Tag Archives: caramel

Cinnamon and Caramel Snickerdoodles

cinnamon and caramel snickerdoodles | pale yellowSince I reorganized my kitchen and most of my ingredients are in jars, they stare at me everyday.  Things like corn starch and GF flour don’t really interest me, but the peanut butter chips, yeah the peanut butter chips.  They are all gone now.  There isn’t going to be any recipes with peanut butter chips for awhile unless they use the whole bag.

cinnamon and caramel snickerdoodles | pale yellowIt’s not just the peanut butter chips that tempt me, it’s the chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, and caramel bits that tempt me too.  They also inspire me.  Snickerdoodles are great on their own, but why not up the anti with more cinnamon and caramel?

cinnamon and caramel snickerdoodles | pale yellowIn other news, I think my turtles are about a week away from learning how to climb out of their tank.  They get really aggressive in the evenings and keep climbing up their fake plant.  You wouldn’t think turtles could be so loud, but they are.  All they want is food, not my love.  True story – turtles are not very loving.

cinnamon and caramel snickerdoodles | pale yellowPerfect snickerdoodles are moist and tender.  They are soft and flavorful.  I’ve been making the same snickerdoodle recipe for the last ten years, and although I stand by that recipe, there are always ways to fancify it.  Throw in some cinnamon chips and caramel bits and you have a bit of fancy.  Trust me, fancify your snickerdoodles!

cinnamon and caramel snickerdoodles | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Tiramisu Whoopie Pies

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Cinnamon and Caramel Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Snickerdoodles
Yield – 24 2-inch cookies

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
3/4 cup caramel bits
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the shortening and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and creamy.  Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well combined; scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour, cream of tartar, salt, and cinnamon and mix until just combined.  Stir in the cinnamon chips and caramel bits.
  4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.  Portion the dough using a 2-tablespoon scoop and roll each scoop in the cinnamon-sugar.
  5. Place the dough on the lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies just begin to brown.  Do not over bake.
  6. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool before storing.

cinnamon and caramel snickerdoodles | pale yellowWhat do you want to fancify?

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Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins

Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins | Pale YellowThe first recipe to come out of my new kitchen!  Since I have tried to cut back sweets in January, I’ve been hankering to make muffins.  Muffins don’t count as sweets, they are a breakfast items.  I can justify anything if I put my mind to it; sort of like the mini M & M’s I ate for dinner last night.

Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins | Pale YellowSo I thought I discovered a short cut in the new kitchen by softening cold butter on the hot radiator.  Cut to 10 minutes later when there is butter all over the floor.  A whole box of butter in the garbage.  On a positive note, I’ve invented a new Olympic sport – butter skating!  Trying to walk on a greasy floor is an adventure for sure.

Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins | Pale YellowI’ve been thinking about these muffins for awhile now.  A nice muffin with a thick crumble sounded super tempting and tasty.  Mixed with caramel bits and apple chunks you have a delightful breakfast treat.   The muffins are moist and not overly sweet.  The little bits of caramel add extra sweetness. There is a thick crumb topping full of cinnamon and crunch.   Whether you’re eating sweets or not, this is a great muffin to make!Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Yield – 8 muffins

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted & divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup + 5 tablespoons flour, divided
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon + a pinch of salt, divided
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup diced apples
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup caramel bits

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and liberally spray your muffin tins with Baker’s Joy.
  2. Crumb topping – Melt the butter and let cool slightly.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, 5 tablespoons flour, oats, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Mix in 3 tablespoons of melted butter until the mixture is moist.  Set aside.
  5. Muffins – Whisk together 1 cup flour, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and baking powder.  Toss in the apples.
  6. In a liquid measuring cup mix together the almond milk, vanilla, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and the egg yolk.  Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Stir in the caramel bits.
  7. Spoon into the muffin tins until about half full.  Fill the rest of the tin with the crumb mixture.  Really press the crumbs into the top.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are brown and the middle is set.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the muffin tin.
  9. Store in an airtight container.Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins | 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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Salted Caramel Pecan Bars

salted caramel pecan bars | pale yellowWarning – If you try to photograph these while the family is arriving for Thanksgiving, they’ll get eaten fast!  Plus you’ll be rushed and will take crappy, poorly lit photos.  Sorry readers, the pictures do not do these little bars justice.

