Activities

Best Low-Cost Baking Recipes

by Dr. Shanthi Thomas

Baking is generally considered an expensive, time-consuming and labour-intensive activity. However, as many people would attest, it is one of the most enjoyable and pleasurable activities known to man. If you don’t agree, just try baking a simple cake one day. The aroma that fills the house is just heavenly, and the cake melts in your mouth. Avid fans of baking should not get disappointed about the high cost of baking; it is possible to bake without ripping a hole in your pocket. Read on to find some low-cost baking recipes.

Peanut Butter Cookies

This is an easy-to-bake item that is healthy to boot! A perfect snack for a rainy evening!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Step 1

In a bowl, cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together.

  • Step 2

Beat in eggs.

  • Step 3

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.

  • Step 4

Stir the second mixture into into butter mixture. Put the dough in the refrigerator for one hour.

  • Step 5

Roll the dough into 1-inch small balls and put on baking sheets. With a fork, flatten each ball, making a crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 375 degrees F oven or until cookies begin to brown.

Your delicious peanut butter cookies are ready.

Classic Pound Cake

This classic pound cake takes just seven ingredients, all of which are common pantry staples.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound butter
  • softened 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Step 1

In a deep bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until it is creamy. The butter will become a lighter yellow color. This is to incorporate air into the butter so the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7 minutes.

  • Step 2

Add sugar slowly, beating at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. The butter will now turn to a fluffy white.

  • Step 3

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until yellow yolk disappears.

  • Step 4

Add flour to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. It is important to beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. The batter should be smooth and incorporated without lumps.

  • Step 5

Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.

  • Step 6

Pour into 10-inch tube pan that has been greased and floured

  • Step 7

Bake at a preheated 300° F for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a  wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. After removing from the pan, cool completely on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Easy Sugar Cookies

Nothing to beat easy and simple sugar cookies, with or without chocolate mints on top.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Step 1

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

  • Step 2

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.

  • Step 3

Now, gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place them onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  • Step 4

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven until golden. Remove to cool on wire racks.

Muffins

Here is a simple, chocolate chip muffin recipe, to which you can add fruit, chocolate or nuts.

Ingredients

  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 250ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g chocolate chips or dried fruit such as sultanas or dried cherries (optional)

Directions

  • Step 1

Heat oven to 200C/180C. Line the muffin trays with paper muffin cases. In a large bowl beat two medium eggs lightly with an electric mixer for one minute

  • Step 2

Add the vegetable oil and semi-skimmed milk and beat until just combined.

  • Step 3

Add caster sugar and whisk until you have a smooth batter.

  • Step 4

Sift in the self-raising flour and 1 tsp salt then mix until just smooth. Do not over-mix.

  • Step 5

Stir in 100g chocolate chips or dried fruit if using.

  • Step 6

Fill muffin cases till they are two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave the muffins to cool for a few minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

In case you want to make chocolate muffins, swap 100g of the self-raising flour for 100g cocoa powder and 1 tsp baking powder.

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