The Baker Upstairs

9.21.2022

Halloween Ghost Brownies

Yum
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
I’m so excited to finally start sharing Halloween recipes with you! Halloween is my family’s favorite holiday, and we start celebrating pretty early around here. We decorated the house for Halloween on Monday night as a family, with some fun fall snacks and spooky music playing, and I love how cozy and festive it feels now. I know it’s a little early to decorate, but I just love enjoying the season for as long as possible. Of course, one of the best ways to celebrate is with festive food, and these adorable and delicious Halloween ghost brownies are just that! They’re so easy to make, and so rich and chocolatey. They are truly brownie perfection!
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
I’ve recently fallen in love with Dutch process cocoa, so that’s what I used for these brownies. I love that it gives them a deep brown color, and a really rich chocolate flavor. To boost the chocolate flavor even more, I added some Guittard chocolate chips, and a few chocolate jimmies just to make things extra festive. Lastly, after the brownies baked, I topped them with white chocolate Reese’s ghost candies. They’re so cute, and I love how simple it was to make these already delicious brownies even more fun! The combination of dark and white chocolate, and chocolate and peanut butter, makes these brownies absolutely irresistible.
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
These brownies are so simple to make, and you don’t even need a mixer! I usually melt the butter in a saucepan, and then just make the brownies in the pan to save on dishes, but you could easily melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl instead. The brownie batter is made with simple ingredients that I always have on hand, which means it’s easy to whip these up whenever the chocolate craving strikes.
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
After baking, these brownies have a lovely fudgy consistency, without being too dense or dry. They’re just slightly chewy on the edges, but so rich and moist in the middle. I added the Reese’s ghosts immediately after they came out of the oven, but if you don’t want them to be as melty as mine were, I would recommend letting the brownies cool for 15 minutes or so before placing the candies on top. Either way, they’re adorable! To make my ghosts extra cute, I added some black sprinkles for eyes, but they are totally optional. You could also use a food-safe marker or candy eyes instead if you prefer. These Halloween ghost brownies are the perfect Halloween dessert!
Halloween Ghost Brownies

1 cup butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 tablespoon chocolate jimmies
12 Reese’s white chocolate ghost candies

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment. In a medium pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the cocoa powder and sugar, and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the chocolate jimmies. Bake 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10-15 minutes, then place the ghost candies on top. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!

9.19.2022

Fresh Peach Salsa

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This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!
This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!
That's right, it's another peach recipe! Most of the peach recipes on my blog are desserts (as they should be) but for a fun change, here's one that goes well with savory dishes. This fresh peach salsa is delicious on top of tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas, and also is pretty fantastic just eaten with chips. It's loaded with juicy peaches, and has such a lovely combination of flavors! It takes just a few minutes to make, and is a fun and unique addition to your dinner menu. 

My kids are pretty wimpy about spice levels, so I used a seeded and ribbed jalapeño for this salsa, but if you like things spicier you could leave the seeds and ribs in, and/or add more than one jalapeño. The red onion adds some nice flavor and a little kick without being overwhelming. My peaches were really sweet and ripe, but if you're using peaches that are a little more tart, you may want to add a little sugar to the salsa. It's not overly sweet, but I really like the balance of sweet and savory in this salsa. 
This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!
One of my favorite ways to eat this salsa is as a topping for grilled or breaded fish, but it goes with pretty much everything! I served it with some carnitas tacos last week and my husband said they were the best tacos ever. This fresh peach salsa is the perfect late summer side dish! 
Fresh Peach Salsa

3 medium ripe peaches, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 small jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, mix together the peaches, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, or up to 3 days.
This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!

9.16.2022

Instant Pot Summer Corn Chowder

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This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
It's always weird to me when the weather starts turning colder and people are like, "It's soup season!" In my house, soup isn't a season, it's a lifestyle. We eat soup all year round, even when it's boiling hot outside, because it's my absolute favorite. I would choose a good soup for dinner over just about anything. Our kitchen unfortunately doesn't have an air conditioning vent (the previous owner blocked it off and installed the fridge in front of it - why?!?!?) and it has a large west-facing window, so it gets incredibly hot during the summer afternoons. The last thing I want to do is go in there and cook a hot pot of soup. But since I have an incessant need to eat soup, even when I don't want to cook it, it's a good thing I have an Instant Pot to save the day!

I love that the Instant Pot can cook my soup for me without adding to the already stifling temperatures in my kitchen. If you don't have the same heat issues that I do (or just want to spend more hands-on time making your soup) you can definitely make this soup in a pot on the stove instead. The instructions are more or less the same, you'll just sauté the vegetables, then add the broth, potatoes, and seasonings, and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Last, make the roux in a separate pot, and pour it in. It's easy and delicious either way!
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
I like to make this chowder with fresh sweet corn from the farmers market, but if you don't have any available, you could use frozen corn instead. Red potatoes are great because you don't even have to peel them (although you can if you want to!). The combination of flavors in this soup is delightful, and it's the perfect way to showcase that fresh summer sweet corn (even when it's too hot outside to cook). This soup is a winner!
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
Instant Pot Summer Corn Chowder

2 ears fresh corn
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup crumbled bacon pieces
5 cups chicken broth
3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups half and half

Husk the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Heat the oil in the instant pot insert on saute mode. Add the corn, onion, and pepper to the pot and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and bacon to the pot and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper to the pot and cancel the saute mode. Add the lid to the pot and turn the knob to seal. Cook on the manual setting at high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.

While the pressure is releasing, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Slowly whisk in the half and half, a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. When the flour mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour it into the instant pot. Stir to combine. Serve hot with additional bacon pieces sprinkled on top.
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!