salted caramel pecan bars | pale yellowYou’ll have to take my word for how good the salted caramel pecan bars are because the pictures are not worth 1,000 words.  My dad ate about 3 bars while I napped and my aunt and grandma were grabbing bars before dinner.  True story.

salted caramel pecan bars | pale yellowI didn’t even taste a full bar, just the trimmed edges.  Everyone gobbled (deliberate turkey-day pun) down the bars while I was enjoying my pumpkin pie.  And the remaining bars were eaten by father while I was out shopping on Black Friday.  No leftovers for Tracy.  There is a much bigger story to tell, but that’s a story for another day.

salted caramel pecan bars | pale yellowIn other news, the bars are a dream to pack and travel with!  There was minimum breakage and zero problems with TSA.  Honestly, I’ve never had a pecan pie before, but I imagine it would taste like this.  So if you like pecan pies, but don’t like the work of a pie, I recommend these bars.

salted caramel pecan bars | pale yellowThe crust is solid and tender so it holds its shape without being impossible to chew.  It sort of soaks up the caramel-y goodness from the top!  The topping is full of pecans and some caramel sauce to hold it all together.  Sprinkling sea salt on top makes the whole dessert sing on your tongue; salt is magical!  If you want to make your whole family happy, like mine, make some bars!

salted caramel pecan bars | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Vanilla Vodka Chai Cocktail

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Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
Adapted from Bake or Break
Yield – 15 bars

2 cups flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
3 1/2 cups pecan pieces
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of salt
smoked sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a 9×13” pan with foil.  Spray the foil liberally with Baker’s Joy, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment mix together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed.  Add the cold butter a few pieces at a time and mix until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs.
  3. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and press evenly on the bottom.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust just begins to brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and then cool in the refrigerator for another 10.
  5. Start the filling after the crust comes out of the oven.
  6. Toast the pecans in a dry skillet until they are warmed through and begin to smell nutty.  Set aside.
  7. Add the remaining butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cream, and pinch of salt to a medium saucepan.  Heat until the mixture begins to boil and then stir in the pecans.
  8. Pour the mixture evenly into the pan and spread over the crust.  Sprinkle with sea salt.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is set.  Let cool completely on a wire rack, preferably overnight, before cutting into pieces.salted caramel pecan bars | 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

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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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Sumbitches Cookies

sumbitches cookies | pale yellow { Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate chip cookies inspired by HIMYM}If you watch How I Met Your Mother, you know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t watch HIMYM, watch this episode!  For those of you not in the know, these are peanut butter cookies stuffed with chocolate and caramel, yep, a sumbitch.

sumbitches cookies | pale yellow { Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate chip cookies inspired by HIMYM}In this episode Lily eats ALL the cookies on the train, hence the sumbitch name.  Ruth, Andrea, and I can attest, these cookies are sumbitches because you will eat them all.  Once you start eating these cookies, one is not enough, you need to eat all the cookies too!  This batch did not leave our apartment!

sumbitches cookies | pale yellow { Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate chip cookies inspired by HIMYM}I’m a little late to the Rolos in dessert trend.  Rolos are not my favorite candy but in a cookie they turn into something magical.  There are few things better in this world than melty, gooey, stretchy chocolate and caramel.  I’m 100% on the Rolo train now; I’m envisioning brownies with Rolos or some sort of adapted slutty brownie with Rolos.  There are ideas in my head.

sumbitches cookies | pale yellow { Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate chip cookies inspired by HIMYM}Back the the sumbitches cookies – they are amazing.  Soft, peanut butter cookies with chocolate and gooey caramel.  You’d think it would be too much, but it’s just right.  The sprinkle of salt on top allows these decadent cookies to be enjoyed by the handful.  Whether or not you watch How I Met Your Mother, you’ll like these cookies.  And now you know what I do every Monday night at 8!

sumbitches cookies | pale yellow { Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate chip cookies inspired by HIMYM}One Year Ago – Stout Cupcakes

