Margaret Button: Quarantine baking ideas ... if it comes to that

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In response to the coronavirus, medical experts are advising consumers to have enough food, water, medication and toilet paper on hand in case they are quarantined for two weeks.

I inventoried my pantry and freezer over the weekend. Piece of cake — I have packages of ramen noodles and cans of soup if I do come down with the virus, and cans of tuna fish and a spare jar of olives for tuna salad sandwiches. There's oatmeal, pancake mix and eggs for breakfast — or breakfast for dinner. I have pasta, rice, a huge stockpile of coffee K-cups (I can't go without coffee under any circumstances) and bread, frozen in the freezer. And, in case I run out of half-and-half, I've stashed away two cans of evaporated milk. I'm foregoing the bottled water because I have no idea why I wouldn't be able to just turn on the faucet ...

Monday afternoon, I stocked up on things I knew I would crave if I'm under medical house arrest — chili-lime Doritos, airline cookies (otherwise known as Biscoff cookies), Cadbury mini eggs, German chocolate cake mix and coconut frosting, and sugar wafers. I also bought a jar of Vitamin C gummies, just to make my order look like it was more than just a junk food run.

I have more than enough unread books, plenty of DVDs and I'm paid up on cable and Netflix. I think I'm more than ready.

Just in case, I run out of my airline cookies (so named because they're served in-flight on an airline I use frequently), I took a recipe for homemade Biscoff cookies out for a spin the other day. These are good in a pinch and are really close to the original.


(Courtesy Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking)

Servings: 16 -20 cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

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1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on low speed. Add in the vanilla extract.

Gradually blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture until it is well combined. The dough may feel dry and crumbly.

Bring the dough into a ball, cover and chill for a minimum of 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Once chilled, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.

Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter and carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet with a spatula.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden and brown. Cool on a rack.

Keep covered in an airtight container.


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