Now that I have been in summer mode for almost a full two weeks now, I thought it would be fun to look back on how I got through three grueling weeks of finals this year. Baking is always my go-to study break because it is a very different experience from writing papers and studying for exmans. Not only do I get to focus my attention on something entirely unrelated to my classes, but I also have a tasty outcome that I can continue to enjoy snacking on throughout the week.
I find comfort and solace in baking because it is something I have complete control over. While my success in my classes does depend heavily on my effort and skill, my final grades are ultimately up to my professors. Instead, baking allows me to choose the recipe, decide how much of it to follow and how much of it to chance, and manage the process according to my preferences. Plus, I get immediate results and feedback–the baked good has a set time until it is finished and I have waiting and anticipating taste-testers who can give me the verdict on a new recipe.
I’ve collected some of my favorite desserts that I’ve made during my numerous sets of finals, with little tidbits about how my finals were going when I made each treat. I hope you enjoy them!
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
My roommates and I decided to bake as a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day since it was the Sunday before finals week, and it was definitely our best decision yet. Inspired by the Irish Car Bomb Shot, these cupcakes are probably the most delicious thing I have ever made–and that is not an exaggeration. Chocolate Guinness cake filled with a generous helping of whiskey chocolate ganache and topped with a swirl of Bailey’s buttercream frosting–you really can’t go wrong. And, what better way to start off finals weeks than with a full supply of scrumptious cupcake study snacks?
Chocolate Guinness Brownies with Bailey’s Frosting (adapted from My Shiny Life)
Chocolate, Guinness, and Bailey’s was such a hit after the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, I decided to make something else with them. I was inspired to bake these brownies at midnight while attempting to write a 20 page paper . They were a heavenly match between rich chocolate and sweet, boozy frosting, and helped feed my soul as I tried to get through six papers in nine days.
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread (adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven)
Laced with a layer of cinnamon and sugar and then topped with a crust of even more cinnamon and sugar, this jazzed-up banana bread will no doubt fill your kitchen with the lingering smell of homemade delight. It’s topping added a fun crunch and the swirl was a nice surprise from basic banana bread. The spices also made it warm and cozy, which brought me comfort during the last stretch of finals before summer break.