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Sumbitches Cookies
{Peanut butter cookies with chocolate & caramel}
Adapted from People.com
Yield – 18 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
18 Rolos
sea salt

  1. Beat the butter and sugars together until they are pale yellow in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat in the peanut butter. Scrape the bowl.
  2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
  3. Whisk together the flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Toss the chocolate chips in flour mix.  Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.  Cover the bowl and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Unwrap all the Rolos.
  5. Portion the dough into 2-tablespoons scoops.  Place a Rolo in the dough and wrap the dough around the candy.  Roll the cookie into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.  Make sure the cookies have plenty of space between them, I only put 6 cookies on a baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each cookie.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until just set.  Let cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.sumbitches cookies | pale yellow { Peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate chip cookies inspired by HIMYM}


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Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale YellowI have gone almost three weeks without baking, that’s kind of a record for me. Usually I turn on the oven at least once a week to whip up something sweet and tasty; or at the very least make an ice cream, cocktail, or savory food item. Not this time, July has left me absent from the kitchen up until now.

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale YellowWith all birthdays, events, and parties in May and June, I baked several times a week, and had plenty of dishes to save for future posts. Now I’ve run out of saved posts. When that much baking has occurred I need to take a step back, relax, and let the butter seep out of my blood stream; cool down from the baking burn-out. This time, however, I took too long of a break.

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale YellowWhen I have been absent from the kitchen for so long I begin to feel antsy and short tempered. There is no better cure than a mixing bowl and some chocolate – total baking therapy. These brownies were the right entry back into the kitchen as they come together with minimum equipment and use mostly pantry items.

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale YellowObviously the brownies weren’t just for me and the roommates; expecting three ladies to consume a 9 x 13″ pan of brownies is a bit ambitious even for exceptional eaters like ourselves. I made these brownies for my #1 fan Irene and her husband. They have had a disappointing couple of years and they have recently received some excellent news. I wanted provide a treat in celebration and since Irene hasn’t been baking much, I knew these would be welcomed into their family!

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale YellowIf you want a fudgy brownie, this is the recipe for you! These brownies are dense, rich, and have a deep chocolate flavor. I doubt they are undercooked since I cooked them for 10 minutes longer than the original recipe, but they have that slightly underdone consistency; perfect for all brownie enthusiasts. The pretzels on top provide a salty crunch to balance out the sweet caramel and chocolate drizzle. My favorite way to eat the leftovers is cold, right out the fridge. I’m not lying when I say these are the best brownies I’ve eaten in a long time; this maybe my new go-to brownie recipe. Things just got real.

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Crack Pie

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Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel
Adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen
Yield – about 24 pieces, 9×13” pan

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
54 mini pretzels
10 ounces prepared caramel sauce
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
handful of crushed pretzels

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a 9 x 13” pan with parchment paper. Leave overhang and grease the paper. Set aside.
  2. Place a large, heat-proof bowl on a pot of simmering water to make a double boiler. Add the unsweetened chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in both sugars. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Sprinkle the baking powder, salt, and flour over the mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place the pretzels on top. I had 9 rows of 5 pretzels.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.
  7. Place the pan on a cooling rack, poke small holes between all the pretzels, and then drizzle the caramel sauce over the top.
  8. Melt the semisweet chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals until it is of a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the caramel.
  9. Sprinkle with crushed pretzels.
  10. Let cool completely before cutting.

Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel | Pale Yellow


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Naughty Crack Cupcakes

Naught Crack Cupcakes // Pale Yelow

Dean is a very good friend.  Everyday after work, even though it is out his way, he drives me home.  It’s beyond thoughtful and beyond considerate; our daily discussions on the commute home are often hysterical and and always much needed.  Dean is essentially the big brother I have always wanted.naughty bars // pale yellow

One day during Friday’s-fourth-floor-Chinese-food-lunch, I asked him what kind of cupcake he wanted for his birthday.  He said crack pie mixed with Irene’s naughty bars, the two best things he has eaten from us.

