Category Archives: Sweet Treats

Berry Swirl Bread

berry swirl bread | Pale YellowI wanted to call this hot mess bread because I left the dough to rise on the stove and it got a little cooked and super fluffy.  So when I tried to roll it out, it was practically melting under the rolling pin.  I slapped the filling inside, breaded, and put in the pan.  I had serious doubts the bread would turn out and seriously considered this a baking fail.berry swirl bread | Pale YellowBut I pulled it out of the oven, let it cool and wouldn’t you know it – delicious!  The bread was soft and tender and super flavorful.  The berries, chocolate, and cinnamon added interest and moisture.  This was a great treat for breakfast while my mom and aunts were town.  It was super easy to keep wrapped up and everyone could help themselves at breakfast.  It also made a delicious late night snack!

berry swirl bread | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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Berry Swirl Bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 8-12 servings

Bread
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup whole milk, lukewarm
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil to grease the bowl

Filling
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups fresh berries (I used strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 egg

  1. Bread – Stir together the yeast and the sugar.  Warm the milk and melt the butter to a lukewarm temperature.  Mix in the egg yolk.  Stir into the yeast and sugar.  Set aside to become frothy and foamy.  Allow to rest for about 5 minutes
  2. Stir in the flour and salt until the dough pulls away from the bowl.  The dough will be sticky.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes.  Grease the bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside.  Cover and allow to double in size, about one hour.
  4. Filling – Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  Grease and flour a cast iron pan or 10-inch spring form pan.
  5. Mix together the butter, sugar, and cinnamon.  Clean and chop the berries, set aside.
  6. On a floured surface roll the dough into a 12×18” rectangle.  Spread the cinnamon-butter mixture evenly over the dough.
  7. Sprinkle the berries and chocolate chips over the filling.
  8. Along the long end of the dough, roll up into a cylinder.  Make sure the seam side is one the bottom.  With a sharp knife, cut the dough in half, leaving 1-inch connected at the top.
  9. Cross the two halves over one another making sure the cut end is facing the top.  Twist the bread into a circle and tuck the cut ends under.
  10. Carefully add the bread to the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.
  11. Let cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar.berry swirl bread | Pale Yellow
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Vanilla Pudding Mix

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowSecond pudding this week, I told you I was serious about this pudding situation.  This one is almost dairy free; the pudding mix is made with nonfat dry milk powder, but the actual pudding shown in the pictures is made with unsweetened almond milk.  I wasn’t sure how almond milk would react when made into pudding, but it was a success!

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowI really wanted to make my own pudding mix because pudding mixes are ingredients in many a cookie and cake recipe and I was tired of buying those little boxes.  Once you start going box free, it becomes this snowball effect; can’t stop, won’t stop.  Instant pudding was holding me back.

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowThis pudding however, is not instant; it’s some cook-and-serve action.  I don’t mind though, I find it super relaxing to stir milk and powder on the stove.  Seriously.  The mix takes about two minutes to measure in a jar and then it bit of shaking.  The pudding is there now, ready for me to use whenever a pudding craving comes my way.  And clearly I’ve been having many a pudding cravings.

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowThe pudding had a gelatinous texture, but I really enjoyed the feeling in my mouth.  I made a bold choice and divided the pudding into only two servings; my rational was the low caloric value of almond milk, 30-40 calories a serving, so therefore each serving is a healthy cup of almond milk and few tablespoons of sugar.  See, I really can justify any indulgence!  I’m glad I have the pudding mix ready to go because if Waldbaums continues to keep almond milk on sale, there are going to be many batches of vanilla-almond puddling in my future!

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Bacon Cupcakes

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Instant Pudding Mix
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield – 5 batches of pudding (20 servings)

Instant Pudding Mix
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 vanilla beans

  1. Add the sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and salt to a 1-quart mason jar.
  2. Split the vanilla beans and scrape about the seeds.  Add the seeds and vanilla bean bod to the jar.
  3. Shake well to combine.  Store until you’re ready to make pudding!

