During the past month, it seems like every college student’s new hobby is baking. My Instagram stories have been populated with pictures of everything from chewy chocolate chip cookies to brown sugar pavlovas. But forced to rely on biweekly trips to scarcely stocked grocery stores, we have to look towards low-ingredient recipes to continue our newly-acquired hobby. Read below to find your newest quarantine experiment.

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

An indulgent, yet unexpectedly simple bar. These millionaire shortbread bars call for coriander in the caramel, but I prefer to add ground cardamom seeds. Or,  as Bon Appetit suggests,  add tahini and sesame seeds. If your pantry is running low on spices during quarantine, these taste equally good with just plain caramel. Make sure to not overcook the caramel, or the middle will turn to toffee once it cools down.

#SpoonTip: Baking sugar at a low temperature (300 °F) for around 30 minutes before using it in a recipe adds a caramel-y, roasted taste to any cookie or cake.

Thumbprint Cookies

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of only having whole wheat flour, look no further than thumbprint cookies. Replacing the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour makes for a jam & toast-like treat. Make sure not to overload the center with jam before baking or they will ooze over the edges of the cookies while they are in the oven.

Lace Cookies

With their see-through, delicate appearance, lace cookies look much fancier than they actually are. In reality, the only must-haves are butter, sugar, and a nut of some sort. Haphazardly dropping the sticky batter on a pan makes for slightly less aesthetic, but equally tasty cookies. I like to add candied orange to the batter pre-baking and dip the edges in bittersweet chocolate post-baking.

Olive Oil Cake

A personal favorite, olive oil cake is the perfect cake for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Replacing butter with oil makes for a moist, fluffy-but-not-too-fluffy cake that balances on the line between sweet and savory. Slather a slice with orange marmalade and serve alongside coffee in the morning for a quarantine treat. 

Greek Yogurt Mousse

A mix between a normal mousse and a chocolate pudding, this Greek yogurt mousse is a simple mixture of milk, melted chocolate (any type!), and Greek yogurt. It ends up being slightly tart and very chocolatey. This dessert acts as a great base for fruits, cake, or jam. If you’re feeling ambitious, refrigerate the mousse and whip it to stiff peaks before slathering it between layers of chocolate cake and pour the chocolate ganache over the layer cake.

Just because your pantry stock is running low doesn't mean you are relegated to plain sugar cookies. Fewer ingredients allow you to be more creative with your baking endeavors, making for some sweet treats and some baking disasters. But either way, having a new baked good to accompany you through this month of quarantine makes social distancing a little less lonely and a little more interesting.