naughty bars // pale yellow

Hmmmmmmm, can a crack pie be converted into a cupcake and mashed with a naughty bar?  Yes. It. Can!  Here is living proof.  It’s not pretty, but it sure is tasty.

naughty bars // pale yellow

Basically these are mini crack pies with chocolate chips and salted caramel inside.  Besides burning them to a crisp, there is NO way for this to go wrong, no way.  I’ve thought about adding chocolate to crack pie before, because I love chocolate and I believe that is the only possible way to make crack pie better.

naughty bars // pale yellow

When I made nutella crack pie I was slightly disappointed, there just wasn’t enough chocolate, but a few simple chocolate chips is all crack pie really needs to take it to the next level.  And the little bits of salted caramel are perfection.

naughty bars // pale yellow

Not that crack pie needs to be improved, but this recipe does it.  Gooey, sweet, salty, chocolatey, and a bit of crunch in one decadent, rich dessert.  What else do you need in life?naughty bars // pale yellow

One Year Ago: Lemon Bars

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Naughty Crack Pie
Adapted from Crack Pie
Yield – 14 cupcakes

Oat Cookie – for the crust
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
75 grams light brown sugar
40 grams sugar
1 egg yolk
80 grams flour
120 grams rolled oats, old fashioned type
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl and add in the egg yolk, beat to combine for another 2 minutes or until the mixture is white.
  3. Add the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until just combined.
  4. Spread as thin as you can onto the parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Let cool completely.

Oat Cookie
15 grams light brown sugar
1 gram salt
5 tablespoons melted butter

  1. Use a food processor to grind the oat cookie into fine pieces.  Mix in the brown sugar and salt.
  2. Add the melted butter and mix until everything is moistened.
  3. Press 2 tablespoons of of crust into 14 silicon cupcake liner.  Press the crust firmly into each liner.  Set the remaining crust to the side.
  4. Place the cupcake liners on a cookie sheet.

Crack Pie Filling
150 grams sugar
90 grams light brown sugar
10 grams milk powder
12 grams cornstarch
3 grams kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/8 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
salted caramel sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, cornstarch, and salt in in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed until everything is well mixed.
  3. Add in the melted butter and beat for 2-3 minutes or until all the dry ingredients are moist.
  4. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla for another 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Make sure there are no streaks.
  5. Beat in the yolks until they are just mixed in.  Try not to over beat and add too much air in the mixture.
  6. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter in each shell.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips in each cup.  Add about a 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce into each cup.  Sprinkle the remaining crust on top.
  8. Bake for 5 more minutes and then open the oven door for 5 minutes and reduce the heat to 325 F.  The filling may bubble over, but it will be ok.  Bake the cupcakes until the tops are brown and there is only a slight jiggle when you shake the pan.
  9. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerated.  Garnish with powdered sugar.

naughty bars // pale yellowDean & Irene – Is this what you’ve been waiting for?


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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

Best. Cupcake. Ever.  Some bold statements were made about these cupcakes.  Paula didn’t think so, she prefers a boozy cupcake, luckily I have plenty of those to go around.  I agree with Paula, this is not the best cupcake I’ve ever made (at least in my opinion), but that’s one of highlights of baking, everyone has different tastes.  My favorite brownie is not everyone’s favorite brownie, hence the 12-million chocolate chip cookie recipes out there in the world.  And this, my friends, is the biggest challenge of baking for others – what do you make someone that is their favorite kind of flavor?  It’s a lot of fun to try!

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

Irene said “best cupcake ever first” and I’m glad she thinks so because these were her birthday cupcakes.  Last year I made her Heath Toffee Cupcakes.  I talk about Irene a lot because she is my #1 fan, really, truly.  She is my literal number 1 commenter besides myself, that obviously makes her my #1 fan.  If I ever get a cookbook deal I’ll probably dedicate it to Irene because she has supported me more through this process than anyone else.  I don’t mean to get sappy, but I just reread Bossy Pants and if Tina Fey can write love letters to Amy Poehler, I can write love letters to Irene.  Boom.

