Tag Archives: chocolate

Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies – GF

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowHappy Memorial Day!  There is a little memorial park at the end of my block and it’s perfectly decorated with red ribbons and crisp American flags.  It’s beautifully maintained and the perfect reminder of what this weekend is all about.  Thank you.

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowI’m spending the weekend catching up on errands and Sons of Anarchy.  Wow SoA, wow!  I didn’t see those plot twists coming.  Bam, bam, they’re all shot and dead.  It slightly scares me how much I enjoy watching all the violence on TV.

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowIn other, less violent news, these brownies were made for a spa weekend to celebrate Michelle’s upcoming wedding at her bachelorette party.  And really a spa weekend is the absolute opposite of violent, motorcycle gangs on TV!  The party was a great success and perfectly lovely and relaxing.  I wish I could afford more spa get-aways.

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowThese brownies are delightfully fudgy and gooey.  Spread the peanut to the edges so every bite has decadent, creamy peanut butter.  You wouldn’t even know they are gluten free. Using coconut flour in place of all-purpose or GF all-purpose adds the slightest coconut flavor and a toothsome texture.  It’s time for some brownies with peanut butter!peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellow

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Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies – GF
Adapted from Top with Cinnamon
Yield – 16 pieces

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon coconut milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.
  2. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat until it is melted and browned.
  3. Meanwhile generously grease an 8×8” pan with butter.  Cut parchment paper to fit on the bottom and over two sides.  Grease the parchment paper.
  4. Chop the chocolate, remove the browned butter from the heat, and add the chocolate to the butter.  Stir until melted.
  5. Stir the honey and vanilla into the chocolate-butter mixture.  Add the eggs one at a time and stir to make sure the mixture is well incorporated.
  6. Stir in the salt, soda, flour, and cocoa powder.  Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  7. Place the peanut butter and coconut milk in the same pot you just made the brownies.  Heat until the peanut butter becomes melted.  Dollop over the brownie batter and swirl with a knife.
  8. Bake for for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.peanut butter swirl brownies GF | 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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Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts

Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts | Pale YellowI wanted to make a pie, so I searched my favorite pie cookbook for a recipe that struck my fancy.  I found one, but things didn’t quite work as  I expected.  The filling was all runny; the flavors were spot on, but the texture off.  Baking fail.

Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts | Pale YellowHere is take two; four mini tarts instead of one large pie plus twice the amount of cornstarch.  Success!

Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts | Pale YellowOreos are vegan, so a crust with Oreos and vegan butter is a breeze!  Cook some strawberries on the stove with a few extras until the mixture is thick and jam like.  Fill the crust.  To complete, whip up some coconut cream.  Vegan heaven my friends.

Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts | Pale YellowThe tarts are sweet and large, each one easily serves two.  The filling is fresh and springy.  You’ll never miss the dairy and other artificial ingredients (just ignore the artificial ingredients in Oreos…).  Strawberries scream of Spring and they are front and center in this dessert.  Vegan chocolate strawberry tarts are one of those desserts that seem complicated, but is actually easy.  In other words, it’s tart time!

Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Black Bean Sliders

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Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts
Adapted from Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts
Yield – 4  4” tarts (8 servings)

Crust
20 Oreos
3 dates
5 tablespoons vegan butter, melted

  1. Preheat to oven to 350 ˚F and generously grease your mini tart pans.
    Crush the Oreos into fine crumbs.  Blend the dates until a paste forms.  Mix the Oreos, date paste, and melted butter together until all the crumbs are moistened.
  2. Divided the crumbs evenly between the four tart pans and press firmly on the bottom and up the sides.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crusts become firm.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Filling
1 quart strawberries
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
generous pinch of salt

  1. Take half the strawberries, core them, and chop them up.  Add the chopped strawberries, sugar, juice, cornstarch, and salt to a medium saucepan.  Cook and smash the mixture until it thickens into a paste.
  2. Slice the remaining strawberries and add the strawberry paste mixture.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.  Add to each tart and smooth over the top.  Freeze for several hours.