Pudding Time
2 cups almond milk (or regular milk)
1/2 cup vanilla pudding mix

  1. Add the milk and pudding mix to a medium saucepan.  Stir and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer until it thickens.  Whisk the entire time.
  2. Serve hot or place in small bowls and cover with plastic wrap directly on top and refrigerate for several hours before for serving.Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale Yellow

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Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free)

Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free) | Pale YellowDuring the past few weeks I’ve been exhibiting control and excersing discipline, all that went out the window this weekend.  It seems all of my control is balanced with periods of excess.  I haven’t baked in a week, so I spent this weekend baking all the things.  Seriously, I’ve done dishes like 8 times in two days.

Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free) | Pale YellowIn my effort to gain control I’ve been going dairy free, or at least trying.  If you discount the dairy in butter and the trace amounts of whey product in everything, then I’m dairy free!  Seriously, it was easier to be vegan than just diary free.

Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free) | Pale YellowThis pudding was one of my first forays into dairy free baking baking/cooking.  Coconut milk is my saving grace.  It’s creaminess is a perfect substitute for heavy cream.  I love coconut milk in my coffee and it’s just so much richer and more flavorful than almond milk.  Almond milk is good in smoothies and cereal, but it’s not as drinkable as coconut milk.  Plus, when you buy the good, canned, full fat coconut milk (I’m looking at you Thai Kitchen Organic) you get thick, whippable, coconut cream.  Vegan heaven.

Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free) | Pale YellowThis recipe uses two cans of coconut milk, one in the pudding and another whipped for topping.  Pistachio pudding is one of my favorite puddings and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.  The pudding is super creamy and smooth on the tongue; the pistachio flavor is strongly present and there is just a hint of coconut.  I love that this is a small batch recipe, perfectly for a girl living alone.  It’s time to incorporate some pudding in your life!  More to come on Friday…Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free) | Pale Yellow

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Pistachio Pudding {Dairy-free}
Adapted from Chocolate Moosey
Yield – 2-3 servings

Pistachio Pudding
1/4 cup salted, shelled pistachios
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
2 teaspoons sugar
splash of vanilla
extra pistachios for garnish
toasted coconut flakes for garnish

  1. Pudding – Grind the pistachios in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) until finely ground.  Grind in 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
  2. Shake the can of coconut milk to incorporate the liquid and solids.  Measure 1 cup of coconut milk and add to a small saucepan.  Add in the pistachio mixture and cook until boiling.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar, egg yolk, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl.  Add a little of the hot milk mixture into the egg to temper.
  4. Pour everything back into the pot and heat while whisking until the pudding is thick.  Turn off the burner and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Portion the pudding into bowls and cover with plastic wrap directly on top.  Refrigerate for several hours.
  6. Coconut Whipped Cream - Carefully scoop the solid part of the coconut milk, leave the clear-ish liquid behind, and add the solid part to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Add in the sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy.
  7. Pipe a dollop of whipped cream on each bowl of pudding and garnish with toasted coconut and extra pistachios.Pistachio Pudding (Dairy Free) | Pale Yellow

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Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies (GF)

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowMichelle threw a surprise party for Derrick and asked me to make these and these.  But she also wanted a gluten free option.  I used my go-to GF option and just swapped all-purpose gluten free flour mix for regular.  I thought about making brownies or cookies, but when I was in the middle chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies, I was inspired!

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowWhoopie pie epidemic? Possibly.  I find myself going in phases of making different versions of the same thing.  Clearly this weekend was all about the whoopie pies.  Lately it’s been all about the bar recipes; easy breezy.