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make these cupcakes for a looooooong time, since mid-fall.  I had leftover salted caramel sauce and leftover apple butter in the fridge and this seemed like a perfect fall cupcake.  Then, a hurricane kept me out of work for a week and altered my life view a bit, these cupcakes were pushed to the back burner.

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

So here’s the truth – Irene, I made you these cupcakes because I love you, and I had all the leftover ingredients in my fridge, luckily they don’t spoil.  Sorry.  No worries, these are some outstanding cupcakes and no one got sick.  PS – NO one has EVER gotten sick from something I have made (as far as I know…)

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

What we have here is a cupcake moistened with apple cider and spiced with cinnamon.  The inside is injected with rich apple butter and the cupcake is frosted with a creamy caramel and cream cheese frosting.  To finish there is a delightful drizzle of homemade salted caramel sauce.  I think you should make these cupcakes and decide for yourself if they are truly the best. cupcake. ever.

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

One Year Ago: Roasted Chestnuts

Print the Recipe!

Apple Caramel Cupcakes
Adapted from Lehigh Valley Live
Yield – 12 cupcakes

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup apple butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line your cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale yellow.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Sift together the flour, powder, cinnamon, and salt onto wax paper.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions with the apple cider in two additions in between.  Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to divide the batter between cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Fit a small piping bag with an injection tip and fill with the apple butter.  Push the tip into each cupcake and then pull out slightly, squeeze the apple butter and slowly remove the tip from the cupcake.  Wipe off any extra apple butter.

Caramel Buttercream
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
salted caramel sauce for drizzling

  1. Melt the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan, heat until the sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat.
  2. Whisk in the cream and then pour into a small bowl to cool to room temperature.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 6 tablespoons of butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Beat in the butter and salt.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and drizzle in the caramel mixture.  Gradually add in the powdered sugar to make a stiff frosting.
  5. Place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe a swirl on each a cupcake.
  6. Heat the salted caramel sauce in a small saucepan filled halfway with water.  When the sauce is loose, drizzle over each cupcake.

Apple Caramel Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

(PS – Irene is contemplating starting her own blog, she needs to totally do it, then we can be IRL friends AND blogging friends!)



Filed under Cupcakes

Naughty Bars

Naughty Bars // Pale Yellow

Get your mind out of the gutter!  These bars are naughty because of all the butter, sugar, and chocolatey goodness. Meaning these are naughty to eat because there is not one healthful ingredient besides the oats.  Yet somehow in a dessert, it’s all going to be okay.  I know a lot of people go all “healthy” and “new year’s resolutions” in January, but I’m going to keep things real.  Let’s start the year with a naughty treat.

Naughty Bars // Pale Yellow

This recipe comes my friend Irene.  She has made this decadent treat for us several times at work and I thought it would be a delicious addition to the dessert tray I made for the family Christmas party.  This bar was the right decision!  I was asked several times about what the bar was and told how good it was.  The next day when my grandparent’s were over for lunch my grandpa wrapped one in a napkin and stuck it in his pocket for later!

Naughty Bars // Pale Yellow

Irene may make the naughty bars, but she doesn’t enjoy eating them.  I enjoy making AND eating them.  The crust is sweet and crunchy with a gooey, caramel layer on top.  Immediately following the caramel layer is the chocolate layer.  One would think the chocolate layer would harden considerably during the cooling phase, but it doesn’t!  The chocolate layer stays perfectly chewy and the crumble topping is a lovely finish to the bars.  Do yourself a favor, be naughty, it feels so good!

Naughty Bars // Pale Yellow

One Year Ago: Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

Print the Recipe!

Naughty Bars
Adapted from Irene’s recipe
Yield – 30 bars

3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
50 caramel squares (14 ounce bag) unwrapped
1/2 cup milk
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 13×9 pan with foil.
  2. Melt the butter and add in the brown sugar, flour, oats, soda, salt, and vanilla until combined.  Press half the mix into the pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile wrap the caramels and melt with the milk in a small saucepan.  Pour the melted caramel over the baked mixture and then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.
  5. Crumble the rest of the oat mixture on top.
  6. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  7. Let cool completely overnight in the fridge before slicing into bars.Naughty Bars // Pale Yellow


Filed under Brownies/Bars