Finishing
1 can full fat coconut milk, Thai Kitchens Organic
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
splash of vanilla
Oreo halves and extra strawberries for garnish

  1. Separate the solid coconut cream from the liquid.  Add the coconut cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Remove the the tarts from the freezer and from the little tart tins.  Add the whipped cream to a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe a dollop on each tart.  Garnish with Oreo halves and more strawberries.
  3. Store in the fridge and try to eat within 24-hours, the crust gets soggy.Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Tarts | Pale Yellow

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Banana, Leche, Y Cafe con Chocolate Y Rum

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowIn less than two months I’ll have my toes in the warm sand of the Pacific Ocean with the jungle and (hopefully) monkeys on my back.  Where will I be you ask?  Certainly not Rockaway!  We have warm sand from the Atlantic and only odd, stuffed gorillas on the beach.  I’ll be somewhere warm and tropical in Central America.

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowI’m going to COSTA RICA!!!  Visiting Costa Rica has been at the top of my travel list for years and I’m finally going, for my 30th birthday, no less.  It is hard to imagine a better birthday present to myself than a trip to Costa Rica with some of my best lady friends.

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowThe trip was just paid in full and we’ve been sending each other fun, rum-centric emails in to get ourselves in the game.  I’m ready!  I have dresses and bathing suits; once I buy all the sunblock, I’m there!

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowTo get myself in the game I made this Costa Rican inspired drink.  Tropical flavors mixed with coffee and chocolate – a most excellent afternoon pick me up.  Throw in some rum and it’s an afternoon party for one!  Only 47 more days…

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Juice
Two Years Ago – Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel and Chocolate

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Banana, Leche Y Cafe con Chocolate Y Rum
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 1 drink

3 ice cubes
1 small banana
15 bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon used coffee grounds
1 tablespoon coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons dark rum

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or magic bullet and blend until well combined, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Enjoy in the sun with your favorite straw.banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellow

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Banana Chocolate Shake {Vegan}

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowMeet my new favorite treat!  It’s easy, rather healthy, and totally deliciously satisfying.  The banana ice cream fad gets a facelift in this non-milk, milk shake.

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowAs much as I try to eat healthy, I often have 2-3 week benders where all bets are off.  In one such bender I found myself eating ice cream for dinner several nights in a row.  Obviously that is not a habit I can maintain.

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowNow that I’m back on track, I still crave that sweet something in the evenings after dinner.  Enter my new favorite treat.  Two ingredients, whiz it up, and you’re done; sweet, sweet dessert.  The banana flavor is definitely present, but I love bananas, so it’s all good.  Chocolate + banana is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  A little scoop of peanut butter makes the whole drink that much more delightful!

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Pineapple Apple Mint Juice
Two Years Ago – Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

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Banana Chocolate Shake {Vegan, Two-Ingredients}
Yield – 1 serving

1 small banana, in chunks and frozen
1 cup dark chocolate almond milk

  1. Add the frozen banana pieces and milk to a Magic Bullet blender or other such device.  Blend for 2-3 minutes or until well combined.
  2. Enjoy with your favorite straw!

Variations – Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter!  A dash of cinnamon!  Use vanilla almond milk or coconut!  Add extracts!  Be fancy!chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellow

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Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo CupcakeHere is a little peak into what I learned this weekend – I am not a party girl.  There were plenty of weekends in my early-mid twenties where I could stay out late for multiple nights in a row and be social for days.  Apparently not anymore and I am feeling it today.

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowNot that my “wild” weekend wasn’t worth it; it was a fantastic weekend.  And by wild I mean an all day spa service and champagne drinking type of situation.  Wild just got classy!  All those weekends of laying around and resting do not work as a banking system I can withdraw from when needed!  Needless to say, this is going to be a lazy week.

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowSometimes, when things are less busy, you want to make a cupcake with a lot of steps.  Lots of steps equals good times in the kitchen.  Sometimes you also need a small batch recipe that only yields six cupcakes.  These cupcakes were so tasty, I could’ve eaten twelve, but my pants can’t handle that situation!  Also, these cupcakes feature a new cooking method!  Those feel rare these days.

