Ups, Downs, and My Peach Upside Down Cake

I have butterflies about sharing my upcoming plans because there isn’t a simple path to success ahead… just my sheer willpower. I just turned 26 (still young, I know…) but it feels like I’m working against the clock to get my life started. Anxiety over when will I figure “it all” out is rampant. The only thing that’s keeping me sane is knowing that somehow, I’m getting closer and closer to the answer.

It doesn’t really make me feel less anxious to know that millennials are constantly hopping from job to job. It’s apparently a hallmark of the times. I may be happy-go-lucky Hadley Go Lucky, but the tumult underneath is REAL.

My past few years of sparkling, dazzling, gritty, defeating life in NYC have been full of growth and strength, even though it doesn’t always feel like it. Though it’s still a constant process, I’m healing and rising above some pretty unsettling health problems (erm… remember that time when I literally had tendonitis in both wrists from a combination of fibromyalgia and repetitively frosting cupcakes?)

Since those early pastry/fibromyalgia days, I’ve worked as a food stylist, helped to develop recipes for a bakery that I love, and survived a social media marketing job that tested my limits in every way. With a little boost from Cherry Bombe’s Cherry Bombe University last year (I had the opportunity to compete in their cookie bake-off!), I gained the confidence to quit my desk job and return to the New York dream of owning my own pastry company. The next step of my journey is a cake and cocktail/mocktail pop up in my Brooklyn neighborhood at the end of this month, celebrating nostalgia and back-to-school memories. I’m so excited to share fruity flavor pairings that I can’t get enough of.

Amidst all of these exhilarating landmarks of life, I’ve started building brand partnerships, studying the ever-shifting social media landscape, and am constantly seeking the most uplifting people that I can learn from. It’s a daunting task, but I try to learn a new thing every day.

I’m proud to be launching Hadley Go Lucky, the brand, in a very official way at last. And I’d love to help others out there who are looking to leverage social media to promote and build something that they love. In the coming months, I hope to not only share some of the pastry projects that I’m working on, but also provide tips for those of you who want to fashion your life in a similar way. I may very well be going through some of the same things as you; we are the side-hustle generation, after all! Let’s help each other.  I’m so excited to cover some of the following topics in the next few months:

  • How to get sponsors
  • How to create a branded pop-up
  • How to attract positive mentors
  • How to start a business
  • How to get the word out
  • How to leverage pastry school experience in the real world
  • How to leverage industry experience to do things your own way

The trick to getting anywhere you want to be is starting now. Between three restless years in NYC, I feel that I’m finally on track for accomplishing my goals. I put in the work and want to help you. Please do share your business goals in the comments, or topics that you want to learn more about!

On the topic of learning, I’ve whipped up a sweet recipe for you to try. A sweet friend of mine said that this cake was actually the best she had ever had in her life… so I am VERY pumped to share it!  This fine Stone Fruit Season, I decided to develop this Peach Upside Down Cake. The “Upside Down” seemed like an accurate metaphor for the constant ups and downs that come along with entrepreneurship.  This cake has a coffee cake consistency; it’s easy to make a few slices disappear over breakfast.  Bright peach slices cook to tender perfection when mixed with a thick brown sugar topping. Stone fruit season doesn’t last long – what are you waiting for?

Scroll down for the recipe!

 

 

Peach Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced peaches, with skin
  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 additional cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup half and half 
  • crème fraîche, for serving 
Instructions: 
  1. Heat 1/2 cup butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, stirring until sugar and butter are completely combined. Spread this mixture evenly in your pan.
  2. Cut peach slices and arrange them evenly over brown sugar mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in granulated sugar.
  5. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and cream to beaten butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
  6. Spread batter evenly over the peaches in the pan.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  8. Loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto a large plate.
  9. Serve warm with crème fraîche, if desired. (I actually enjoyed it even more after the cake was chilled in the fridge!) 

Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies

This blog post is dedicated to fiercely protecting the things in life that make you feel fulfilled and light.  Like these Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies!

Do what you love.

I think this is a statement that both motivates and plagues millennials.  We’re prompted to find a job we’re passionate about, because we’ll be plugging every waking hour into it. There is little to no “clocking off.” Nothing is ever as finished or as polished as it could be if you just spent more time with it.  Working in digital media, work duties extend to the weekend and after-hours at home. 

I had this on my mind recently, as I was tasked with putting together a staff bio for myself at the agency where I work.  Before even beginning the process, I had the sinking feeling that everything that makes me “me” has been fading away. 

It’s difficult to balance a relationship and friendships on my current schedule, let alone pursue the silly and fun extra things that have contributed to forming the unique individual who was drawn to the energy of New York almost three years ago.  

I’ve found that it’s important to understand the distinction that doing what I love as a career won’t necessarily make me feel fulfilled, even if it is a key part of the equation.  The fun side projects and shenanigans are just as important for well-rounded contentment.  

My big New Year gift to myself will be truly carving out time for one or two things that are just for me… like updating this blog, which I haven’t done since October! 

These Linzer Cookies are laden with sweet Brins Strawberry Lemongrass Jam and have a crumbly-yet-chewy consistency that only gets better as the cookies age. I adapted this recipe from a King Arthur Flour recipe that includes both AP flour and almond flour. 

These little cookies pack a fruity punch. I suggest adding orange zest to the dough for an even more flavorful cookie. 

Scroll down for the recipe! 

Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Brins Strawberry Lemongrass jam

Instructions:

  1. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until light and fluffy.
  2. Incorporate egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until combined
  3. Whisk together flour, almond flour, and salt.  Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the whipped butter mixture.
  4. Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Roll out dough until about 1/4″ thick. Cut into circle shapes. Using a smaller flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut flower windows in half of the circles. 
  7.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. 
  8. Let cool.  Once cool, dollop some jam onto the cookies and sandwich with the flower halves.  They taste great immediately, but taste even better if you let them sit for a few hours.  Give the jam some time to soak into the cookie!