Procrastinate Much? Fill That Time With These Baking Recipes

Baker Erin Gardner's Book Features 100 Recipes Of Baked Cakes, Cookies, Brownies, Bars and Masterpieces

Buttercrunch Cookies
Photo courtesy of Erin Gardner

Erin Gardner’s procrastinating style is pretty meta. She bakes to procrastinate baking.

Lucky for other procrastinators out there, Gardner has developed a book of recipes organized around how much time each recipe takes to bake. “Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible” is the manual Gardner draws on to take breaks from her career of testing cake recipes, creating tutorials and designs and freelancing for magazines and online outlets.

“When I need to sort of ramp my brain up to get into that creative mode, sometimes I’ll make something easy and fun,” she said. “Just something delicious that I can share with my friends and family.”

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Gardner argues that procrastibaking helps to stoke the fires of creativity, and it’s a way to take a break from other things in life that are stressful.

“Just giving yourself some time in the kitchen, where nothing else matters except for you and what you’re making,” she said.

Although her book is filled with a variety of recipes, about 20 of them feature some kind of cookie. Her Buttercrunch Cookie recipe is one she describes as “everything good in the world.” It’s chewy, crispy on the edges, salty, sugary and flavored like butterscotch. The toffee in the recipe doesn’t get sticky, either.

“It’s a really satisfying cookie when you’ve got any kind of dessert craving,” she said.

For recipes that use a creaming method, be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. That way, you ensure that there aren’t any chunks in your finished product and you give that product the best chance to come out the way you want it to because the ingredients are properly dispersed.

Her Buttercrunch Cookie recipe calls for simply mixing butter and sugar and heating those together until it turns a warm, golden brown. Pour that on parchment paper and then smash it up.

“It’s kind of a fun stress reliever, to be honest,” she said.

Gardner’s book also features loaf cakes, which she said she prefers to baking bread. One of her banana bread recipes in the book is broken down into one, two or three bananas, depending on how many you have turning brown on your counter.

“I kind of took the guesswork out of that and boiled it down to: This is what you do for one banana, and then you can just go from there with however many you have on hand,” she said.

Be sure to rotate whatever you’re baking when it’s halfway done. Every oven is different, Gardner said, and they all act a little differently with their own hot and cool spots. If you move your baked good around the oven, it’ll get more evenly baked.

Another recipe, the Blueberry Buckle, wraps four cups of fresh blueberries in a light, fluffy biscuit dough. You can swap the blueberries out for peaches, apricots or another favorite fruit. Requiring about 40 minutes to put together, it’s one of Gardner’s middle-of-the-road recipes when it comes to time commitment.

For those looking to really waste time, Gardner’s last chapter, “Procrasti-Masterpieces,” might be a good place to start. Recipes include Mocha Brownie Cheesecake, Buttered Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches and a Gingerbread House that has bakers making the gingerbread from scratch.

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