The Baker Upstairs: April 2018

4.19.2018

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yum
Salted chocolate chunk cookies - these amazingly delicious cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!

Salted chocolate chunk cookies - these amazingly delicious cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!

Of all the things I bake, I think chocolate chip cookies are probably my favorite. They are my go-to when I'm having a tough day, or when I need something delicious to share with guests. They're quick and easy to make, and everyone loves them! I've never been a very patient person, so it has always appealed to me that I can whip up a batch in about thirty minutes, and have hot gooey cookies any time I want. Lately, though, I've been really working on my patience (since life seems to have blessed me with an abundance of situations designed to test my patience), and so I thought the time was ripe to test out the theory that refrigerating my cookie dough overnight would make it taste better. The result (to my chagrin) was that chocolate chip cookie dough, when refrigerated overnight, bakes up into the perfect cookies. They're perfectly crisp on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and have a totally amazing texture. If my regular cookies are a 9 on a scale of 1-10, these cookies are an 11!

Salted chocolate chunk cookies - these amazingly delicious cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!

I used an ice cream scoop to make my cookies gigantic, but you can definitely make these with a smaller cookie scoop if you so desire. The combination of dark chocolate chunks and sea salt is so delicious, and adding the salt gives the flavor an awesome boost.

Salted chocolate chunk cookies - these amazingly delicious cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!

I don't know if I have the patience to refrigerate my cookie dough every time I have a chocolate chip cookie craving, but it's worth it for an insanely delicious cookie. These are pretty much just cookies perfected!

Salted chocolate chunk cookies - these amazingly delicious cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!
Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups dark chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I love Jacobsen Salt)

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir until combined. Fold in the dark chocolate chunks. Refrigerate the dough overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with silicone or parchment. While the oven is preheating, let the dough sit out on the counter to soften slightly. Scoop into large balls (I used an ice cream scoop) and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 11-13 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Salted chocolate chunk cookies - these amazingly delicious cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!

4.12.2018

Easy Homemade Horchata

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This delicious and refreshing homemade horchata is so easy to make, and tastes amazing!

This delicious and refreshing homemade horchata is so easy to make, and tastes amazing!

Who else is totally obsessed with horchata? I totally cannot get enough of it! Several years ago I worked across the street from a tasty Mexican fast food restaurant, and I would walk over nearly every day on my lunch break and get a giant cup of cold horchata and a bowl of chicken tortilla soup with a stack of freshly made tortillas. It was the perfect lunch, and the perfect way to pull myself back together when I was all stressed out from work. Since we moved to Portland, I haven't been able to find a good place close by that has good horchata. (I'm sure one exists, but I just haven't found it yet.) I've seen recipes for homemade horchata on Pinterest, and decided to try it out. The result was this incredibly delicious, creamy and sweet, easy to make horchata! It has a fantastic flavor, and it's incredibly refreshing. I think it's best served over lots of ice and slurped up with a straw. It is pretty much my new favorite drink!

The horchata does take a little time to make, since you need to let it sit overnight, but the hands-on time is minimal, so it's just a little effort for a big payoff. I would definitely recommend straining it through a nut milk bag (they're pretty easy to find on Amazon or at health food stores) because there will be a lot of sediment that needs to be strained out. As far as the sugar goes, I like my horchata pretty sweet, but if you prefer it less sweet, you could definitely add less. This is definitely one to try!
Easy Homemade Horchata

1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup white rice
1 cinnamon stick
6 cups water, divided
2/3 cup sugar (more or less to taste)

Heat a small pot of water to boiling over high heat. Add the almonds to the boiling water and boil for one minute, then drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the almonds to remove the skins. Discard the skins and add the blanched almonds to a quart size jar. Add the white rice and the cinnamon stick to a coffee grinder or food processor and blend until finely ground. Pour the rice mixture into the jar, then add three cups of water. Shake gently to mix, then let sit overnight. The next day, pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, squeezing to get all of the liquid out. Stir in the remaining water and the sugar until dissolved. Refrigerate until chilled, and serve over ice. Shake before serving.

adapted from Jennifer Meyering
This delicious and refreshing homemade horchata is so easy to make, and tastes amazing!

4.07.2018

Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Yum
This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is so tender and flavorful, and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or entertaining!

This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is so tender and flavorful, and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or entertaining!

Why hello there, friends! Long time, no see. :) It has been way too long since I shared a recipe here! Life has been super busy lately, but I thought it would be fun to post today in honor of National Coffee Cake Day. This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is easy to make, super delicious, and has an amazing lemon flavor thanks to the addition of some delicious fresh lemon curd. It's the perfect dessert to serve company, or to enjoy for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

The cake layer is tender and moist, with a nice mellow vanilla flavor, then it's topped by a sweetened cream cheese layer, tangy lemon curd, and buttery streusel. It all bakes together into a fantastic layered cake that looks beautiful and tastes amazing! I should warn you, since there has been confusion in the past, that this cake does not actually contain coffee. I've always thought of coffee cake as something that is to be served alongside coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate), but I suppose there is much confusion on the subject, based on the number of negative comments I've received. If you're looking for a cake that contains coffee, feel free to look elsewhere! This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is pretty delicious without it. :)

This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is so tender and flavorful, and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or entertaining!

Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

for the cake:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

for the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup lemon curd (make your own using this recipe)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8 or 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour and sugar. Grate the cold butter into the flour and sugar, and mix until the butter pieces are no larger than pea-sized. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture, and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until combined. Pour the sour cream mixture into the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

To make the cream cheese filling, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until combined. Spread the cake batter evenly in the prepared pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter, being careful to leave a margin of 1/2 - 1 inch of cake batter uncovered around the edges. Spread the lemon curd on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the lemon curd. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing.
This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is so tender and flavorful, and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or entertaining!

For more tasty coffee cake recipes, be sure to check out these fabulous posts 
from my Celebrating Food blogging friends below:


Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake from Creations by Kara
Coffee Cake Muffins from Pretty Providence
Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Savory Experiments
Easy Carrot Coffee Cake from An Italian in my Kitchen
Peach Coffee Cake from Real Mom Kitchen
Vegan Coffee Cake Muffins from Namely Marly
Slow Cooker Coffee Cake from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins from My Mommy Style
Mason Jar Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake from Premeditated Leftovers
Grandma's Cinnamon Coffee Cake from Simply Stacie

and even more delicious coffee cake recipes from around the web:

Fresh Raspberry Coffee Cake from The Baker Upstairs
Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake from The Baker Upstairs
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake from Somewhat Simple
Peach Streusel Coffee Cake from Somewhat Simple
Mixed Berry Coffee Cake from One Little Project
Lemon Raspberry Coffee Cake from Lemon Tree Dwelling
Coffee Cake Muffins from Damn Delicious
Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake from OMG Chocolate Desserts
Blueberry Coffee Cake from Glorious Treats
Apple Crisp Coffee Cake from Spicy Southern Kitchen
2 Minute Coffee Cake in a Mug from Heather Likes Food

Happy National Coffee Cake Day!

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