If I had to summarize my 2019 in baking, I’d go with “Impulse Ingredients.”
I threw practicality to the wind last year and made tons of impulse ingredient buys. Think raspberry powder, peanut butter cups, toffee chips, rye flour. All things I wanted to try baking with… but not exactly pantry staples.
Which means I spent a lot of time researching recipes with very specific ingredients. I made multiple rounds of rye chocolate chip cookies, tried toffee in all kinds of things and went nuts with Nutter Butters.
In between experiments, I also made time for some classics. I used my trusty caramel chocolate chip cookies for a thank you gift. Cinnamon chocolate chip bread helped sweeten a Monday morning. And I made my annual batch of pumpkin gooey butter cake, which is one of my all-time favorite recipes on this site.
In all, I baked 38 recipes last year. 84% were new-to-me for 2019. My baking always skews to easy-to-transport treats, so it isn’t shocking that cookies dominated my recipe list. Still, I was surprised to see brownies so low on the list. Don’t worry though: I’ve already made one batch of brownies in 2020 and need to use up baking bars soooo there’s many more brownies in my immediate future.
Where it went
38 recipes may not sound like much over the course of a year. But unlike cooking a meal, my baking isn’t necessarily for survival or particularly “useful” for everyday life. In fact, I only categorized one recipe as a “meal” in all of 2019. (It was blueberry banana pancakes. I stink at making pancakes. Please send help.)
So that means that most my baking was for pure, unadulterated fun. And within that context, 38 recipes can feel much more meaningful.
I brought 50% of the baked goods to work and 32% to other people’s events. I didn’t host any events in 2019, which is super unusual for me. Let’s say I’ll throw some parties in 2020 and bake up a storm to prepare.
53% of the recipes I made last year had some kind of chocolate in them. But when it came to dominant flavors, fruit won out. I think my favorite fruit-centric recipe was apple pie-stuffed snickerdoodles.
Pumpkin popped up for 4 recipes, but one of those was my biggest fail of 2019. Yes… even worse than the pancakes! I tried to make this pumpkin spice rugelach and it did NOT go well.
2019 on Sugarsmith
I posted 7 times in 2019, way down from previous years. I wrote more about my lack of personal writing on my other annual report, so won’t get into the details here.
The top 3 new posts for 2019 were the apple pie cookies, lemon raspberry snickerdoodles, and vegan chocolate chip cookies. Older posts that performed really well were my beloved pumpkin gooey butter cake and this lemon cucumber cake.
Best new-to-me dishes in 2019
I’m always on the hunt for fresh food finds. This year’s top picks:
- The Grilled Artichoke at Momed in Los Angeles
- Truffle Fettuccine at Trattoria Gabriello in Florence
- Lamb Hummus at Shalom Y’all in Portland
- Strawberry Balsamic Hard Shell Soft Serve at Wiz Bang in Portland
- The Mac and Cheese at the Cheese School of San Francisco
- Spice Drinking Chocolate at Christopher Elbow in San Francisco
- The hazelnut/peanut butter dessert course at Mini Bar in Porto
Here’s some of my favorite food pics from 2019. And keep your eyes on this space—my first 2020 recipe post is coming soon!