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowI know I am not by any means a gluten-free baker, but the one-to-one replacement seems to be working.  The only weird thing is the odd flavor of the raw batter.  The final, baked product tastes fine, but the raw version is really awful.  I don’t understand what happens in the baking process to change it, oh well, if it works, it works

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowThese are some tasty little whoopie pies.  I made them tiny so everyone could have a bite.  The bananas and cinnamon match perfectly with the cinnamon-raisin peanut butter.  The raisin bits are small and provide bites of sweetness throughout.  Whether you make these whoopie pies gluten free or regular, they are pretty fantastic!  Not too sweet, great for a little snack or dessert.Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale Yellow

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GF Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Whoopie Pies, page 55 & 87
Yield – 12 mini whoopie pies

Whoopie Pies
1 cup gluten-free AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 ripe bananas, smashed
cinnamon

Filling

3/4 cup cinnamon-raisin swirl peanut butter, PB & Co.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt onto wax paper.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar until pale yellow.  Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well combined; scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture.  Then add in the smashed banana.  Beat until just combined.
  5. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheets.  Leave at least 2 inches of space between each whoopie pie.  Sprinkle cinnamon on the top of each.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.  Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Add the peanut butter and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy.  Turn the mixer to low and beat in the powdered sugar and salt.  Mix for about three minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
  8. Match halves together based on similar size.  Use a piping bag with a round tip to pipe the frosting on each half.  Gently squish the halves together.Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale Yellow

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowFor the past few weeks, since it’s been warm out, I’ve been going for walks on the beach.  And let me tell you, it is amazingly restorative to the mind, body, and soul.  I have several friends that grew up on Lake Michigan and I didn’t understand their connection to the water, but now I do after only two months of living by the ocean!

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowI’m learning important things like the tide schedule and which parts of the beach are easiest to walk on.  I’ve also learned that people go surfing in 40-degree (Fahrenheit) weather. crazy!  My parents don’t believe that I live by real beach so I’ve been sending them photos of sand and seashells; hopefully they’ll get the hint and come visit me.

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowThe cold and wind the past few days have put a damper on my daily walks.  I’m so done with winter and just want hot weather and sunshine all the time.  I promise there will be no complaining when this summer is sweltering!  It’s flip-flop season, no more boots and socks.

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowA dessert like this doesn’t need too many words to sell you on how delicious it tastes.  A rich, moist chocolate cake with a creamy peanut filling is hard to beat.  It’s been awhile since whoopie pies have been on the blog and this is the first of two fantastic recipes.  These were real good my friends, real good.Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Whoopie Pies, page 43 & 87
Yield – 9 whoopie pies

Whoopie Pie
1/2 + 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
peanut butter chips

Filling
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, PB & Co. is best!
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt onto wax paper.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until pale yellow.  Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well combined; scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture in three additions with the milk in between.  Beat until just combined.
  5. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheets.  Leave at least 2 inches of space between each whoopie pie.  Press 5 peanut butter chips in each whoopie pie.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.  Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Add the peanut butter and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy.  Turn the mixer to low and beat in the powdered sugar and salt.  Mix for about three minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
  8. Match halves together based on similar size.  Use a piping bag with a round tip to pipe the frosting on each half.  Gently squish the halves together.Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale Yellow

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Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowThis is the pudding that inspired my pity-party-for-one on the floor on my apartment.  I think my feelings were normal and not that weird; I was just feeling a little lonely living alone and I really wanted to share my pudding with someone.  And then I realized I hadn’t talked to any humans yet; so I felt sad inside.

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowI ate my pudding and felt better and went out with Jackie for dinner.  Later that week Dean came over for dinner so I could share my pudding.  No worries, I’m done feeling sorry for myself.  It helped to talk with Angela and Andrea about the highs and lows of living alone; I needed real talk from my ladies.

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowMaking this pudding reminded me how amazing homemade pudding tastes.  The pudding is silky smooth and creamy.  I love the texture of the butterscotch with the crunchy, sugar-coated pecans on top.  Pecan bourbon makes everything better, obviously!  There is clearly going to be more pudding in the future!Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding
Adapted from That Winsome Girl
Yield – 4 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons pecan bourbon (regular would be fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
candied pecans

