Guest Post: Baking For Two.

by HowSweetJessica on January 5, 2011

in guest post

Hi What’s For Dinner friends! My name is Jessica and I share my foodie adventures over at How Sweet It Is. While I love a delicious savory dish, nothing can take the place of my beloved desserts. However, I only live with one other person: Mr. How Sweet. The question I am most frequently asked? What do you do with all of your baked goods?

Below are the tips I use when it comes to baking for just the two of us.

1. 1/2 (or even 1/4) the ingredients! This is my #1 tip. Almost everything you see on my blog is 1/2 of a recipe, though I will often post the full recipe for you. There are only 2 of us, after all. The only exception is when I make treats on the weekend or am baking for a party/family gathering/entertaining purposes, etc. If it is just for the 2 of us, I always cut the recipe in half, if not more.

2. Choose wisely. If you are going to bake and cut a recipe in half, choose an easy one. I have had many mishaps with recipes that I’ve attempted to cut in half, most often in recipes that call for odd buttermilk/vinegar/baking soda combos like red velvet. If you have successfully cut a red velvet cake recipe in half, please come make it for me. Today.

In my opinion, the easiest recipes to cut in half are cookies and muffins.

3. Always measure. This is true for any baking venture, but if you plan on cutting a recipe in half, you mustmeasure (weighing would even be better) all ingredients. If not, expect a screw up. If it works, you are lucky and I need you to do my baking from now on.

4. Determine the “why.” Why do you want to bake? More often than not, I just love to bake because it is relaxing, comforting, reminds me of my grandmother, and fun. I love having my hands in dough and being covered in flour. If you want to bake just for the sake of baking, make a healthier recipe. You still get the same feeling of comfort, without all the calories!

5. Find a substitute. Not a substitute for ingredients, but a substitute for the flavors you are craving. If you haven’t been able to stop thinking about a peanut butter and chocolate combo and are dying to make better-than-crack brownies, but aren’t sure if cutting the recipe in half will work, look elsewhere. Try to find another recipe (like peanut butter and chocolate muffins) that can easily be cut in half. Save the calorie-laden recipe for the weekend when you can share more of it with friends and family. Trust me, being alone in a house with better-than-crack brownies will widen your waistline fast.

6. Check your schedule. If you have a party or gathering coming up on the weekend, save the recipe you really want for that day. In the meantime, bake something that only yields half a dozen cookies, or have fruit for dessert. I won’t lie. I never consider fruit dessert. But if I know I’m going to make something really sinful on Saturday, I can live with fruit for a few days. But I may complain.

7. Make a list. Make a list of the baked goods you really want to try. Determine which recipes can easily be cut in half, and which must be made in full. I have many recipes listed in my favorites, but if I want to bake during the week, I may choose something that is easy (don’t want to have lots of clean up time, even though I always make Mr. How Sweet do it), on the healthier side, and can be cut in half.

8. Pick one a week. I tend to choose one healthier baked good and one indulgent baked good a week. I may bake the healthier one during the week, and save the indulgent one for the weekend. Or I will bake only half of the indulgent one if possible, so we aren’t swimming in chocolate all week. Though that would be dreamy.

Do you have any tips for baking for a small (or single) household?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Christin@purplebirdblog January 5, 2011 at 6:25 PM

I love being in massage therapy school so I can hand out baked goods to my classmates! Also, I have been sending them to blog friends here and there :)
Christin@purplebirdblog´s last blog post ..Sweet Potato Madness


Blog is the New Black January 5, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Now I want better than crack brownies!!!
Blog is the New Black´s last blog post ..Easy-Pleasing Appetizer… or Snack… or Dinner


Marie Baars January 5, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I <3 your blog jessica! I want to make basically everything! I just got married and I am not used to 1/2ing recipes yet (there was never enough treats in my parents house!) and I am terrible at it! Hopefully I will get the hang of it soon so we can eat less!

ps. chocolate chip cookie dip? OhMyGoodnesss (yum)


Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle January 5, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I dont bake often, but when I do I usually bake for other people and then keep one or two muffins or slices of bread for myself!
Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle´s last blog post ..Here We Go 2011!!


Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat January 5, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Great tips! Surely eating half a dozen cookies is healthier than a dozen.


Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 5, 2011 at 10:23 PM

lots of baking recipes can be frozen either before or after baking…especially cookies and muffins! i make a full batch of zucchini bread, bake it in mini loaf pans and then put half the loaves in the freezer. Just take them out one at a time when you want them. For cookies you can sometimes make a big batch of dough, then freeze half and bake the other half…or make all the cookies and freeze some until you’re ready to eat them. This is a good trick for Christmas cookies so you can start your baking in advance, then pull them all out to make cookie plates!
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean´s last blog post ..Cornish Game Hens with Pomegranate Sauce


Roz January 5, 2011 at 10:24 PM

“Better than crack brownies”???
What a great name!!!
Roz´s last blog post ..For the birds…


Christina January 5, 2011 at 11:59 PM

It’s just the two of us in my house too.

I half recipes, or as soon as they’re cooled I freeze half so the temptation isn’t there to eat the whole thing, and also share with co-workers.
Christina´s last blog post ..Urgent Kitty Help!!! Updated


brandi January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

great tips! That’s the hardest thing I have to deal with when baking just for us two, too. Except for cookies, we always have leftovers.
brandi´s last blog post ..A Merry Christmas


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