I love baking. I don’t bake often because it’s so hard to resist the goodies that result from the baking process, but I love everything about it. In fact, one of my goals this year was to perfect a cookie recipe every month to grow my repertoire of go-to recipes for treats.

Now, I realize that on a sunny, 55 degree days in New England, baking is the last thing you’re thinking about. I am totally with you, really I am thinking about a margarita on the porch. But I started thinking about baking while looking up Martha Stewart’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread, which I am eager to make for my co-workers at some point this weekend.

Baking is creative and scientific – it can encompass both sides of the brain. Pulling a loaf of freshly baked bread (or cake or pie) out of the oven is heaven: the smell, the heat, the taste. Over Christmas, my mom gave me a fabulous booking on housekeeping. It was a cute book, just some decorating/style ideas, very simple. But it touched on the art of baking; the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands. How true, right? The satisfaction that you made something with your own two hands!

But the munchies…

In order to circumvent the problem of eating what you have created, I try to be an active participant in the art of giving freshly baked goods as a gift. This runs the gamut from simply baking cookies for co-workers (and I totally endorse store bought cookie dough for that) to making bread from scratch – with yeast and everything.

If I am being a particular superior gift giver, I present my homemade edible gift on a plate that the recipient can keep, or in a basket lined with new hand towels, all of which are part of the gift. I find stuff like this all the time at the Christmas Tree Shop and Marshalls, anywhere really.

In my own home, I bake for other primarily. When I have stuff I want to keep, I try to display it in attractive glassware. This just makes it look extra special (which it is!) and helps remind me that the baked goods are a treat to be savored (perhaps not just gulped right out of the pan, super hot, slathered with peanut butter. Don’t judge me.)

Any favorite recipes that make you feel particularly Martha Stewart-esque?