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowCaramelized white chocolate is a thing, an awesome thing.  Baking white chocolate until it becomes caramelized is super easy and changes the flavor of white chocolate from lackluster to spectacular.  All of a sudden the white chocolate has depth of flavor, nutty notes, and an amazing richness.  The possibilities for caramelized white chocolate are endless!

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowI made these cupcakes for Danielle because Jackie told me she liked Oreos and white chocolate; an excellent combination.  Think of this as a fancy-fied cookies and cream cupcakes.  The cake is rich and moist with a crunchy cookie on the bottom.  The frosting is sweet and flavorful.  As an added bonus, you can’t go wrong with caramelized white chocolate in the middle and drizzled on top.  These are definitely a special occasion cupcake or a cupcake to make an average day feel special!Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil
Yield – 6 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Oreos, divided

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cupcake tins with liners.  Take three oreos and twist them in half, place half at the bottom of each liner, cream side up.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined.  In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.  Mix until just combined.  Chop up the remaining 3 Oreos and fold into the batter.
  4. Portion the batter into each cupcake liner, about 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely on a wire wrack.

Caramelized White Chocolate
8 ounces white chocolate, the bar kind, not the chips
1/3 cup coconut milk, full fat
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
extra Oreos for garnishCaramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

  1. Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache – Reduce the oven temperature to 225 ˚F and cover a baking sheet with foil.  Chop up the chocolate and place it on the foil.
  2. Bake for about 15-20 minutes total, removing the chocolate every five minutes to stir the chocolate with rubber spatula.  When the chocolate turns golden brown stop.
  3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just warm.  Add the caramelized white chocolate and stir until well combined.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Frosting – Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and creamy, for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the powdered sugar and salt and beat until fluffy.  Beat in 1/2 cup of the caramelized white chocolate ganache.
  5. Assembly – Carve a cone in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1 1/2-2 teaspoons of the caramelized white chocolate ganache.  Cut the tip off the cones and place the top back on the cupcake.  
  6. Add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.  
  7. Cut Oreos in half and place one half on each cupcake.
  8. Drizzle with the remaining caramelized white chocolate ganache over the top.
  9. Store in the fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving.Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars

chocolate toffee shortbread bars | pale yellowSome recipes are too good not to share right away.  There are many recipes in my queue, but I wanted to post this one before the others.  Also, I just had to look up the word “queue,” I wanted to spell it like “que,” but that is wrong.  Then, in my effort to quickly look something up, I overwhelmed my computer, twelve open tabs will do that, and had to restart.  All that for one little weird word.

chocolate toffee shortbread bars | pale yellowClearly it’s too late!  Usually I try to limit my after work activities because I like to go home and stay home, but this has turned into a busy week.  Yesterday I completed TWO major activities after work: laundry and a trip to the mall.  I don’t know how people work until 6 or 7, how do you get anything done?  I miss my 3 p.m. dismissal.

chocolate toffee shortbread bars | pale yellowAnyway, these bars were made in a week with a much slower pace when I had time to bake and only one after work activity.  The shortbread bars were taken to one of my favorite after work activities – baby holding!  I was able to go visit the twins for a little awhile, and they are getting so big!  It’s amazing how quickly they develop their own personalities, and likes and dislikes.  They are a lot of work!  A. Lot. Of. Work!

chocolate toffee shortbread bars | pale yellowChocolate toffee shortbread bars quite simple for such a decadent treat.   Press the crust in the pan, bake.  Pour the filling, bake. Spread on chocolate, melt.  Sprinkle toffee bits, cool.  Done.  Easy peasy, delish.  Make it happen!  Chewy, rich, crunchy, yum.

chocolate toffee shortbread bars | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Sweet & Salty Chocolate Guinness Pie

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Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
Yield – 20 bars

