To procrastibake is to bake something completely unnecessary to avoid doing something you should be doing — and it's a real thing. A recent New York Times piece let procrastibakers know they're not alone in their culinary slacking. It's so common that if you search the hashtag prokastibaking on Instagram, you'll find more than 26,500 images of breads, cakes, pies, cupcakes, and cookies, as well as several memes about the habit.
A not-so-new term
While the NYT piece says the term procrastibake is recent, Urban Dictionary has had a definition for the habit since 2008. And, in searching my Facebook friends' feeds to see if any of them have bragged about their procrastibaking, I discovered that MNN recipe contributor Jerry James Stone used the term back in 2014.
Stone — who develops recipes, writes cookbooks, and has a YouTube cooking channel — is so often in the kitchen that procrastibaking seems like an odd choice, since he's putting off other baking and cooking.
"Sometimes," he said, "I should be folding laundry or something else."
One of Stone's favorite procrastibaking recipes is White Chocolate Blondies, a coconut-based, gluten-free bar that he demonstrates how to make in the video above.
Still accomplishing something
Often, a plus side to procrastibaking is you're accomplishing something worthwhile, unlike other procrastination habits like mindlessly watching television or spending hours on social media.
"My procrastibaking is much different from my general baking," said Debbie McCarson of PPP Writing Services (and a former English teacher I had the pleasure of teaching with many years ago). "If I am procrastibaking, I will make something I have not yet mastered, something complex, and something that I can give away. I think on some level, I feel less guilty for procrastinating if I do this since I will be learning and giving — two concepts that I place high value on. Right now I procrastibake mostly yeast breads since it is on my bucket list to learn how to work with yeast.
"I have recently mastered potato rolls, but I'm not learning to make cinnamon buns. I have been procrastibaking a lot lately, and in the last month have made about five dozen cinnamon buns, yet I still don't have it right."
The NYT article pointed out that most people procrastibake with ingredients they already have on hand. Running out to the store for ingredients isn't a common part of the procrastination technique. With that in mind, here are a few recipes to get you procrastibaking quickly so you'll still have time to get back to the task you're supposed to be tackling.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins: This recipe calls for part all-purpose flour and part white whole-wheat flour, but all-purpose flour can be used entirely if that's all you have. Lemon zest brightens up the flavor of these muffins made with fresh blueberries (or frozen if that's what you happen to have).
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: If you have a can of pumpkin that's been sitting in your pantry since last holiday season, procrastibake with it. Add some pumpkin to a basic chocolate chip recipe for super moist cookies.
Baked Goat Cheese with Crisps: Who says procrastibaking has to end with a sweet treat. Sometimes, it can end with a savory one. This simple recipes takes only 30 minutes, for those who want to put off the task at hand for just a short time.
Baking is not my preferred way to procrastinate, but now that I think about it, I made a couple of unplanned chocolate cakes during tax time last month. My favorite recipe is the tried and true Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake, using my choice of cocoa powder, and it creates a delicious procrastibaking outcome.