One of the most important things you can do to ensure you have a successful  college application career is learning how to manage stress. Applying to college is stressful. Taking standardized tests is stressful. School is stressful.

We all have different strategies for managing stress. One of my favorites is to bake. Bake a lot. Bake so many things.

This last week I had a fantastic thing called college finals. 90% of the stress in 1% of the semester. It is a holiday I lovingly call “Stress-Bake-Mas.”

Here’s a few recipes I made last week that are delicious and easy. All are great ways to combat stress. I literally feel the tension ease out of my body when I make baked goods, you can too.

If you’re studying for SATs or waiting on baited breath from your first choice, keep your hands and your mind busy and make one of these.

1. Oreo Pie

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This one is delicious, amazing, and easy. I recommend you do this one as a study break, as it takes several hours to set. If you make it the night before a big test, you’ll have a reward when you finally finish taking it the next day.

The recipe from AllRecipes, available HERE.

A few things I changed from the recipe:
1. Use whole milk and only use two cups. The pudding won’t set or be as thick otherwise.
2. I added a layer of chopped oreos between the bottom and middle layer. Extra oreos never hurt.
3. I used a premade chocolate pie crust. Oreo pie crust is hard to make and not super worth it.
4. I mixed in oreo crumble into the middle layer, again, because extra oreos never hurt anyone.

2. Salted Caramel Pillows.

Carmel Bites

Caramel Pillows

To be perfectly honest this one was my least favorite of the bunch. I love salted caramel but I didn’t get enough chocolate nor did I find that they cooked to a crisp before they started to burn. Still, if you like savory over super sweet, this one may be for you.

Recipe is from Artzy Creations, available HERE.

A few things I changed from the recipe:
1. I used chocolate chips instead of Hershey kisses. Maybe the kisses would have gone better, but that was what was on sale.
2. For the life of me I couldn’t get the shape right, so my second batch I just made them round.

3. Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

Gingerbread

Gingerbread

I loved this one so so much. I love gingerbread and I love love love cream cheese frosting. This one was really super easy, the only tricky part was actually finding the gingerbread dough.

Recipe is from Created by Diane, available HERE.

A few things I changed from this recipe:
1. I made this one while I was still at school and I don’t have a mixer of any kind. I used my hands for a lot of the mixing, it went much easier.
2. I piped the cheesecake icing in after baking for half of them. After was the way to go.
3. I used gingerbread mix rather than pre-made dough. Simply what was available to me.

4.  Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes.

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This is a favorite from a book called, “Hello Cupcake
It’s much easier than it looks. It looks a little better than it tastes, but they’re so cute that they’ll be a hit with your friends.

1. Frost your cupcake flat.
2. Make the spaghetti with icing. Mix vanilla icing with 8 drops of yellow food coloring and 1 teaspoon of coco powder. Mix in a ziplock bag. Then put the bag in the fridge for 5 minutes. Then cut a tiny tiny hole in one corner and use the ziplock as a piping bag.
3. Add a hazlenut candy to be your “meatball”
4. Put on sugar free strawberry jam to create “sauce”
5. Use a cheese grater to shave some white chocolate over the top.

Next time you’re feeling overly stressed, try dropping everything and making some cupcakes. You never know what might happen.



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the author

Jillian is better known by her pseudonym “CollegeApp Chick", which is half college application blog and half small private college advising business. She’s currently studying Psychology and Religious Studies at a small public school south of the Mason Dixon line. When not advising, studying, or blogging Jillian is an active member of the Shakespeare theatre club, sandbox improv, women’s chorus, and is an officer in a social sorority. She likes to talk, a lot. Most importantly, Jillian wears dresses more than 250 days a year. For more of Jillian’s tips, find her at her website or her Tumblr.

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