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Saturday, February 1, 2020

A Leap Month of Little Joys and Satisfactions: Baking and Spices

I cleaned out and organized the baking cupboard. I found 3 opened packages of white chocolate chips, which makes me think that we're not huge white chocolate lovers, here. I dumped them all into just one very full package. It looks like it will be white chocolate Easter bunnies this year!

I also found a baggie of ground ginger, which I dumped into the larger ginger container. This prompted me to dig out the candied ginger from the fridge and bake a gingerbread cake for my family. Joy all around with this cake.


  1. Our baking shelf needs some help. Since we aren't eating as many carbs around here, there is not as much baking going on and things are a little crowded. I have put some things in the freezer, but a good clean out is needed. Maybe I will be inspired to bake something when I do like you did.

  2. Hey Lili. If white chocolate isn't a hit, try mixing it with semisweet chocolate chips. Melt in microwave and add salted peanuts. Use a smaller amount of white than chocolate. Just a suggestion. Try a smaller batch first. 😀 Lona

  3. Love gingerbread! I'm currently baking angel food cake (from an Aldi mix--they changed their formulation which is disappointing to me--it used to be simpler to use than other mixes but now it's exactly like them) but I haven't made gingerbread yet this winter. It's on my to-do list!

    I bake quite a bit, so my spice shelf is well-used. I keep baking spices on one turntable and savory spices and herbs on another. Makes it easier to get to in my cupboard and I can pull the whole thing out when I want to clean (which isn't very often, ahem!).

    I like your idea of white chocolate bunnies. I think I like to eat white chocolate straight up more than I do mixed in with cookies or other baked goods.

  4. Hi Live and Learn,
    good idea to freeze some of the baking things. Freezing helps extend the life of spices, if one isn't using them up quickly enough. I often buy little baggies of less common spices, thinking I'll use them because they have health benefits (I'm thinking about the baggie of turmeric I bought 2 years ago). Then I never do use it, so it sits in the cupboard. I should freeze these. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. This is a really great idea, Lona! Thank you, thank you! I'll give that a try soon.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. Hi Kris,
    That's a really good idea, to keep the spies on turntables. I have the small containers of savory spices on a turntable, and that works really well. But I confess, I don't clean off that turntable all that often. I'll get to that one soon.
    I love angel food cake! I currently have a glut of eggs. Maybe I'll make one soon!

  7. We made a gingerbread a couple weeks ago and had a crowd of young adults over. They loved it! I guess most of them are only exposed to gingerbread lattes or other gingerbread flavored or scented items, not many had eaten gingerbread before. It was quickly eaten and raved about.

  8. White chocolate "baking chips" are always so disappointing because they're not real white chocolate, often lacking any of the cocoa butter that composes the good stuff! Speaking as a real white chocolate lover here. :) They're always so overly sweet and cloying. I find though that they pair really well with tart mix-ins, like dried cranberries, in cookies and granola bars, or in anything with lots of lemon or orange zest! An oatmeal cookie with nuts, dried cranberries, and "white chocolate" chps is pretty great.

  9. Hi there,
    I think you're right about many of the younger generation knowing gingerbread through lattes or scent for holiday air freshener. I see gingerbread cookies around during the holidays, but rarely see the gingerbread cake. I'm glad to hear your gingerbread was such a huge success!

  10. Hi Allie,
    I have a favorite cookie recipe that calls for oatmeal, pecans, dried cranberries, and orange zest (among other ingredients) that is baked and dipped in melted white chocolate baking chips. That is very tasty, so I agree with you on the need for something tangy or tart along with the baking chips. I guess what the white chocolate baking chips are is really vanilla baking chips. They are very high in sugar, which would account for why they scorch so easily when melting, compared to chocolate chips.
    Thanks for your suggestions for complementary ingredients for the baking chips, Allie.

  11. Hi Lili,
    Do you think it is ok to freeze mini mints? I think I know the answer. But I have after Christmas chocolates from one year ago, past its expiration date that I kept in the refrigerator since buying them. They were such a good deal, my favorite bag of Hickory Farm mints for .17, so I bought too many. It expired last October.

  12. Hi there,
    if the mini mints you're talking about are like baking chips in texture, then yes you can freeze them! And what a deal that you got at HF on those -- 17 cents/bag -- I would buy many bags, too. You could use them in brownies or brownie drop cookies, for a chocolate-mint cookie.

  13. Hi Lili,

    I forgot to sign off. The HF "mini melt away mints" appear like baking chips. I froze all the bags. I didn't buy them at HF, but at Goodwill. They often had after holiday candies at insane prices. Lately, the store seems very crowded, and prices have gone up a lot so I don't think I will ever see prices like that again.

    Have a nice day,

  14. Hi YHF,
    I've seen similar holiday treats at our local Goodwill. Last spring, I found bags of Starburst jelly beans priced at 3 bags all bundled together for 50 cents. These deals are just too good to pass up. I've also seen Lindt Easter chocolate candy at Goodwill, too.


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