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits
sprinkling of sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease an 8×8” pan.  Cut parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the pan and up two sides, grease the parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until pale yellow.  Mix in the flour until just combined.
  3. Press in the bottom of the prepared pan as evenly as possible.  Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Let cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile heat the milk and remaining butter in a small until melted together.  Pour over the crust and place back in the oven for 12-15 minutes.  The filling should become golden brown.
  5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and place in the oven for 2 minutes to melt the chips.  Spread evenly and cover with toffee bits.  Press the toffee bits into the chocolate.  Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Allow to cool completely before trying to cut.  Small pieces are best, these are rich!chocolate toffee shortbread bars | pale yellow

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Chocolate Ice Cream with Mint Bits (Dairy Free)

chocolate mint ice cream - dairy free | pale yellowWhen I was trying to go dairy-free, ice cream was what I missed the most.  The milk fat in butter was ignored and I as much as I love cheese, it was not as difficult as expected to ignore.  Except for pizza; pizza was a craving that kept popping up in my life.  In order to satisfy my mind, body, and soul, I purchased a pint of coconut ice cream; it was either pizza or ice cream and I went with the ice cream.

chocolate mint ice cream - dairy free | pale yellowStore bought coconut ice cream?  Not great.  The pint was $6 and was icy and seriously lacked in flavor.  When the store bought version lets you down, there is only one thing left to do, make your own!

chocolate mint ice cream - dairy free | pale yellowHomemade, chocolate coconut is phenomenal!  None of the chemical aftertaste of the store bought version and it is much creamier and less icy.  I couldn’t get over the rich and decadent chocolate flavor.  Not to mention how well this recipe replaced, typical, dairy-filled ice cream.

chocolate mint ice cream - dairy free | pale yellowIf you want to make a completely dairy free version, substitute the mint bits for dairy free chips or nuts or coconut or whatever your heart desires.  My heart desired minty chips.  There will most definitely be more coconut based ice cream coming your way, this was just too good to not make again!chocolate mint ice cream - dairy free | pale yellow

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Chocolate Ice Cream with Mint Bits (Dairy Free)
Adapted from Beantown Baker
Yield – 1 quart

2 cans full-fat coconut milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon whipped vodka
2/3 cup mint bits (or another diary-free mix-in)

  1. Place the bowl of your ice cream make in the freezer overnight.
  2. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan.
  3. Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.  Whisk in the cocoa powder and salt.  Add the hot coconut milk 1/4 cup at a time to temper the eggs.  When the mixture is smooth, add to the saucepan.
  4. Whisk and cook the mixture until it thickens, about five minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve into a clean bowl.  Stir in the vanilla and vodka.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours until cool or overnight.
  6. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions, it took mine about 25 minutes.  Add the mint bits the last 5 minutes of churning.
  7. Place the ice cream in a freezer safe container to harden.chocolate mint ice cream - dairy free | pale yellow

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Puppy Chow Cookies

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowWords were deleted here, lots of words.  Words about how much my life has changed in the past year, words about disappointment, and words about loneliness.  These words are not for sharing here, however.  They are meant to be shared in conversations with friends whether on the phone or in person.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowOver the past few days I have been fortunate enough to share these words with people who matter in my life and it has given me clarity.  Not clarity in the sense that my feelings have lessened, but clarity that I am alright and I am not alone.  When I was 24 I got a tattoo on my wrist because I was high on life and wanted to memorialize those feelings.  In all the wisdom of my 24-year-old-self, I knew that this particular season of my life would not last forever.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowWhere is my 24-year-old wisdom now?  When is my 30-year-old lady wisdom going to kick in?  My proper, adult, lady-self recognizes the importance of spending money on proper and classic shoes.  My proper, adult, lady-self takes pride in having a savings account.  Yet, I’m having trouble remembering that life comes in phases, seasons even, and this too will pass.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowMy hope is that the next season will be one of simplicity.  There are plenty of ways to improve and simply my life and add more purpose and grace.  Lofty goals, yes, but entering a new decade brings with it some lofty expectations.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowEnough of this.  Let’s talk decadence and deliciousness.  Let’s talk looking for a simple, easy recipe and that somehow turning it into dipped chocolate and powdered sugar all over the kitchen!  Puppy chow is one of my favorite treats and I don’t make it often because it’s my kryptonite; I just can’t stop.  I gave away all these cookies within 4 hours of making them as necessity, they’re that good.  The peanut butter cookie is flavorful and crispy, the chocolate rich, and the powdered sugar sweet.  This batch makes a bounty, so get ready to share!  I’m serious about these cookies, my 24-year-old-self says make them and eat them now, she is wise!

