozen fruit in the pan and let simmer.

    3. While your fruit is simmering, place a small pot on another burner, and set the temperature to medium.

    4. In the second pot, combine the oats, milk of your choice, cinnamon and chia seeds, and stir. 

    Note: Be sure to stir constantly! The mixture has to thicken up, so continuously stirring will do the trick.

    5. Once the oatmeal mixture is thicker, add the light brown sugar.

    6. Once the oatmeal mixture is thickened to your liking, place it in a serving bowl.

    7. Add your simmered fruit on top and drizzle on as much maple syrup as you would like! 

    Recipe from Madeleine Olivia 

  2. 2. Banana Bread

    Stop right there! Don’t throw away those brown bananas. Instead, turn them into banana bread! I have accidentally let too many of my poor bananas sit on my countertop going uneaten during quarantine. But this banana bread recipe will take those lonely bananas and turn them into a delectable dish. It’s so good, you might “accidentally” let your bananas go brown again … and again … and again …

    Ingredients:

    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

    1 cup light brown sugar, packed

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    3-6 bananas, sliced

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 F, and coat a 9x5 inch loaf-pan with cooking spray.

    2. In a mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.

    3. In a separate mixing bowl to be used for a stand or hand mixer, combine your softened butter and light brown sugar and cream at a medium speed for about two minutes.

    4. Now, add two eggs and pure vanilla extract to the bowl, and mix at a medium speed for about a minute. 

    5. Next, add your bananas and mix at a low speed.

    Note: The batter will curdle, but that’s OK! It will become smooth.

    6. As your bananas are mixing, slowly add in the flour mixture from earlier until well combined.

    7. Once your batter is mixed, spread it evenly into the pan and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

    9. Once the banana bread is thoroughly baked, let it rest, slice, and enjoy! 

    Recipe from Cooking With Shereen

  3. 3. Apple Pie Pancakes

    Apple pie is a classic dessert and serves as a go-to for a quick yet delicious crowd pleaser. But what if you wake up, desperately craving a big slice of apple pie, and it’s only 9 a.m.? Is that just me? Well, if I am not alone in my early, sweet-tooth cravings, or if you are looking for a new way to spice up your morning routine, this apple pie pancake recipe is perfect. You get the classic apple pie flavor with softened, caramelized apples and rich cinnamon spice, but you also get to enjoy it as a nice, fluffy pancake at the start of your day. Stack up your plate, drizzle (or douse) on some warm maple syrup, and enjoy your “dessert.” 

    Ingredients:

    1 cup flour

    1 tablespoon sugar

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    ½ teaspoon baking soda

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 cup of your preferred choice of milk

    1 egg

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1 cup of finely chopped apples of your choice

    Instructions:

    1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Whisk together and set aside.

    2. In another mixing bowl, combine the milk, egg, oil and vanilla together until thoroughly mixed.

    3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture bowl. Mix until completely combined. Add in the chopped apples and fold them into the mixture.

    4. Place a pan on your stovetop on a burner set to a medium heat. Pour your batter into the pan for each pancake as big or small as you want them. Cook one side until golden brown and then flip to the other side until it is golden brown.

    Note: The time it takes for each pancake to cook on each side depends on how fast the heating process takes for your stove. It may be quick or take a minute or two; it’s OK if some of them burn on the first few tries! Just keep going, you’ll have a stack in no time.

    5. Stack them high, and dive in!

    Recipe from Brooklyn Farm Girl

  4. 4. Snickerdoodle Cookies

    Be advised: after consuming these cookies, you’ll probably never want to stop. This snickerdoodle cookie recipe produces the softest and most irresistible morsels of love — I’m serious, they’re that good. I have made these for parties, get-togethers and countless Harry Potter marathons, and there are never any left. I have continued baking them while in self-isolation, and they always put a smile on my face and leave me feeling comforted. Are you drooling for them yet? I sure am. Who knew something small covered in cinnamon and sugar could be so irresistible? 

    Ingredients:

    Dough:

    ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

    ½ cup granulated sugar 

    ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    ½ teaspoon baking soda

    ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    For Rolling:

    ¼ cup granulated sugar

    2 teaspoon cinnamon 

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 F, and spray a baking sheet with cooking oil.

    2. Grab a small mixing bowl and combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the rolling of the cookies. Set this aside when combined.

    3. In a mixing bowl of a stand or hand mixer, use the paddle attachment and combine the butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Mix on a medium-high speed until combined. 

    Note: For it to be fully combined and have a creamed texture, it takes about three minutes of mixing!

    4. Once mixed, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add your egg and vanilla extract. Mix on a medium-high speed until fully combined.

    Note: You want the mixture to be light and fluffy, so mix for about three minutes!

    5. Once mixed, scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Mix on a low speed until well combined, should take around one minute.

    6. Once the mixture is ready, start forming the dough into individual balls.

    Note: I recommend doing a “spoon scoop” amount. Just take a spoon, dig into the batter, form some into a ball, and you’re set!

    7. With the dough ball, roll it around in the sugar and cinnamon mixture you set aside until fully coated. Then, place it on your baking sheet, and flatten the ball down slightly. Do this for every dough ball you form!

    8. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake for nine minutes.

    9. Once done baking, let them cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, bite in!

    Recipe from Averie Cooks

  5. 5. White Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Muffins

    Imagine a muffin that has a slight crunch on the outside but is warm and fluffy on the inside. It has a light, sweet flavor and is so good you have to have another one (and another one … and another one …). What you’re imagining is this muffin recipe; soon, you’ll be dreaming about it. With its natural, sweet flavor from the strawberries and the warm, melted white chocolate throughout, this will be the dish you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. These muffins are so easy and quick to bake and have a delicious outcome. Don’t believe me? Please bake them for yourself and find out — you won’t regret it!

    Ingredients:

    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

    ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

    ⅓ cup granulated sugar

    3 eggs, room temperature

    ½ cup of your preferred choice of milk

    1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

    1 cup sour cream

    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    ½ teaspoon baking soda

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    1 cup chopped strawberries

    1 cup white chocolate chips

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake/muffin liners.

    2. In a mixing bowl of a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar together.

    Note: The consistency should be light and fluffy!

    3. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat on low speed after adding each egg.

    4. Add the vanilla extract, sour cream and milk, and mix until well combined.

    5. On low speed, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix until thoroughly combined.

    6. Fold in the strawberries with a spoon to the mixture.

    7. Pour the batter into your prepared cupcake/muffin pan, making sure to fill each cup until almost full.

    Note: You don’t want them to be completely full, you have to leave room for them to rise!

    8. Sprinkle the white chocolate chips onto each muffin.

    9. Place in the oven and allow them to bake from 18-22 minutes. 

    Note: They will be completely baked when you can put a toothpick in them and the toothpick comes out clean!

    10. Allow them to cool, unwrap one, and give them a try!

    Recipe from Will Cook For Smiles

Whether you try one or all of these recipes, I hope they bring you warmth, comfort and a happy stomach. These recipes have brought a smile to my face and have kept me productive through the weird times we’re living in right now. Focusing on a recipe and creating some cozy dishes is a great way to distract your mind and keep your hands busy. I hope these recipes bring you the same luck they’ve given me. Bake your heart out! Here’s to a cozy, delicious and proactive quarantine. Cheers!