  1. Pudding – Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in the sugar and salt until the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of milk in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth.  Whisk in the eggs.  Set aside.
  3. Whisk the remaining milk into the butter/sugar mixture.  Whisk in the cornstarch mix.
  4. Return to the pan to the stove and cook on medium heat until the pudding begins to boil and thicken.  Let the pudding bubble for one minute and then turn off the heat.
  5. Whisk in the bourbon and vanilla.
  6. Strain the pudding through a fine sieve and portion into individual serving bowls.  Place a piece of plastic on directly on top of the pudding.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving and garnish with candied pecans.
  7. Candied Pecans – Add 2/3 cup whole pecans, 1/3 cup sugar, and a generous pinch of salt to a dry saute pan.  Heat and stir until all the sugar is melted and it begins to caramelize.  Make sure all the pecans are covered with the melted sugar.
  8. Spread the pecans on wax paper.  When the sugar has hardened, but not cooled completely, break the pecans apart.Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale Yellow

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Peppermint Marshmallows

peppermint marshmallows | pale yellowI can’t stop with the peppermint and I still have another recipe to share with you; I’m slightly out of control.  Slightly is putting it mildly.  Yesterday morning I ate a cupcake for breakfast on my way to work.  Yep.  It’s the holidays.  But once I got to work I drank a green smoothie; they canceled each other out, right?

peppermint marshmallows | pale yellowYou know what else it out of control?  No one takes my suggestions.  Everywhere I have served these marshmallows, I have done so with a side of hot cocoa packets and NO ONE makes hot cocoa.  No one.   I don’t understand.  Marshmallows are a little weird to eat all on their own, but in hot cocoa – magical!

peppermint marshmallows | pale yellowWhen I drink hot cocoa at home I usually add a splash or two of creme de menthe because I adore chocolate + mint.  I’m not one to have marshmallows laying around the house, but their festivity and sweetness adds much to a mug of already decadent hot cocoa.  This recipe combines both loves.

peppermint marshmallows | pale yellowTo be perfectly honest, part of the reason I made these marshmallows  is the color!  There is a lot of brown on a typical cookie try, especially when forgoing decorated sugar cookies, and there needs to be some brightness to break up the chocolate.  Creamy, dreamy white marshmallows with pink on top are perfect.

peppermint marshmallows | pale yellowPeppermint marshmallows are not just Totes McGoates Adorbs; they are delicious too, obvi!  There is strong peppermint flavor from all the extract plus even more flavor from the crushed candy canes on top.  Maybe your friends and family will be more open suggestions when you make them these amazing marshmallows and serve them with hot cocoa!

peppermint marshmallows | pale yellow

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Peppermint Marshmallows
Adapted from Cookie Baker Lynn
Yield – 24 pieces

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 candy canes, crushed
powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Grease a 9×13” pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of cold water to the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the 3 packages of gelatin on top.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan add the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining water.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Heat and cook until the syrup reaches 240 ˚F.
  4. Use the whisk attachment and turn the mixer on low.  Drizzle in the hot syrup.
  5. Keep the mixer on low until the syrup is combined and then turn the mixer on high for about 15 minutes or until the marshmallow is light and fluffy.  Add in the peppermint extract and mix until well combined.
  6. Spread the marshmallow in the pan and sprinkle the crushed the candy canes on top.  Let the marshmallows set.
  7. Liberally sprinkle a surface with powdered sugar.  Use kitchen shears to cut the marshmallows into pieces.  Dip the edges in more powdered sugar to avoid sticking.
  8. Store in an airtight container.peppermint marshmallows | pale yellow

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Easy Turtles

Easy Turtles | Pale YellowBefore we talk about how delightful and easy these little pretzel turtles are, let’s talk about wine!  Why are we going to talk about wine?  Silly question.  Wine is wonderful.  Yesterday was snowy and then it was rainy, but it was all cold.  Nothing warms the soul more than a glass or two (or three) or cabernet sauvignon.  Nothing.

Easy Turtles | Pale YellowI was just telling Ruth how in the summer I only want to drink white wine and then I begin to ponder my heart’s desire for red wine.  However, winter hits, and I ONLY want red wine.  Red wine may be my favorite.  Sorry bourbon.

Easy Turtles | Pale YellowAnyway, I took a batch, version 1.0, to the Space Center for a staff meeting and they gobbled them right up; truly gobbled them up!  The folks at the Space Center seem like pretty healthy eaters most of the time and I have noticed that those who eat the healthiest, tend to lose the most control around sweets.  I love it!  I’m not trying to make people be unhealthy, but I enjoy helping people lose a little control!

