I hesitated before ever stepping virtual foot on (in?) this blog again. It's not that I hate it, or you, or baking. Quite the opposite on all points, in fact. I just sort of hate me right now. Allow me to explain.
So... wait. Now I'm not sure I want to explain. Too bad I've already started typing. It's not like there's a delete option or anything. Hashtag sarcasm? I didn't do that correctly did I?
Okay. Here goes. I have seriously bad anxiety. I always have, but I think maybe it was something I just didn't really feel like ever acknowledging, not because there's anything wrong with anxiety in and of itself, but I have a whole other grab-bag of problems that have all already conspired to eff with me. I don't know that my overloaded brain could have handled accepting this crap as well. But anyway, anxiety. Bad. Always. I used to bawl in class, outside of class, on the way home from school, if I got anything less than an A on a test. The day I got a ZERO on an Advanced Mathematics test in the fifth grade I hyperventilated so badly that I think my father avoided me for hours after I returned home, not because he was angry, but because HE was scared of ME and what my weird, crazy, totally unhealthy reaction would be. I've put myself in the emergency room with panic attacks like three times, I've cried over minor mistakes at work, and I've spilled boiling-hot tea over myself because my hands were shaking too badly to properly hold the cup. I have the scar to prove it. I'm ridiculous.
All of that is extremely humiliating to type. But since my last post, there have been a lot, and I mean a LOT of events that have caused major freak-outs on my part and possibly made other people want to slyly inject me with elephant quaaludes to S me TFU. I feel like a ton of major happenings have caused me to face all of the negative feelings I've ever had about myself-- from my birthday to our big move into a new apartment to quite a few people I love taking major steps in their lives while I'm worried about where the f*%k to find cheap Space Bags for a bunch of unnecessary crap. Can you feel the anxious, readers?
So now I'm sitting here wondering why I typed all of that out. Hm. Well. I...don't know? I think a part of me just wants a hug and some understanding and for people to tell me that, no, everyone does not hate me and wish ill on me (a thought that I inexplicably and irrationally carry around with me on a daily basis), and that yes, things will eventually get better. Please just don't tell me to calm the frig down. That's like telling a 3 year old not to eat the raw chocolate batter. I'll eat the batter.
I am sure that not baking for OVER A MONTH (!) has contributed to my current state. Boxes and boxes of still-packed items be damned, I am ignoring you in favor of the baking ingredients I miraculously found before anything else (including my toothbrush ;)). Pumpkin cake (because AUTUMN) in a mason jar (because I unpacked those and it sounded cool), let's be friends.
Pumpkin cake In A Jar (I made two pint-size jars. You could use the same ingredients and fit these into four pint-size jars, but since I like living on the edge I really packed the batter in there)
adapted from Serious Eats
1/3 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of water
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips, optional and super worth it
Preheat the oven to 325ºF and grease as many jars of varying sizes as you'd like to use. You can basically use any glass jar you have, but I picked pint-sized ones because they're gigantic and I believe in generous/unrealistic single-serve portions.
Cream the butter by hand or using an electric mixer until fluffy, then add in sugars until smooth. Beat eggs in, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the pumpkin puree and water, and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until completely combined. Add in chocolate chips if desired.
Pour batter evenly into jars-- and keep lids and rings OFF while baking. The original recipe says to fill jars a bit more than halfway, which I would now agree with, even though I just straight up disobeyed this order when I made mine. So...don't be alarmed by the pictures. Place either on a baking sheet or directly on oven rack, carefully, and bake for 30 minutes if you're using tiny jars and 45 minutes if you're using pint-size jars (use your judgment for sizes in between. For example, start watching 8-ounce jars around the 35-minute mark for doneness).
Remove from oven and let cool. If you're not eating the cakes right away (or you're a nice person and want to gift these to a special someone), place a square of wax paper around the top of each cake, then place lids on jars. Otherwise, just have at them mercilessly.
Thoughts? I mean...fancy! If I were so inclined, I'd certainly make these again, fill them just enough to close them, and ship them off to my favorite people. Expect to see more of this type of dessert here, if you can stomach all of the emo emo emo that will precede it. ;)