The Great Texan Baking Show

I can't get enough of The Great British Baking Show. Have you watched it? 

I love how kind they are to one another--comforting when a bake turns bad, helping to ensure the item is plated before the bell, cheering for successes or crying as a competitor-turned-friend is sent home. 

I love it.

When I have a headache or feel overwhelmed, it's my go-to comfort show. (Like when we were both super sick last Thanksgiving.)

As it turns out, it's not just watching a handful of people baking delicious treats that brings comfort. Baking them in my own home is just as soothing. During the pandemic, I baked something new at least twice a week. 

I couldn't place my finger on why I was too overwhelmed or foggy-brained to completely focus on things like writing blog posts or completing a large work-related task, but I could tune-out my husband's 100-person Zoom meeting (in which no one had figured out how to mute themselves) and make a new-to-me semi-complex recipe... with excitement! 

All I knew is that it was helping. And, based on my Facebook feed, I wasn't the only one. 

After a while, I stumbled upon this article from Delish on some of the psychology behind baking. It's pretty fascinating.

And so I baked. 

I baked for us, I baked for friends, I baked for the staff at our church. When my dad came to visit, I sent him home with two bags of pastries.

This is no overstatement--our house smelled amazing. 

I thought I'd share some of the more successful recipes. These are a handful of the baked goods we had on-hand through our shelter-in-place. 


First and foremost, these Brown Butter Bourbon Dark Chocolate Pretzel cookies (on repeat...) The dough freezes really well, so I will now make a full batch and bake two at a time for dessert.

I woke up at 5am every day for a week or so and all I could think about was baking something that felt semi over-the-top, but comforting. These Dark Chocolate Chip Scones did the trick. I made them about once-a-week for six weeks.

To make me feel a little less ridiculous about the sheer volume of baked goods in our home, I added Chocolate Protein Powder Donuts to the rotation. They were also a perfect afternoon pick-me-up when we needed a push to keep going until 5pm.

Sweet Potato Biscuits. These were a bit complex, but worth every step. We had them for dinner and I dreamed about eating them with a runny egg the next morning. Unfortunately, I didn't think to refrigerate them and they had molded overnight. Needless to say, we'll be making them again.

Who didn't make loaves of bread during quarantine? It started as an experiment using this recipe and this method and then fell in love with the 'knead it and leave it' process. One afternoon, we took a fresh-baked loaf to each pastor at our church. 

I tried my hand at Home-made Pop-Tarts. While they were really easy to make--and would be a very fun recipe to bake with kids--they're not totally worth it to me.

I also made this Chocolate Banana Bread at least five times. I somehow missed taking any photos of it in our house, but this one from the original recipe does it way more justice anyway.

When our local grocery store stopped producing fresh tortillas, Josh was heart-broken.  Since I'd had such great success with two other King Arthur recipes, I figured we'd give the tortillas a whirl. They're delicious.  

I'm tempted to justify all of this sugar by telling you we had balanced meals in-between snacks... lots of fresh veggies and healthy fats. 

The truth is, sometimes we did... and sometimes we didn't. 

But we laughed a lot and snuggled a lot and played a lot of board games and watched a lot of movies. So I'm calling it a win.

How about you? Did you bake or cook anything out-of-the-norm during shelter-in-place? Any recipes you think we should try?


  1. LOVE this!! With Dave's garden overflowing with zucchinis, I have found the MOST delicious Chocolate chip Zucchini bread recipe. Heavy on the chocolate (of course!), it has been our go-to for taking to work, to friends and to have for breakfast, lunch and dessert! You're an inspiration with the BREAD!! Wow!

  2. First time caller, long time reader..jk. I just started both. I'm an old friend of Josh's and after a bit of creeping on his Facebook page I found you and this blog. It's lovely. It's entertaining, well written, and laid out superbly. You have a gift. And I appreciate you sharing it. As a youth pastor, it's also relevant to me. Be encouraged today, be encouraged tomorrow. Thank you for the positive content. Please, keep them coming. *smile