When Luke and I first got married, I was still very new at the whole baking and cooking thing. It wasn't brand new for me but I was still unsure about a lot of it. I remember being in the middle of cooking or baking something and I'd realize I didn't have one of the ingredients I needed so I'd have to turn off the stove or the oven and drive to the grocery store. Fortunately, the grocery store was only a mile from our house but it was still aggravating to be in the middle of cooking something and have to stop to run to the store. This didn't just happen once or twice, this happened on numerous occasions. I think that's why I'm a little obsessive about making sure I keep my pantry and refrigerator stocked with items we use on a regular basis. I actually make jokes about it with Luke. Since I don't have to go grocery shopping every time I bake/cook now, I tell Luke I'm going shopping in the pantry.
I have a few suggestions to save you from having to grocery shop every time you want to bake something. These are a few items that are baking essentials in our pantry.
1. Semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips. I also keep semi-sweet chocolate melts which are super yummy in brownies.
2. Heath Bits - the Chocolate Toffee Bits and the Bits O' Brickle Toffee
3. Reese's Peanut Butter Chips...these are delicious in any dessert!
4. Baker's Chocolate Bars - White Chocolate and Unsweetened Chocolate
5. Graham Cracker Crumbs
6. Duncan Hines cakes mixes and brownies mixes
7. Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa
8. All-purpose flour
9. White sugar, raw sugar, confectioners sugar and brown sugar
10. Baking soda and baking powder
12. Peanut Butter...I actually like to always have 2 jars at all times
13. Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk
14. Old fashioned oats
15. Vanilla Extract
I've found it's easier to keep track of what you have if the pantry is organized. It's also easier to grab what you need if you have all of your baking goods are in one section of your pantry instead of having to rummage around the entire pantry. We try to keep all of the baking bits, chips and chocolates together, the box mixes together, the sugars and flour together, etc.
I've also noticed the pantry looks a lot neater and even more organized if you use clear canisters to store most of your items. I always label my canisters because I want to make sure Luke can find what he needs if I'm not around.
What baking goods do you keep on hand in your pantry?