The Baker Upstairs

10.15.2021

Soft Halloween Sugar Cookies

Yum
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
One of my favorite guilty pleasure foods is those horrible (and oddly delicious) soft sugar cookies (like Lofthouse brand) at the grocery store. They're generally pretty dry and flavorless, and they stick to the roof of your mouth. They don't have a lot of redeeming qualities, but somehow I still love them. Since I can't seem to stop buying them, I decided it would be fun to make a homemade version that's even better than the original! These soft Halloween sugar cookies are way better than the store-bought version. They're so soft and flavorful and buttery, and absolutely perfect! 
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
The dough for these cookies is simple to make, and has just seven ingredients. You'll want to just slightly under-bake the cookies so they stay soft in the middle. I love how thick and puffy they are! As far as the frosting, you can choose whatever colors you like, but I thought green, orange, and purple would be perfect for Halloween. I like to use gel food coloring to give it a more vibrant color. You will only need a drop or two for each color of frosting. 
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies, add some festive sprinkles, and you're all set. They are so adorable, and absolutely delicious too!
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
These cookies will stay fresh for up to a week if stored in an airtight container. The recipe makes around two dozen cookies, so they're perfect for parties!
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
As much as I love those store-bought cookies, I don't think I can go back now that I've found this homemade version. They are so good!
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!
Soft Halloween Sugar Cookies

for the cookies:
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the frosting:
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk or cream (I used half and half)
1-2 drops orange, purple, and green gel food coloring

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until a firm dough forms. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll the dough into one inch balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray. Flatten each ball slightly with your hand or with a drinking glass to be about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the bottom edges are just slightly golden brown. Remove and let cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and enough milk or cream to thin to desired consistency. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the food coloring and beat until well distributed. Frost cookies as desired.
These soft Halloween sugar cookies have the best flavor and texture, and are so quick and easy to make!

10.13.2021

Candy Bar Blondies

Yum
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
Leftover Halloween candy has never been a problem at my house, since everyone who lives here has a pretty extreme sweet tooth and would eat candy all day if I let them, but if you do happen to have that problem, these candy bar blondies are for you! Or... if you just like to eat over the top delicious treats, these candy bar blondies are for you. Or if you like super easy (but still totally delicious) desserts, these candy bar blondies are for you. (They're pretty much for everyone, unless you don't like chocolate, or cookies, or deliciousness.) They are so easy to make, with only around 15 minutes of hands on time, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
I mixed Kit Kats, Reese's cups, Snickers, Twix, Mini M&M's, and chocolate chips into my blondies, but feel free to use whatever candy you like, as long as it's about two cups of chocolate total. I like to mix 3/4 of it into the dough, then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 on top to make the blondies extra pretty.
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
The blondies bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted two inches from the edge comes out clean and they are lightly golden brown around the edges. They'll still be soft gooey and rich in the middle, with just slightly crisp edges. Blondie perfection!
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
If you let the blondies cool most of the way before cutting them, they'll be much easier to slice and cut much more evenly. They're pretty delicious warm, though, so I wouldn't blame you if you just want to dig right in! They're fantastic plain, or with a glass of milk, but they're even more over-the-top delicious with a scoop of ice cream and some chocolate sauce on top. So good!
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!
Candy Bar Blondies

12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped candy bars, any variety

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the candy bars, being careful not to crush them. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining candy bars. Bake 30 minutes, or until just golden around the edges. Let cool before slicing and serving.
These candy bar blondies are so delicious and indulgent, and loaded with all of your favorite treats!

10.11.2021

Halloween Nilla Wafers

Yum
These fun and festive Halloween Nilla Wafers are absolutely delicious, and so easy to make at home!
These fun and festive Halloween Nilla Wafers are absolutely delicious, and so easy to make at home!
After a year and a half spent mostly at home, it has felt a little weird this fall to get back to a more normal routine. My older kids are both attending in person school full time, and we're slowly venturing back into the world of activities, friend hang outs, and (sort of) life as usual. Sometimes my weeks feel a little overwhelming, with everything I have going on these days. One of the bright spots, though, is the baking club I do with my fifth grader and her best friend on Wednesdays. Each week they choose a new recipe to make, and they work on it together. I supervise, give directions and support, and help with really challenging tasks, but for the most part they do all of the work themselves, and it is so much fun!

Last week my daughter kept asking me for Nilla Wafers, and since we didn't have any in the house, she asked if we could make them for baking club. Of course! My Nilla Wafer recipe is always a favorite around here, but we decided to make them even more fun with some festive Halloween sprinkles. The cookies turned out so cute, and the girls had so much fun making them!
These fun and festive Halloween Nilla Wafers are absolutely delicious, and so easy to make at home!
These cookies are so simple and delicious, and really easy to make. They have such a delicious flavor, and the perfect crisp texture! They do tend to spread quite a bit as they bake, so make sure to give them plenty of space on the baking sheet, and use about a teaspoon of dough for each cookie. They are addictingly delicious!
Halloween Nilla Wafers

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup festive Halloween sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with a parchment or silicone liner and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined. Gently stir in the sprinkles. Chill for 20-30 minutes, until firm. Using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop, roll the dough into small balls. Flatten slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-17 minutes, until golden brown.
These fun and festive Halloween Nilla Wafers are absolutely delicious, and so easy to make at home!