Easy Turtles | Pale YellowVersion 1.0 was good, but it wasn’t great.  Here is version 2.0, and it is much, much tastier.  An extra drizzle of dark chocolate and a sprinkling of sea salt make a HUGE difference; major flavor enhancers!  This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve posted: start the oven, spread out pretzels, put a Rolo on top, warm for 5 minutes, put a pecan on top of that, and you could be done with a delicious treat.  But take it to the next level with a dollop of melted dark chocolate, a little drizzle, and some sea salt.  A perfect bite.  It’s ten minutes of your life that will bring your continuous joy!

Easy Turtles | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Eggnog Cookies

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Easy Turtles
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Yield – 30

30 small square butter pretzels
30 Rolos
30 pecan halves
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
sea salt for sprinkling

  1. Turn on the oven to 350 ˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lay out 30 pretzels on the parchment paper and place one Rolo on each pretzel.
  3. Place in the oven for 4-5 minutes.  The Rolos should be soft but not melted.
  4. Place one pecan half on each Rolo and squish down a little.
  5. In a double boiler melt the chocolate with the butter.
  6. Set up a second cookie sheet with parchment paper and spoon a scant half-tablespoon of chocolate in little circles.  Place one turtle on each circle.
  7. Drizzle the turtles with remaining chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Place in the refrigerator to harden completely.

Easy Turtles | Pale YellowNote – you can make as many as want, just change the amount of pretzels, Rolos, and pecan halves!

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Pumpkin Dip

pumpkin dip | pale yellowAt our Fall Fest party, I made two items with bourbon, ONLY TWO!  And everyone kept mocking my love, and the apparent abundance, of bourbon.  Monday brought you the cupcakes and next week you’ll see the other bourbon-infused item.  There was about 10 dishes on the table and only two had bourbon, I don’t understand the problem.  Bourbon is magnificent.  However, this pumpkin dip is free and clear of bourbon and still magnificent.

pumpkin dip | pale yellowThis pumpkin dip is not free and clear of adorableness!  Seriously, pumpkin in a pumpkin; a mini pumpkin at that.  Hard to beat in the cute department.  I will say this little pumpkin was a pain in the butt to clean out.  It was hard as a rock and required multiple knives with multiple entry points.  Once the top was off, it was easy to scrap out the inside and even the top with a peeler.  The ten minutes of work to clean out the pumpkin was worth it, just look at the pictures!

pumpkin dip | pale yellowCompletely unrelated to pumpkin, I looked at a new apartment this week and it is exactly what I hoped/dreamed/prayed for!  There is a cute little kitchen that is smaller than I used to, but is completely usable and within my budget.  It’s a true 1-bedroom with a large closet and windows in all the rooms.  If you’re not a New Yorker windows and closest are probably presumed parts of an apartment, but trust me, they are not always there.  Plus, I’m a few blocks from the beach.  Double plus, the landlord says the apartment is mine!  The move is now a reality…

pumpkin dip | pale yellowYou know what else is a reality?  Today is the deadline to enter the giveaway for a sweet prize pack.  Click on this link, scroll to the bottom, comment, and wait & hope your name is chosen.  Done. Entered.  Do it.  Also, look at the delicious, salty caramel corn.

pumpkin dip | pale yellowAlso delicious, the pumpkin dip, obviously.  Canned pumpkin is creamed together with cream cheese, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to make this incredibly easy dip.  You can use graham crackers, apple slices, or a spoon to enjoy with zero judgement.  Pumpkin dip seriously tastes like pumpkin pie and I think you should make it happen, especially with reduced fat cream cheese, because than it’s almost healthy!

pumpkin dip | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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Pumpkin Dip
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Yield – 20 or so servings as an appetizer

8 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 fat, room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3 large apples
1 sleeve graham crackers
small pumpkin for serving, optional but totally adorable