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Pulled Salsa Chicken

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Puppy Chow Cookies
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
Yield – 5-6 dozen cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup flour

20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (2 bags)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, this one if you’re feeling naughty
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Cookies – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.  Beat in both sugars until well combined.  Add the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, beat until pale yellow.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough.  Flatten each round of dough with the bottom of a floured glass.
  5. Bake for 11 minutes and then let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Coating – Add the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter to the bowl of a double boiler.  Heat and stir gently until everything is melted.  Place the powdered sugar in separate bowl.
  7. Place your wire racks over paper towel or foil or something, things are about to get messy.
  8. Dip each cookie in the chocolate mixture using a fork and shake off excess chocolate.  Immediately drop the chocolate covered cookie in powdered sugar and toss to coat.  Place on the wire rack to dry.  Repeat for the rest of the cookies.
  9. If desired, once all the cookies are coated, give them a second dunking in the powdered sugar, this really creates a nicely covered outside.
  10. Store in an airtight container and serve with napkins, these are delicious but messy!puppy chow cookies | pale yellow

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Special Blondies with Brown Butter, Chocolate Chips, and Marcona Almonds

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowHere is a fact to blow your mind: 90% of my posts are written from my bed.  When I had roommates it made sense to work in my bedroom because that was my quiet space.  I could also be alone and get into my head for all these riveting words.  Now that I live alone I spend much less time in my bedroom and much more time in the living room.  My little slanted roof living room is my downfall however.  I just don’t have strong focus in there.  True story.

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowMind not blown?  Here is another fact: Whole Foods may possibly be the devil.  I  said it.  They built a beautiful Whole Foods in Brooklyn next to my favorite derelict house with a lovely parking lot and then I moved away.  Which is probably a good way to save my bank account.  However, I find myself stopping in Whole Foods when I’m in Park Slope and spend a ton of money.  And this is not for my regular groceries, this is my “extra” purchases.  You know, those special foods you just have to have.

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowWhat’s the point?  Marcona almonds are one of those special purchases.  Obviously I couldn’t just walk into Whole Foods to get almonds, I need nutritional yeast, some hot food for dinner, and another $30 worth of food.  Marcona almonds are totally worth it, totally!  I first tried marcona almonds at the Iberian Pig in Atlanta and was blown away by how creamy and flavorful these almonds wore, this is not your regular almond!

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowWhen I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker, I knew I wanted to make the blondies as an excuse to buy marcona almonds.  Marcona almonds require a specialty store, so Whole Foods it was; the story comes full circle.  The blondies are worth the extra trip and money; they are sweet, chewy, moist, nutty from the brown butter, and super special from the bittersweet chocolate chips and marcona almonds.  These aren’t the blondies you serve to your drunk friends; these are the blondies you sit and savor!

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Grasshopper Pie

Print the Recipe!

Special Blondies | Blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 16 pieces

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup cashew or almond butter (mine was unlabeled)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup marcona almonds
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
sprinkling of sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease an 8×8” pan with shortening.  Cut parchment paper to fit in the pan and overlap the sides.  Grease the parchment paper as well.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and cook until brown and nutty, whisking the whole time.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before proceeding.
  3. Whisk in the brown sugar and then the eggs one at a time.  Add the cashew butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder, whisk to combine.
  4. Add the flour, three-fourth’s of the almonds and three-fourth’s of the chocolate chips.  Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  5. Place the remaining almonds and chocolate chips neatly on top.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until just browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack and then cut into pieces.special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellow

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