Opinion: Baked goods bring families together through quarantine

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Morgan Reese

A fresh strawberry turnover sits on a plate, dusted in powdered sugar. The Reese family took the time to make strawberry turnovers this past week as a family bonding activity. "They didn't turn out perfect, but I'd still make them again," sophomore photojournalist Morgan Reese said. "They taste like something you'd buy from a bakery."

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With boredom taking its toll during quarantine, baking has brought my family together. Every day I look forward to the hours I get to spend with the people I love the most, doing what I love most. Even when we don’t bake together, the whole Reese family comes together to enjoy the delicious baked goods. Not only has baking brought my family together, but it has also brought my friend Christi Norris’s family closer, whether they’re baking or eating the treats. With these recipes we’ve compiled, you can experience the bonding that comes along with making something together, or just enjoy a delicious treat to pass the time.

Here are a few Reese and Norris family favorites. With each of the following recipes, we tried to give a link, a rating and credit where credit was due.

Morgan’s Quarantine Recipies

Strawberry Turnovers

Rating: 8/10

These turnovers are the perfect mixture of sweet and salty but can be on the crunchy side if baked for the time suggested in the video. They puffed up a lot more than I expected because the dough didn’t stick together on both sides, but the filling stayed intact inside. Overall, these pastries are delicious, especially with a little powdered sugar dusted on top, and definitely worth your time to bake.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Rating: 7/10

These cookies are the perfect cross between brownies and chocolate chip cookies but can be difficult to make. The chocolate chips and the cookie powder made these cookies very rich and sweet, so rich that I could only eat one at a time. The dough was very sticky, making it hard to get from the bowl and onto the cookie sheet. The issues with the dough were worth it, as the cookies are now a new family favorite around my house.

Chocolate chunk cookie dough sits in a bowl, ready to be baked. To avoid boredom during their self-quarantine, the Reese family has started baking together. This recipe leads to chocolate chunk cookies, a family favorite.

Banana Bread

Rating: 10/10

Banana bread is one of my favorite treats to bake, as it only requires a few ingredients and it helps me to put my browning bananas to use. I’ve made this bread for years, baking it on every occasion I could think of. The bread is very moist and dense, very much like the one at Starbucks. This banana bread is an overall family favorite, and I won’t stop baking it anytime soon.

Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappe

Rating: 8/10

This isn’t exactly a baked good, but it’s an easy treat you can make in less than five minutes. The amount of sugar that’s recommended is way too much and it can be a little icy if you don’t have the right blender. After the sugar adjustment, this drink received stellar reviews from my family and they request me to make it time and time again.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Rating: 9/10

I’ve made these cookies twice during quarantine so far, and I plan to bake them again soon. These cookies are so soft and have so many little pockets of chocolate in every bite. The dough can be on the sticky side, but a metal spoon can help get it from the bowl to the sheet. My family devours these cookies, and I bet yours will too!

Christi’s Quarantine Recipies

After School Banana Bread

10/10

I have been using Joanna Gaines‘ recipe for banana bread for a long time, and every time I make it, my family eats the whole pan before it’s even had the chance to cool. The banana bread is thick and addictive. I love to add some pecans and or chocolate chips for some extra flavor. No matter how many times I make it my family never fails to devour every last piece.

Magnolia Table Chocolate Chip Cookies

9/10

These cookies are a personal favorite of mine. I have used dozens of different chocolate chip cookie recipes with different results, but these turn out amazing every time. I have made these during quarantine a few times already, and it is definitely a recipe I will continue to use for years to come. This recipe by Joanna Gaines is simple, but despite its simplicity, it does not lack any elements of a great chocolate chip cookie.

Amish Sweet Bread

8/10

I made this recipe for the first time during my quarantine. All of the sudden I had a desire to learn how to make bread, so my mom and I found this wonderful recipe. It turned out absolutely delicious. This bread comes out of the oven light, fluffy and sweet and pairs perfectly with a cup of tea and some jam. The two loaves I made were gone in a couple of days, and I can’t wait to make it again.

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries with Chimichurri

10/10

This recipe by Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski in his new cookbook is joyfully delicious. I wasn’t able to use all of the exact ingredients. But making due with what I had, I was still able to make some flavorful fries. These sweet potato fries are perfect for a lunch inside with your family, and Antoni’s chimichurri dipping sauce spices up this often overlooked appetizer.

Zucchini Bread

10/10

This recipe is not on any website, as it is one of my family recipes, but I shared the instructions for the recipe below. This Zucchini bread was a staple in my household as a child and is still just as good as I remember. I used some old zucchini and squash that was beginning to turn bad and salvaged the good to use for my bread. You can make loaves, muffins and even bundt cakes. This recipe is perfect for any shape and size.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (or squash it’s the same)
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grate your zucchini in a food processor or by hand.
  3. Mix ingredients in order and beat until light and fluffy. Don’t under beat the batter and make sure that all of the zucchini is well combined.
  4. Bake in two loaf pans (or a container of your desire) for 1 hour (or until fully cooked test with a skewer) or in a 9×13 pan for 45 minutes.