  1. Make sure the cream cheese is very soft.  Beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Beat in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices.  Taste and adjust the spices as necessary to your taste.  Feel free to use pumpkin pie spice in place of the five individual spices.
  3. Allow the dip to refrigerate overnight so all the flavors can marry.
  4. Serve with sliced apples, graham crackers, or whatever your heart desires.  If your heart wants to fancy, hollow out a little pumpkin and serve the dip in that!pumpkin dip | pale yellow

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Salty Caramel Popcorn

salty caramel corn | pale yellowI’ve led an extremely blessed life and have never struggled to meet basic needs like food, shelter, or warm clothes. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same.  I have partnered with Fleischmann’s® Yeast, Fleischmann’s® Simply Homemade® Baking Mixes and Karo® Syrup – trusted baking products that have helped people create beautiful homemade bread, baked goods and delicious desserts for more than 100 years – as they launch the Baking A Difference campaign to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign to help end childhood hunger in America through the power of baking.

salty caramel corn | pale yellowTo inspire people to make a difference for No Kid Hungry when they participate in the Baking A Difference campaign, Fleischmann’s® Yeast, Fleischmann’s® Simply Homemade® Baking Mixes and Karo® Syrup have partnered with America’s Test Kitchen and Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker blog, to create baking tips and unique twists on classic recipes to encourage more bakers to bake a difference.

salty caramel corn | pale yellowTo learn more about the Baking A Difference campaign and get the latest recipes and baking tips from Fleischmann’s® Yeast, Fleischmann’s® Simply Homemade® Baking Mixes and Karo® Syrup, visit Facebook.com/FleischmannsYeast, Facebook.com/SimplyHomemadeMix, Facebook.com/KaroSyrup and Pinterest.com/BeABetterBaker.

salty caramel corn | pale yellowI’m doing my part by spreading the message and eating homemade caramel corn.   I have never made caramel corn before and it is much easier than I anticipated!  The popcorn was made in the microwave using my favorite brown bag method and tossed with homemade caramel.  Mixing in fall M & M’s and pretzels add chocolate goodness and extra crunch.  The sprinkle of sea salt on top cuts the sweetness and gives the popcorn a sweet and salty combo that I, and everyone else, seems to adore.  It seems wrong that I overate a treat meant to bring attention to childhood hunger….

That being said, make some popcorn, make a difference, and help make sure everyone has equal access to wonderful food!

Baking a Difference at Pale Yellow

Enter to win this prize pack! A lovely orange cooler bag, 5 mixes of bread from Facebook.com/SimplyHomemadeMix (the pretzel and whole wheat are delicious!), 3 packs of yeast from Facebook.com/FleischmannsYeast, and 2 types of corn syrup from Facebook.com/KaroSyrup. Plus fun glasses, heat-resistant orange spatulas, and cool little bowls!

If you would like win the prize pack above, simply leave a comment describing one way to make a difference for No Kid Hungry.  For shipping purposes, only those who live in the contiguous United States are eligible.  Please leave a valid name and email so I can contact the winner.  The give-away will be closed on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 and a winner will be announced on Friday, November 8th, 2013.  One entry per person please.  Good luck and thank you!

salty caramel corn | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Apple Crumb Bars

Print the Recipe!

Salty Caramel Popcorn
Adapted from Karo Syrup
Yield – 1 gallon

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup M & M’s
1 cup broken pretzels
sprinkle of smoked sea salt

  1. Make your popcorn by placing 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag.  Fold over the top 3 times and microwave for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.  This works for my microwave, adjust as needed for your microwave.  Repeat for the second batch.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 ˚F and line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray liberally with cooking spray.  Spread 8-9 cups of freshly made popcorn on the baking sheet and place in the oven while making the caramel.
  3. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a small saucepan.  Stir until the mixture begins to boil.  Let boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
  5. Pour over the popcorn and toss to combine.  Mix in the M & M’s and pretzel bits.
  6. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes and stir occasionally.
  8. Break apart the popcorn and let cool completely before packaging.

salty caramel corn | pale yellowDisclosure – I was given 2 prize packs, one to keep and one to give, by the Baking A Difference Campaign to share their message.  All opinions are my own.  I really did eat all the popcorn, it was that good!

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