For some people, baking is an enjoyable pastime. The experience of the smells and creativity (and the licking of the spoon) involved in baking cakes, cookies, or brownies are in themselves treats. But perhaps the best reward of baking is sharing the love with someone else. After all, who doesn’t love to be surprised with a tray of freshly baked sweets?
As it turns out, baking for others is a great way to boost your mood and brighten someone else’s day. Get those oven mitts handy and preheat the oven. You’re gonna want to bake after reading this.
Baking, just like cooking or painting or writing, is a form of expression. While there is so much artistry in the craft (think of those competitive baking shows on TV), you don’t have to be able to mold fondant or spin sugar flowers to express yourself through baking. Heck, you don’t even have to do it from scratch. If sifting flour and creaming butter and sugar isn’t your thing, by all means, use the boxed stuff. Even making the simplest of chocolate chip cookies from premade dough can do wonders to make you feel happy, relaxed, and proud of your final product.
During your time in the kitchen, while you’re focused on your prep work, you’re also probably thinking about whom you’re going to share your creation with. Whether it’s your spouse, neighbors, kids or grandkids, no doubt you feel good knowing that you’re being productive and making something for someone else. (But please, sneak a few samples for yourself. I won’t tell.)
When your baked goods are piping hot out of the oven, just think about how you feel in that moment. Maybe you feel proud, maybe you feel excited to share the goods, or maybe you feel like you’ve just accomplished something creative. However it looks for you, baking is almost always an endeavor that people feel good about both during the preparation and once the oven timer sounds.
There’s a reason baking is so satisfying. In so many cultures, food is seen as an expression of love. I know that’s true for me. My grandmother would make freshly baked pies every Sunday for the whole family, and everyone looked forward to it. It made us feel special and loved. The fact that the pies were delicious was icing on the cake.
Baking is also a more general form of communication. While love is one emotion that baked goods can express, brownies can say “Thank you,” show appreciation, or even sympathy when words don’t seem enough.
So go ahead. Roll up those sleeves and get creating. Your mood, your sweet tooth, and your loved ones will feel all the better for your efforts.