A big weekend for some people might involve going out clubbing or bar hopping. Or taking a very long bike ride. Or hunkering down for a TV binge session.
Me? On the very rare instances when I have a free chunk of time for which I am committed to absolutely nothing, a baking project is exactly what I want to do. That’s especially the case during the winter, when it might be too cold or snowy to venture out for long and when a warm oven emitting enticing aromas beats the comfort of a wood-burning fireplace.
If you’re looking for a few new baking endeavors worth making plans for — or canceling other plans for — try one of these options from our archives:
German Chocolate Cake. Here’s a retro dessert that deserves to be more popular today than it is. This particular rendition features three layers of a tender chocolate cake that’s not too sugary, which works well with the sweeter coconut and pecan filling. If you want to spread the work over two days, bake the cakes the day before and store them well-wrapped at room temperature. We made the filling and refrigerated it overnight, too, but suspected it might have been a bit easier to spread with just a hint of warmth left in it.
Best-of Bagels. Making these isn’t particularly difficult. What makes it an ideal weekend project is the overnight rest needed for the shaped bagels to rise in the refrigerator. Boil and bake the next morning for a perfect Saturday or Sunday brunch.
Raspberry Star Bread. This showstopper uses a no-knead dough, but you’ll still need to allow for plenty of time to let the dough rise. Again, you can take advantage of the two consecutive days to divide the work. If you want to go all out, make the quick raspberry jam called for in the recipe, or use a good store-bought jar.
Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread. Three distinct layers need to be made for this sophisticated treat. Sesame fans will appreciate the inclusion of both tahini and halvah.
Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Pies. When a single cookie is not enough, it’s hard to beat a cookie sandwich. This one is more than just smooshing two cookies together with icing. First, the cookies are speckled with Mexican chocolate. Then the center features a cinnamon-fudge sauce surrounded by an Oreo buttercream. The recipe also offers a Funfetti-inspired variation.
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