I immediately created an extensive list of all of the things I wanted to bake after finding out what my job entailed. Because I would be provided with all necessary ingredients, have enough hungry and eager customers to eat my creations instead of trying to restrain myself from gobbling up an entire pan on my own, and not to mention be paid to bake rather than scrounge together the amount of money it would take to bake this frequently from an already dismal college student's budget, I finally had the chance to experiment and make all of the things I otherwise may have had to wait a long time to try.
There are a few criteria I decided my recipes should meet if I was going to be selling them in the cafe. First off, it has to be easy enough to make within a 2 hour time frame and in a kitchen which I don't have any (and still not much) experience in. That meant probably no yeast breads requiring resting time, complicated kneading, rolling out techniques etc... that I haven't had a lot of practice at and/or are time consuming, or extensive cooking, overnight chilling, or cooling times. Secondly, it has to be a large enough size to attract customers. At home I can easily get away with tiny cookies or muffins and bite-sized cinnamon rolls, but for the most part, I associate coffee shop sweets as being bigger than the norm. Finally, it has to be appealing to the majority of my customers, in this case the average college student. I guess that means less low-fat vegan muffins and green tea flavored goodies and more of your traditional coffee cake, cookie, muffin, and bar type desserts, preferably ones that go well with coffee.
My first week I made scrumptious lemon blueberry coffee cake, but unfortunately forgot my camera and therefore was not able to post. However, I will be making this at home in the near future... post coming soon!
Following this set of criteria, for my second week of baking I decided on a recipe for Snickerdoodle Blondies from one of my most loved blogs, Bakergirl. Personally, I've never been a snickerdoodle cookie fan and have never even tasted a blondie in my life (how can one eat blondies when there are brownies in this world??? or so I thought). But based on my list of guidelines, and the fact that the photos of them on the Bakergirl blog looked amazing, I figured that super sweet, cinnamon-y snickerdoodles combined with the moist, chewiness of a blondie would be perfect. To make them even more over-the-top sweet and decadent, I added a generous drizzling of maple glaze, but unfortunately, probably because I used maple syrup instead of extract, it didn't have much maple flavor.
Despite the fact that the glaze didn't turn out as planned and if I were to make them again, which I'm sure I will, I most likely won't even include a glaze topping, these blondies were fantastic. Chewy, moist, sweet, and cinnamony, they're 50 times better than any snickerdoodle cookie I've had and if this is what all blondies taste like, I've been missing out.
Snickerdoodle Blondies with Maple Glaze
original recipe courtesy of Bakergirl
2 2/3 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 c packed brown sugar
1 c unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
for maple glaze**
1 c powder sugar
1/8 tsp maple extract
1/4 c milk
**Honestly, with the cinnamon-sugar coating sprinkled on top, a glaze really isn't necessary. But if you are looking for an extra dose of sweetness (be warned, they are already plenty sweet, so this addition should only be used for extreme sugar-addicts!) then it is definitely a good addition. Using maple extract rather than maple syrup is a much better route to take for true maple flavor.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in vanilla.
Slowly add flour mixture to butter, beating until just combined. Transfer dough to prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Combine granulated sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over top of batter.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until the surface of the blondies spring back when gently pressed. If using glaze, prepare it by mixing all ingredients together while blondies are baking.
Remove blondie pan and set on wire rack to cool slightly, then drizzle with glaze. Cool completely before cutting.
Cut a piece before they cooled completely due to my impatience. Why it's falling apart a bit.
These sweet treats sold out in just one afternoon! Might have to bring them back for special guest appearances from time to time.