Tag Archives: caramel

Chocolate Cookies with Pretzels, Caramel, and White Chocolate Chips

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowI’m sitting in Starbucks on a beautiful Sunday afternoon writing a paper.  Or at least trying to write a paper.  So far I’ve texted a bunch of people, checked Facebook 12 times, looked at my classmates’ papers to see how they use APA properly instead of looking up an actual APA manual, and pre-ordered two cookbooks from Amazon.  I’ve contemplated emailing my professors asking for an extension because *tear* I’ve been on vacation in Aruba for a week and now I don’t know if I can get my paper done by Tuesday.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowI know.  I’m whining and need a smack in my privileged face.  I am so fortunate to have a career that allows me time off to travel and supports my lifestyle choices.  I am fortunate that I can continue my education in a program that has so far excited, engaged, and challenged me.  I am fortunate to have the luxury of free time to blog and write papers and grocery shop at my leisure.  Done whining, I just gave myself a little face slap.  And I finished two paragraphs of my paper.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowTo continue the theme of privilege, when I was in Costa Rica three weeks ago (yep, that happened too), my amazing landlords moved my car for me the whole week.  I live in a neighborhood where street parking is not allowed on the weekends and there are two days of alternate side during the week.  They moved my car on and off the lawn as needed and made sure I didn’t get a ticket;  I am very fortunate to live where I do with these people.  Needless to say, they needed a big thank you.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowCookies are always an appreciated thank you gift.  The youngest boy immediately took the plate to the couch and started chowing down!  I’m not surprised, the cookies are soft and chewy, chocolatey and crunchy.  The coca adds depths of flavor and the caramel and white chocolate chips adds interest.  And there’s pretzels, you can’t go wrong with pretzels in your cookies.  You should make these cookies as a perfect thank you to some who deserves appreciating or just a thank you to yourself for being awesome.chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Cookies with Pretzels, Caramel, & White Chocolate
Adapted from Barbara Bakes
Yield – 2 dozen 2” cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup caramel bits
1/2 cup chopped chocolate covered pretzels
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes or until pale yellow.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and egg until well incorporated.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; mix on low until just barely combined.  Add the caramel, pretzels, and chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
  5. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the parchment paper, leave about 2” of space between each cookie.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before storing.

chocolate cookies with pretzels, caramel, and white chocolate | Pale Yellow

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Samoa Cupcakes

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowAre you ready for the longest recipe I’ve ever published?  Seriously, this thing has 29 steps.  Every step is absolutely worth it and I would definitely make these again.  The word “would” was chosen carefully.  Normally, someone would say, “I will definitely make these again,” but as we all know, I try not to make the same recipe twice!

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowMaking everything for scratch is deeply satisfying.  All the steps and bowls and challenges – lovely!  At least it’s all lovely until you reach the clean up portion of baking.  Recipes like this really make me miss having a dishwasher, my little dish rack just can’t handle all the bowls.

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowNow that I work with a small staff, there are not many birthdays to celebrate and very few cupcakes to make.  Usually May is my busy month of birthdays with multiple cupcake recipes every week.  Not so much anymore.  I have a few occasions in the next few weeks and I’m pumped.  There will be some good recipes in the next two months!

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowThe cupcakes start with a delightful shortbread crust on the bottom; this is probably the best roll-out cookie recipe I’ve ever made!  It’s perfectly flaky and sweet, I’m glad there are leftover cookies in the freezer…

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowA moist, tender chocolate cupcake is topped with a rich and decadent chocolate ganache.  The chocolate ganache is really just a glue for for the caramel (homemade, obvi) and toasted coconut topping.  To make the cupcakes perfect and just like the actual Samoa cookies, pipe four stripes of extra ganache on top.  For a lady that used to not like Samoa cookies, these cupcakes are fabulous and I could eat them all week!Samoa Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Samoa Cupcakes
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Cookie base from Just a Taste
Yield – 10 cupcakes

Shortbread Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Cupcakes
3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
3 tablespoons hot water
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

Coconut Caramel Topping
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Chocolate Ganache
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

  1. Shortbread Cookies – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat for several minutes until light and creamy.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.  Add to the butter on the lowest speed and mix until just combined.
  4. Beat in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  6. On a floured surface roll the dough to 1/8” thickness.  Use a round cookie cutter the same size as the bottom of a cupcake liner to cut the dough.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  There will be extra cookies.
  8. Chocolate Cupcakes – Place cupcake liners in your cupcake tin and place a shortbread cookie in the bottom of each liner.
  9. Add the cocoa and hot water to small bowl and stir together until the chocolate is dissolved and a paste forms, set aside.
  10. Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
  11. Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan until all the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with a paddle attachment until the bowl is cool to the touch, about 4 minutes.
  12. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Scrap the bowl as needed.
  13. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mix in three additions with the yogurt in in between.  Mix until just combined.
  14. Use a standard cupcake scoop to portion the batter between the cupcake liners.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  15. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  16. Coconut Caramel Topping – Butter a small dish liberally and line with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment paper.
  17. Add the cream, butter, and vanilla to a small saucepan.  Heat until combined and set aside.
  18. Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a separate saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook until a light golden color.  Stir in the cream mixture and cook until it reaches 248 ˚F.
  19. Pour into the prepared pan and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  20. Place the coconut on a foil lined cookie sheet at toast in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Check and stir frequently.
  21. Add the cooled caramel to a medium saucepan with the milk and salt.  Stir and and heat until the caramel has melted.
  22. Stir in the toasted coconut.
  23. Chocolate Ganache – Heat the cream until scalding and then pour over the chopped chocolate.  Cover for 5 minutes.
  24. Stir the ganache until all the chocolate is melted.  Stir in the coconut extract.
  25. Assembly – If the cupcake has a dome, cut it off to make a flatter cupcakes.
  26. Smear about one tablespoon of ganache on each cupcake and smooth with an offset spatula.
  27. Place 2 tablespoons of the coconut-caramel mixture on top of the ganache, smash down slightly.
  28. Add the remaining ganache to a baggie and pipe thing stripes over each cupcake.
  29. Store at room temperature.Samoa Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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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


Filed under Brownies/Bars

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?


Filed under Cupcakes